Behavioral problems

Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 8, 2019
Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People

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Does your dog jump on people? Sometimes our pet can become overexcited and show a total lack of control by pouncing on us to welcome us: although we may like this situation or find it funny, it is important to stop them from doing it.

It is one thing to have our dog jump on us, but another to have them jump on someone elderly, a child, or someone who is afraid of dogs. In order to prevent accidents, today at AnimalWised we'll share some tips to stop your dog from jumping on people.

You may also be interested in: Tips to Stop Your Cat from Chewing Wires


  1. Why does your dog jump on you?
  2. Can you train an adult dog?
  3. Before starting the training
  4. Using positive reinforcement
  5. Practice obedience with your dog
  6. Serious behavioral problems

Why does your dog jump on you?

We could compare the dog's brain with that of a very young child who needs to be taught: they must learn to relieve themselves on the street, to socialize with all kinds of people and pets and to behave correctly with their family and with strangers.

If we do not educate our pet as a puppy, problems and accidents will inevitably come up in the future. It is basic to stop your dog from jumping on people, but before starting to train them you must understand why they do so.

Usually, only dogs who were allowed to jump on people as puppies show this behavior as adults. By allowing them to climb on us, we make them think that this behavior is correct. In fact, when we pet them after climbing on us we are reinforcing this behavior. As the dog grows older, they still do it as part of their routine as they believe it pleases you.

However, dogs who have experienced a stressful change in their life may start jumping on people - and also on furniture - as adults. This is a sign of overexcitement. This behavior also appears occasionally in newly adopted dogs.

Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People - Why does your dog jump on you?

Can you train an adult dog?

To begin with, you must know that dogs are strong animals, full of vitality and joy: you should not try to alter your dog's personality to make it fit your tastes or your lifestyle, as it is something you simply cannot change. If you have a quiet life, you shouldn't have chosen a dog with high energy levels, as their need for exercise will not change.

Jumping on things and people is a common behavior in dogs, and not necessarily a cause of alarm. However, it can be trained away to prevent serious accidents. The training process to stop your dog from jumping on people should start early, and it will require patience.

If you adopted an adult or even elderly dog, you can still teach them with determination, positivity and plenty of affection. It is perfectly possible to train adult dogs, but they will take longer to understand what they should do and why.

Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People - Can you train an adult dog?

Before starting the training

Before moving on to the tips to stop your dog from jumping on people, it is important to prepare the ground work. Ask yourself some basic questions:

  • Is your dog almost always accompanied?
  • Does your dog exercise?
  • Does your dog walk as much as they should?
  • Does your dog train with positive reinforcement?
  • Does your dog pay regular attention to you?

If the answer to these questions has been "no", you are not ready to start working. When a dog does not have the necessary company and physical exercise to relieve stress, and when they don't have a stable routine, it is almost impossible to train them. In order to learn, your dog must feel calm, safe and comfortable.

If your dog has a serious behavioral problem, if they suffer from stress or from another ailment, you must wait and resolve this situation. We must practice with a physically and mentally healthy dog.

Using positive reinforcement

Dogs are very persistent animals: if your dog has learnt that jumping on people is a positive and friendly thing to do - that is, if they receive treats or strokes after doing it - they will keep on doing so.

You must find a technique to teach them another behavior and attitude. It is no use to ignore the problem, especially if what you want is a harmonious and well suited coexistence. We will try to reinforce quiet, serene and positive attitudes.

It is essential that the whole family be involved and collaborate in the dog's new learning process:

  • Give them a prize when they are quiet
  • Let them smell you when you get home
  • Caress them when they are resting
  • Do not excite them
  • Do not do make them engage in violent play
  • Do not let them get on top of you

The best way for your dog to learn is by using positive reinforcement as the animal attaches to you in a much more complex way than through the sole use of prizes and goodies. Any dog will prefer their carer's stroke or kiss over a treat. Positive reinforcement is complex, and it goes beyond giving them food or using the clicker. Dogs are social, and they must feel loved and accompanied in their learning.

Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People - Using positive reinforcement

Practice obedience with your dog

To improve this problem, you should really start practicing basic obedience training with your dog in a way that is always fun for both parties. To stop your dog from jumping on people, you must teach your dog an order such as "sit" or "stand still". Here you can learn more about how to teach your dog to stay still on command.

Practice together every day for 5 to 10 minutes every day, always offering them personal rewards like a caress or a kind word or a treat, such as a bit of sausage. This will help your dog assimilate the new trick.

Once your dog learns the chosen trick, we will start putting it into practice, specially when we believe the dog wants to try and jump up on us. To do this, you must carry about treats and prizes that you know they like. Your purpose is not to pamper or spoil your dog, but to make them understand that it is better to do the trick than to jump on you.

Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People - Practice obedience with your dog

Serious behavioral problems

In principle, if you perform this obedience technique you can redirect your dog's behavior. In other cases, however, you may not be able to stop the problem from continuing. If you think your problem goes beyond poorly learned behavior, you should contemplate going to an ethologist, a canine specialist who can advise you on the behavior and welfare of your dog.

If you want to read similar articles to Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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Steven Berger
We have 5 pit bulls the mother and her 2 sons and 2 daughters and we gave away 9 yes the bitch had 14 puppies 1 died at birth They are 3 years and 5 months . We have not neurtered the males but the females have been , There is a high amount of jealousy and lately the 2 males have been fighting 3x in 3 weeks causing injury to both males .I ALWAYS get in the middle to break up the fights and I too have gotten bit on my hands not so serious but bad enough I do this because I don't want them to kill each other We love our dogs and its a big problem .We have kept the 2 males separated but somehow my wife accidently let the 2 males to get at each other and a fight ensued I rushed in fast and were able to separate them and moments later the 2 females went at each other and again we got them separated . I dont know why this is happening and dont know exactly what to do . WE CANT GO ON WITH THIS AGGRESSION ANY LONGER ANY ADVICE
Hey Josie, this article is so well written and so comprehensive. I like how you've articulated each point and provided individual links for each.

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Tips to Stop your Dog from Jumping on People