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How to Stop your Dog or Puppy from Jumping

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Bulldog PuppyFiguring out how to stop a puppy from jumping up is something that you’re definitely going to go through when you get a young dog.

Puppies getting up on their people is pretty much par for the course when they’re little, it’s the easiest way to catch your attention and in the wild, they do something similar to their mothers in order to get some sweet, sweet, second-hand nutrients by licking their mom’s face. One of the first things to do is make sure you don’t give them attention for it, it might be funny when your dog is small but if your dog eventually becomes a lumbering ursine beast that weighs more than you do and can jump high enough to stand on your shoulders it’s not going to be a good time for you.

If you don’t rectify this behavior when they’re little, the behavior will only get worse and can turn into pseudo-dominant behavior when they really want to catch your attention as they age.

Your best bet: just walk away. Don’t acknowledge it, don’t make eye contact, don’t speak to them or push them back. Keep ignoring the behavior until they’ve calmed down, then call them to you.

If this doesn’t fix the behavior, put your puppy in another room for a time-out when they do it and you’ll find that pretty quickly they’ll cut it out.

Small Puppy On GrassOf course, they won’t just do it to you. They might do it to anyone who sets foot in your home as well, ask your visitors to repeat the above steps. Ignore, don’t engage. It might be a good idea to use a leash until they get the hint, and if they get mouthy with you… it’s time to isolate them.

If they jump up while you get them prepared for a walk, set the leash down until your dog is calm and try again. Repeat this process until they remain calm, you might want to hurry up and get out there but your dog can miss a little bit of exercise to make sure he knows his manners.

The important things to take away from this are as follows:

  • Don’t Engage- Engaging your dog, positively or negatively, is giving in to its
  • Don’t Let them Invade- Dogs require other animals, including people, to maintain a respectful distance unless invited. Make sure your dog respects you, otherwise you’re not really in control.
  • Reward Them- But only when they stop. Don’t reinforce the behavior, let them calm all the way down and give them a little bit of attention. Don’t overdo it, though, or they might get the wrong idea.
  • Mean it- Let your dog know by your body language that you’re not going to put up with them doing that. Walk confidently and cross your arms while you ignore them.

Small PuppyIt’s a really simple process, and they’ll learn rather quickly as long as you stick with it. There’re two main mistakes that people make with this sort of training, and they’re easy to avoid if you know what to look for:

  • Making Eye Contact- Do not make eye contact with them during the ignoring stage. It might seem small, but it will make a huge difference in how long it takes to rid your puppy of this obnoxious behavior.
  • Inconsistency- Be consistent about it. Don’t give in, even if you really want to pick the little ball of fur up and cuddle it half to death. Inconsistency will completely defeat your training.

Something else that might help is having your dog sit down before you do anything. Before the leash, before feeding, before petting. It’s a great way to teach your dog an “attention” type of posture which won’t result in muddy paw prints all over your pants. Keep all of this in mind, and you’re sure to experience smooth sailing.

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This dog training series is based on the program of the extremely talented dog trainer Daniel Abdelnoor, better known as “Doggy Dan”. We are great fans of him and he offered you as our reader a resource guide of his dog training basics. You can download it here on our site for free:

He offers also a great 4 Part Video Series which has already helped a lot of people (and is entertaining at the same time):


Susan Cropper

As a veterinarian practicing for 48 years, Dr. Cropper brings her priceless experience to all our readers. She is currently taking care of her two rescues, Ollie the Greyhound and Bryce the Pitbull mix, that is why she always sees things as a veterinarian and a pet owner simultaneously.

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