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As a dog owner, your dog jumping on people can be annoying, frustrating, or even dangerous. A big enough dog can knock over a toddler or an elderly person, or even an unsuspecting adult. Nobody likes muddy paw prints on their shirt front, or having the ice cream cone knocked out of their hand, or their chin bumped and bruised by a happy dog tooth. It can put a damper on a social event when the family dog is hurling himself at every person who comes through the door.
There are many reasons a dog could be jumping, according to the Spruce Pets. It may be to say hello, to establish control and dominance, out of fear, or simply because of poor social skills.
So, what is the answer to teaching a dog not to jump up?
There are may solutions that can work for your dog, and it often depends on the reason they’re jumping. It’s important to remember that any solutions take effort and planning on the part of the pet owner.
Here’s some advice on how to stop dog from jumping on people:
Train an incompatible behavior: Training an incompatible behavior is a good way to solve a behavior problem your dog has. Think about what’s incompatible with jumping up. What’s a position that makes it physically impossible for your dog to jump on someone? Lying down, for example.
If you can teach your dog to drop on cue, you can quell the instinct to jump. The “down” position can be taught with food luring. Put your dog in a sitting position. Hold a piece of food—preferably something delicious and smelly like fish or chicken—between his front paws, in your closed fist. Let him lick and work on your hand, but don’t give him the food until he finally lies down. Repeat. Eventually, he will drop when you put your hand down in front of him. Once he learns this signal, you can start telling him, “Down” until he learns to associate the word with the action. Then you won’t have to put your hand down anymore.
Once he understands the cue, start practicing in different places and situations until he becomes pretty reliable. Then, when you see a scenario where they wants to jump, tell them, “Down.” One important thing: Be sure to keep plenty of treats around when you are working with your dog. Eventually, your dog will lie down without the food.
Plan ahead: Set your dog up for success by being ready when you have house guests. If you have a dog with a problem jumping habit, put them in a crate or another room until things settle down enough to maintain their state of calm. Then, be ready to reward them for good behavior.
Remember that your dog is a family member and the tendency to jump up is not their fault. It is not a difficult problem to fix, provided you’re consistent and invest the time and effort to really work at it. Your dog deserves a chance to succeed. It will improve their quality of life, as well as yours.
You can always ask your veterinarian for advice.