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How to Teach a Dog Not to Jump

Black dog jumping up at man in grass field

Do you have an overly exuberant dog who likes to leap upon you and others? If your answer is YES, you should consider teaching him/her not to jump. Even if it doesn’t bother you much, this jumping behavior can certainly offend other people.

It can actually be dangerous for babies, old people, and someone who is not expecting this type of greeting. Fortunately, you can train your dog not to jump on people and start greeting everyone more politely.

Why Do Dogs Jump?

Whenever you are being bounced on by a dog, you start wondering the reason behind that. There are many theories about why dogs jump up on people. The most popular among them are dominance and greeting behaviors.

Natural Instinct

Jack Russell Terrier leaping for frizbee

From a very early age, dogs are habitual of jumping. This is because it’s their natural way of acquiring food from their mothers. A puppy will also leap up to cuddle with his/her mother to feel closer. Moreover, canines greet one another by walking up to each other face to face and sniff. They tend to mimic that behavior with humans and jump in an attempt to reach our faces.


Dogs can also get fed up with their mundane routine. If your pup has accumulated an excessive amount of repressed energy and gets overexcited, he/she may turn into a jumper. This abundant energy can come from weariness or being in their pet house for a long time. Similarly, some dog breeds are naturally more energetic than others and have an abundant supply of energy.

Negative Attention

Boy withholding frisbee from jumping dog

You might unintentionally be rewarding your dog for jumping up on you by giving what he/she wants. Just like kids, dogs try to gain the attention of their guardians. Your dog normally can’t make sense whether you are actually playing with him or yelling at him/her to get down. Consequently, your pet may visualize the discouraging response as exactly what he/she was longing for; your attention.


Like humans, canines also feel insecure in the presence of an unfamiliar person. They either get afraid of him or get excited and desperate for identifying that person. In both the scenarios, they may get triggered and pounce on that person to assert dominance. In these cases, dogs often adopt a more attacking approach.

How to Stop My Dog from Jumping on Me

Terrier jumping up at human legs

Training your dog not to jump up on people takes patience and persistence on your part. You need to make a clear understanding of your dog’s behavior and select your actions accordingly. There are many techniques that can be used to correct this behavioral disorder among canines.

Discourage the Behavior

You need to realize that your puppy might seem cute to you while jumping, it can become a negative habit. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to discourage this behavior at the early stages. This can be done by ignoring your puppy completely (not even an eye-contact) while he tends to leap. The best way is to turn your back towards him and cross your arms over your chest.

Refrain from the Actions that Trigger Your Dog

Man petting dog on green couch

Observe and notice all the actions that trigger your dog to bounce on you. Make a list of these activities and try your best to avoid them in front of him/her. The following are some examples in which you can manipulate your actions based on the dog’s behavior.

  • If your dog leaps on you while playing with a toy, stop playing with him/her. Simply, drop the toy and walk away.
  • If your pup jumps on you while you’re preparing their meal, walk away from the food.
  • If your canine jumps on you when you come home, don’t enter the house right away. Instead, stay outside for a while until your dog calms himself/herself down.

Appreciate Good Behavior

It is as important to reward the good behavior of your pet as it is to discourage bad habits. When your dog practices the desired behavior, you should appreciate him/her for showing good manners. In addition to that, reward your pooch with some nice dog treats or a loving pat on the head.

Having said that, try to maintain a low profile. Talk in a calm voice and use serene petting techniques to ensure that the dog’s excitement stays in control.

Redirect the Energy

small white dog playing catch with owner

Redirecting your canine’s energy towards some productive activity is also a good way of making your dog not to jump. You can buy some exciting dog toys to keep him/her occupied. This also offers a safe avenue to expend excess energy.

Things You are NOT Supposed to do

Apart from the things that you need to adopt, there are some practices that you should avoid. Trainings, such as knee and leash correction, fall into this category because they can cause more harm than good. For instance, if you drag the leash too harshly, it can result in a serious injury to your pup.

Moreover, knee correcting can be seen by the dog as a sign to start playing. As a result, it will stimulate your pet to jump instead of staying down.

How to Teach a Dog Not to Jump on Others

Can you imagine the embarrassment you will feel if your canine companion jumps unexpectedly on your guests? If you don’t want this to happen, it’s highly recommended to use the following techniques to train your pup.

Ensure Safer Interaction

Put the dog on a leash while attending the guests to ensure a safe interaction. You may also instruct the visitors (ahead of time) to knock when they arrive instead of entering on their own. You can let your dog see your guests and identify them, but do maintain a safe distance at all times. If he/she gets overexcited, try to distract his/her attention with a treat or dog toy.

Include Friends in Training

Group of friends around a picnic table and playing ball with the dog

It’s not enough to practice the teachings alone with your dog. You should also involve friends and family in the training to achieve maximum benefits. Otherwise, your dog may learn that it’s NOT right to jump up on you but everyone else is fair game. The inclusion of other people teaches your dog to stay calm no matter who comes into the room.

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