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How to stop my dog from jumping at people?

Bijgewerkt op: 25 sep. 2020

Not everyone enjoys a dog that jumps them. It might be you just dressed up for a party or you get visitors who are afraid of dogs. Either way, it might be a way for your dog to greet people, but it might also be a frustration for people.

Why does my dog jump at people?

The origin of this behaviour can be found with the education of the puppy. Puppies tend to jump at the mouth of their mother to be able to eat the food she’s carrying. It’s a means to interact with you. Despite the fact that this behaviour is kind of natural for a dog, it’s relatively easy to teach them not to do it. Often, however, the problem is that most people tend to enjoy a little pup jumping them thus stimulating this behaviour. By stimulating this at a young age, the dog often keeps doing this when he grows up. Another part of the story is that due to their incredibly strong sense of smell, they tend to go to the places that have the strongest odour. Our mouth is one of these areas.

What is learned in the cradle is carried to the tomb

It’s very important to start this training from day one and keep consistent with this. It is easy to teach a puppy and most often they will continue this behaviour for the rest of their lives.

How to stop my dog from jumping at people?

Be sure to follow the next steps when you are in a calm state of mind. It will be important to be patient in order for your dog to understand what you expect.

  • When your dog walks up to you, squat. By lowering yourself, your dog doesn’t need to jump up to be closer to your face. Thus reducing his urge to jump at you.

  • At first, always reward your dog when he keeps his four paws on the ground. Be sure to remain calm to not excite your dog. When he gets excited, he will be more likely to jump at you again.

  • At the moment your dog jumps you, either place him back on the ground with your hands underneath his chest, or lure him back down with a treat. Afterwards, when he keeps all four on the ground for a few seconds, reward him.

What about strangers or visitors?

The above is step one in the process. Some dogs might immediately understand this means they shouldn’t jump at anyone, but this doesn’t apply to all of them.

First off, it’s important to make sure you have total control over the situation. This means: Be sure to get a visitor that will act as you ask.

  • Make sure the person ignores the dog as long as you ask him to. Let him walk a few feet away from the dog. Place your dog on the ground with all fours and make sure to reward him when he stays calm. If this is not the case, you can try to distract the puppy with a treat. When the puppy is able to stay calm, the person can calmly come closer.

  • Afterwards, let the person walk up to the dog. You, once again, remain with your dog and reward him calmly when he remains calm. If the person is able to reach the dog without him jumping, the person can squat and pet the dog.

  • Whenever you cross strangers, use a recall to get your dog back to you and reward him. If you keep consistent with this, your dog will learn not to run at other people.

  • If the other person doesn't mind your dog running up to them and jumping, state clearly this is not what you want your dog to do. Ask them not to give any attention to your dog when they run up to them, recall your dog and let them pet him afterwards. Make it clear for everyone that your dog is still in training and you try to stop this behaviour.

Of course this isn’t something learned in a few moments. Take your time to teach this. Be patient, because for a dog it is in its nature to jump at people.

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