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Training a Dog Not to Jump on Guests

Woman with something in her hand held out with dog jumping up

Dogs are playful and enthusiastic beings who love to show their excitement. This is probably the biggest reason why your dog may jump on guests when they arrive at your place.

Although dogs jump on guests delightfully, it is dangerous and can be harmful. For example, your furry friend can accidentally jump on a toddler or a disabled person. Hence, the dog must be taught how to behave on the arrival of guests to avoid any unwanted incident.

Why Does My Dog Jump on Guests?

Excitement is not the only factor that instigates a dog to jump on guests. According to American Kennel Club, dogs may indulge in this behavior for several reasons. Some of these causes are inherent to canines while others are learned from the environment. Let’s discuss some of the most elemental reasons that can urge your dog to jump on guests.


Jack Russell Terrier leaping in grass

If your guests also have dogs at home, they will reward your canine’s jumping by showing affirmative acknowledgment. It gives your dog the impression he/she is doing something good. Similarly, guests make sounds and pups enjoy these exciting chants. Combine this with your dog’s instinctual excitement and he/she will develop this habit of jumping on guests.

Attention-Seeking Behavior

Dogs love to show their energies to seek the attention of humans. Jumping on the guests allows them to get the immediate attention of the guest, as well as the owner. Sometimes, they also cling with the legs and clothes of your guests to show that they are very friendly and want indebtedness.


Jack Russell Terrier with ball in its mouth running down leaf covered hill

Dogs are usually hyperactive and like to exert their energies on others. They can’t sit all the time and needs some activity to stay happy. Showing excitement on the arrival of guests is just one of the ways to achieve this goal. The affirmation of guests when he/she hops gives your dog even more energy to exhibit hyperactivity.

Anxiety and Aggressiveness

Sometimes, it happens that the influx of your guests is too much to handle. In that particular situation, dogs feel anxiety and may become aggressive. They show frustration and can go out of their owner’s control. It is extremely difficult to control a dog in this mood because he can show negative behavior.

Playful Nature

Jack Russell Terrier peaking over wooden fence

Dogs love to play and may want to play with your guests to show their friendly demeanor. It’s very common for dogs to spend most of their time while playing with somebody or something (toys). Preventive Vet explains that some dogs jump on guests because they want to play with them.

What Can I Do If My Dog Jumps on Guests?

It can be very embarrassing if your dog decides to jump on a guest, especially if he/she is not fond of canines. Likewise, it can also lead to accidents. Therefore, it’s critical to teach your dog to behave nicely when guests arrive. Read on to learn about some doable training techniques that can help you correct your dog’s behavior.

Train Your Dog

Woman getting a high five from a Collie while sitting in grass

According to Chewy, teaching your pup to sit and greet your guest can an effective solution to your problem. This will make sure that everyone’s safe and comfortable. Now the question is, how can you train your pooch to behave this way?

For this purpose, you will need to teach your dog two commands, “Sit” and “Shake Hands”. Start by inviting an unknown person (a dog trainer or a friend) to your home. Give your dog the command to ‘Sit’ and tell him/her to shake hands with the new person. When your dog obliges to your instructions, reward him/her with a treat and repeat the entire training. 

Put Your Dog on a Leash

Close up of an Airedale with a leather leash in it's mouth

Putting your dog on a leash is another solution to this embarrassing problem. Bil Jac recommends using this method if you have guests coming over and are not sure about your canine’s jumping behavior therefore you have to put your dog on a leash.

Put your dog on a leash and when you open the door, pull your pup and say “No”. You can also give a treat to your dog to distract his/her attention from the guest. You must do it proactively to avoid any chaos.

Teach an Alternative Greeting Behavior

Girl sitting in grass with a Shiba Inu

We know that dogs jump out of excitement when they look at guests. This excitement can be controlled by teaching your dog an alternative greeting behavior. For example, you can ask your pup to sit down and enjoy his/her treat when a guest arrives.

For training this technique, you have to give your dog some food just before the arrival of the guests. In this way, the dog will be busy enjoying his/her food and won’t jump on your guest.

Put a Barricade

Setting a barrier between the guests and your pup can be quite helpful to control this inappropriate behavior. However, it’s important to train your dog to stay quiet in the barrier. This is because he/she will bark non-stop if he/she is not trained to stay there. Therefore, you should practice with the barricade before the arrival of your guests and reward your dog for behaving appropriately.

Distract Your Dog

Dog bowl with paw print on front full of dog biscuits and sitting on a wooden table

Dispersing food on the floor can keep your dog distracted while you are welcoming your guests. Dogs love to eat and their favorite food can easily distract them away from your guests.

Just make sure not to give any food to your pooch before the arrival of your guests. Spread the food on the floor when the guests have arrived. Owing to hunger, your dog will stay busy eating and won’t be very interested in welcoming your guests.

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