We all love when we are greeted with an overly enthusiastic tail wag, bright eyes, and bounding dog after a long day at work but if you have a dog that jumps up it can also mean you’ll be greeted with a few paw prints and a head butt that could knock your tooth out! The last thing you want is a guest or your children to be knocked over by your dog. It’s important to teach him to not jump up when saying hello or when asking for attention.
One reason dogs jump up is to reach our face. Dogs greet each other nose to nose, muzzle to muzzle when they are part of the same family. They will often nuzzle and lick each other on the face. They want to do that with us. It’s a sign of liking you, but we’re not dogs and they need to understand that people don’t want to touch noses and we don’t really want to lick their muzzles.
Keep in mind that your dog doesn’t know that it’s inappropriate to jump up so it’s up to you to clearly communicate and retrain your dog to not do it. It’s important to keep your own emotions in check when training, so remain patient, calm, and if it gets irritating, try to end the session on a good note by asking your dog to do commands he already knows and rewarding the behavior. Then maybe a quick game with a toy so that you both feel better.
Here’s a few tips on how to curb jumping up:
1: When you see your dog is getting ready to launch himself up onto you, turn your body away. Dogs can sense that turning your back or side to them means they are doing something wrong. This will also make your dog miss you and possibly deflect him. Don’t make any eye contact and don’t say a word. Ignoring your dog can often times get the point across. If you’re persistent your dog will soon learn to sit and make eye contact with you as an alternative.
2: You can also ask your dog to sit if he’s excited to see you. It can help train them and understand that sitting is a way to gather attention and maybe a treat. Jumping is not. Give the sit command before your dog starts to jump and praise him. Do this every time and ask your friends and family to also do it.
3: You can also tell your dog to “stop” by using your hand. Hold out your open hand when he jumps up, push your hand down against their nose (but not too hard) and say, “Off” or “Down.” Dogs have sensitive noses and after repeating this method several times they will not like the feeling of being pushed and should begin to get the message.
4: Keep greetings low key. If your dog jumps up when you enter the house, turn and go back out. Give it a few seconds and re-enter and ignore him. You might have to do this a dozen times before your dog learns that he’ll get attention by standing or sitting.
As with all training, patience, rewards, and fun should be part of it. Once your dog learns this new behavior you’ll be happy and know that the time you put into this was well worth it!