Keeping your dog’s feet on the ground

It is a natural instinct for most dogs to jump up on their human family members in an exuberant greeting. When dogs say hello to one another, they generally go nose-to-nose, and your pup wants to greet you in the same manner. Since you are probably much taller than your pet, he has no choice but to jump up in an attempt to reach your face.

Unfortunately, this habit can become a problem when your dog also tries to jump up on your neighbor’s toddler, your elderly grandmother, or your sister in her best dress. This is why it is essential that you teach your dog that jumping is inappropriate behavior. There are a number of methods that you can use to do this.

The methods

The first method is to stand tall and look straight ahead when your dog begins to make his jump. With your hands up by your chest, give your dog the “sit” command. When the dog sits, immediately kneel down to his level and offer him pats of praise. If your dog tries to jump up on you again, stand up and repeat these steps.

Another method that you can try is to stand tall and look straight ahead, while giving the command, “off.” When your dog jumps up again, turn your back to him so that he cannot reach your face.

A third option in training your dog not to jump is to repeat the first two steps of the previous method. However, when you give the “off” command in this case, you begin walking toward your dog until he has to jump back to get out of your way. Once your dog gets all four of his paws firmly planted on the ground, give him the command, “sit.” When your dog obeys, immediately kneel down and offer him pats of praise. If your dog jumps up again, repeat the entire process.

There is a fourth method of this training that will require the assistance of a friend. Attach a leash to your dog, and allow it to drag at the beginning of this lesson. Stand in front of your dog with your eyes focused straight ahead and your hands up by your chest, and give the “sit” command. If your dog jumps up, offer the “off” command as your partner gives a jerk to the leash in the direction of the floor.

Once the dog’s paws are back on the floor, give your dog the “sit” command once more. When he sits, kneel down and stroke him in praise. If he jumps up again, repeat the steps. You can also perform this training session alone with your dog, by standing on the leash yourself. Every time your dog tries to jump up on you, the leash should bring him back down to the ground.

More jumping tips

If your dog simply cannot sit still when you come home, keep one of his favorite toys by the door. That way, when you enter, you can offer him a toy to shake rather than jumping up on you.

There are also some things that you can do to help your dog remember that jumping is not allowed. First, remain calm when you greet your dog. Talk to him in a normal tone of voice, since raising it might excite him. Don’t make physical contact with your dog when he is jumping, since this may cause him to jump even more. Don’t try to train your dog not to jump up on you or others by causing him pain. Avoid kneeing him in the chest, or stepping on and pinching his toes.

With plenty of patience and consistency, you can train your pup not to jump up on you or on guests to your home. And a well-trained dog is a pleasant dog for you and for others.

Source: Adapted from the ASPCA