Dogs jump up to say hello, quite simply. They don’t know how humans prefer to be greeted, and it never occurs to them that they might knock us over or ruin our clothes. Thankfully, consistent anti-jump training can help.
When you arrive home:
- Open the door a teeny bit. If your dog jumps up, close the door.
- Repeat until you can step through the door without your dog jumping up.
- When you get inside, if he jumps on you, turn away. If he keeps jumping, go back outside and start again.
- As soon as your dog keeps four paws on the floor, praise and pet him; if he jumps up again for the attention, turn away and ignore him completely until all four paws are back on the floor.
Inside your home:
- When your dog jumps on you, turn your back to him. Say, “Too bad” as you turn away.
- When he stops jumping, turn around to face him. If he jumps again, turn your back to him again.
- Repeat until he stops jumping. Then pet and praise him.
- If your dog keeps jumping up when you turn your back, walk away from him, ignoring him completely. If he follows and jumps again, give him a time-out. Either close a door between you or put him in his confinement area for a minute or two (the point is not that he is being bad, but that you won’t play with him when he jumps).
Visitors in the home:
- When someone comes to the house, put your dog on leash before you open the door.
- Open the door and invite the visitor in. If your dog jumps up, tell him, “Too bad” and walk him away from the visitor.
Once he calms down, let him try again.
- Leave the leash on your dog during the visit. You don’t have to hold the leash the entire time, but if at any point during the visit your dog jumps up on your visitor, grab the leash, tell your dog, “Too bad” and walk him away.
- Remember to praise and reward him with pets and attention when he keeps four paws on the floor.
Meeting people on the street:
- If your dog jumps up on someone approaching you on the street, tell him, “Too bad” and walk a few feet away.
- When he settles, try again, if the person is willing.
If your dog knows “sit” reliably, ask him for a sit before he’s started to jump. The reward is getting attention from you or your guests. With time, practice and consistency, your dog will automatically sit when he wants to greet people!
Tip! The key to anti-jump training is consistency. You can end jump-up greetings for good if you turn away every time. This means everyone in your family and your guests need to do the same thing.
Troubleshooting: Be patient. It might get worse before it gets better. If your dog has used jumping as his main way to say hello, it will take a little while for him to learn new ways.