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How to Stop a Dog from Jumping Up When Walking

Couple walking on the beach with their dog who is jumping up

Jumping up is a common behavior among dogs. It is adorable and cute for a while, but it can become annoying or even risky at times.

An overly excited dog can become dangerous for small children and elderly people. Many times, people don’t expect your dog to jump at them while entering the house. This can quickly become a behavioral problem if not treated on time.

Why Does My Dog Jump on Me While Walking?

Your dog can be jumping at you or others for numerous reasons. Many people think dogs do this to assert their dominance. However, there is no proof to back this claim, and it doesn’t make much sense, either. Here are a few reasons that could be causing your dog to jump up.

You Give Your Dog Attention When it Jumps

Couple rewarding dog for jumping

Many people have strengthened their dogs’ tendency to jump by giving them what they want whenever they jump. In most cases, dogs are looking for attention when they jump up while walking. When they succeed in their mission, they start associating jumping with attention.

We can’t really blame the owners for caving into their dog’s desires. This is because it’s natural for us to feel bad if our pets are not happy. Pups quickly learn that jumping all over us is fun and rewarding, and we also reinforce this behavior with young puppies. A small puppy jumping up at people is cute, but a 70-pound dog leaping at you is dangerous.

Your Dog is Excited

Dog Jumping in field of tall grass

High levels of excitement can instigate your pup to jump up in a playful manner. For example, dogs get excited when people visit their home. Different dogs express their excitement differently. Some start pacing around the house enthusiastically while others get jumpy and greet people in the face. Other dogs start playing with their toys.

Some dog breeds are far more energetic than others, and they need a place to spend their built-up energy. If they are not happy with the given physical activity, they will let you know about that by jumping up.

Dogs Jump to Say Hello

small terrier standing on hind led with front paws on human leg

If you have ever seen two dogs when they meet, they greet each other face to face. They like licking each other’s faces and try to do the same with their owners and other people. This is one of the reasons why your pup might jump up when you meet a neighbor while walking. They want to greet them by getting closer to their face.

Stop Dog Jumping Up on Walks

Dog on leash sitting standing on hind legs next to owner

Solving a behavior problem like jumping requires both management of the situation and training your dog. The reality is that dogs acting like that is the fault of us humans because we encourage such behavior. Having said that, we can use the following techniques to eliminate this frustrating habit from their system.

Withhold Attention

The first part of teaching a dog not to jump up involves withholding your attention. You should try to discourage your dog’s attention-seeking habits. As soon as your pup jumps up, turn your back on it. You can also cross your arms, so your dog doesn’t get any more reasons to jump up.

Continue avoiding your canine until it stops jumping. It takes time, but eventually, your dog will learn that jumping up is not the answer to everything.

Reward Good Behavior

Jack Russell Terrier receiving a treat

The best way to encourage your pooch to behave well is to give it treats whenever it does something good. Whenever your canine companion greets you without jumping, give him/her a treat and follow it up with some petting. This is the most common technique used to encourage dogs to behave well.

You can also praise your dog, but don’t forget to keep things low key. Too much excitement and attention from you may stimulate another round of jumping.

Use a Sit Command

Human teaching jack russell terrier to sit in grassy field

You can start by teaching your dog to sit down on all fours when asked. Once the pet has its four paws on the floor for a few seconds or more, walk into the room. Now, wait until your dog tries to jump up. When he/she does that, command him/her to sit down.

Just like all targeted behavioral modifications, it can take some time before your dog starts listening to you. Practice this over several training sessions and be patient with your pup. With plenty of repetitions, your dog will learn to keep sitting when you enter the room.

Reduce Stress

It is true that dogs jump up when excited. However, jumping behavior can also be triggered by anxiety. If your dog starts to jump up suddenly while playing, it could be an indication that something’s wrong. Make sure that your pet is not worried or confused and is jumping just for fun. You can put your dog in another room, or on a leash outside when people come to your place.

Do not, under any circumstances, push your dog away harshly. It may trigger all sorts of negative behaviors, and might even injure your dog. Likewise, if you push your pooch backward, he/she may interpret this as your way of initiating play. This will encourage the wrong behavior.

Many times, dogs do not jump to greet if you squat down to their level. No one knows why this works but there are two possibilities. Either the dog feels less anxious as you appear smaller, or he/she no longer needs to jump to reach your face.

Recommended Dog Training Courses to Stop a Dog from Jumping Up When Walking

There are two online video based training courses that I recommend.

  1. Doggy Dan – The Online Dog Trainer
  2. Brain Training for Dogs

These two courses serve two very different purposes. The Doggy Dan course is the best behavioral training course that I’ve ever used. It tackles problem behaviors like barking in ways that are innovative and kind and most of all WORK.

The Brain Training for Dogs course is a course that will help give curious and bored dogs something to do so that they don’t get destructive. Bored dogs often behave badly. The games in this course are fun to play with your dog and they go from easy to very advanced. If you think your dog is barking out of boredom this video course is a good choice.

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