Having your puppy’s attention is crucial for training your puppy or dog in the future. Find out why right here. If your puppy jumps on people and you as well, you will also know not all attention from your puppy is good.
A grown dog that jumps on you when you are not ready can cause you a lot of problems – and actually, so can a puppy. For example, if you are carrying something and your dog catches you off balance, you could drop everything, or worse yet, fall and hurt yourself. Your dog could also scratch you with her nails. What is even worse: If your dog is jumping on you, she is more likely to jump on everyone else, too.
When your puppy jumps up at you and looks at you with her adorable eyes, it will most often make you feel soft and warm inside. But when a grown dog jumps on you, the situation isn’t so sweet. Most people don’t want muddy paws on their clothes, scratches from nails or drool all over them.
After reading this blog post, you’ll know how to train your puppy or dog to behave around you and others without jumping up for attention. As with all dog training, it is easier to train a puppy, but you’ll get all the tools you need to train you grown dog, as well. Although the training is easy, the hard part is being consistent. Here are two key steps you should do first before you start training your puppy or dog not to jump up.
Step One: Teach Your Puppy Impulse Control
Jumping is not the right way for your puppy to get or give attention. Still, you need your puppy or dog to pay attention to you so you can train her. However, it must be the proper attention. In addition to paying attention, your puppy must learn impulse control. Start by teaching her to control her impulses in a variety of situations, not just during a training session.
Some dog owners control their dogs by always telling them what to do. But in the long run, it is easier to teach your puppy to choose to do the right thing herself. You can make the right choice easy for your puppy by including impulse control in every routine at home.
To achieve this, adopt this way of thinking and teach it to your dog: Don’t force your dog to do anything, but make the choice to do the right thing easy, instead. Some good examples from everyday life are when you are feeding your puppy, or letting her in and out the door.
If your puppy tries to get to the bowl of food or tries to get out of the door before you, just raise the bowl up or close the door. For the bowl to hit the floor or the door to open, your puppy or dog should sit patiently, looking at you, while waiting for you to reward them.
When your dog sits patiently, lower the bowl towards the floor or open the door slowly. Don’t rush and most importantly, don’t speak. Let your dog figure out what the right thing is to do. When sitting and waiting for you, your puppy will realize the wanted happens.
If, for some reason, your puppy doesn’t look at you or stands up, quickly pick up the bowl again or close the door. Just stand, keeping the bowl in your hand or your hand on the handle, waiting for your puppy to get back in position. When she does, simply start the process again.
This will teach your puppy that the bowl disappears, or the door doesn’t open when she doesn’t do what you want her to. However, the moment your puppy does the right thing, what she wants becomes a possibility again.
Remember, consistency is the key to training success. These guidelines are quite simple but at the same time difficult to master because you must be consistent. You must always do the right thing in response to what your dog is doing. It can be tempting to make just one exception and give the puppy the bowl of food, even if she does not sit still. You may be so tired, you allow your puppy to bolt out the door, hammering it open in the process. But when you do this, you will confuse this simple language of training – and you will confuse your best friend.
Step Two: Exercise Your Dog’s Mind and Body
It is vital to give your puppy enough exercise to ensure her level of excitement is manageable for her. If your puppy has too much energy locked up in her body, she will not be able to pay attention to you. You can see this easily, also in young children. If they have not been out running around, they can barely sit still. They move around restlessly on their chairs and are unable to listen to you, or whatever they are supposed to do.
So set your puppy up for success by taking her out for exercise. If you can’t take your puppy out, let her run off steam by playing with her indoors. Make this simpler for your puppy by working on basic obedience, as well. Doing know exercises makes it a habit for your puppy to use her head and to work with you, and she will love both. Grab the opportunity to train obedience or play with your puppy. It will be well worth it in the end.
Playing or doing known exercises with your puppy will also make her lighten up if her energy for some reason is low. Remember, you need her to be focused, so a puppy too low on energy will not be a great student either.
Finally, make sure to get your puppy’s attention when training. Rather than telling your puppy what to do, let her decide how to act. If it is right, reward her, but if it is not, ignore her and take what she wants away. Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to teach your puppy or full-grown dog not to jump on you – or anyone else.
How to Train Your Puppy or Dog Not to Jump on You, the Trainer
Often the jumping starts around you, the trainer. Many puppies and dogs get excited around their trainer. Your puppy knows that the fun, exercises, walk and attention is coming from you, the trainer. So, your puppy will get super-excited when she thinks the two of you are going to do something together.
Perhaps it is when you first get home from work or when you grab your coat to go outside. It could happen when you finish reading and get up from your comfy chair. It could even be when you shut down your computer.
All puppies know how to read all your body signs and they get excited when they think they will get involved. Some puppies turn around and around, while others will bark. Many puppies will run back and forth repeatedly and unfortunately, some puppies jump.
No Two Dogs are Alike: My Experience with Atlas
I kept two siblings from my latest litter. They are now two years old, but they are not alike. The female is small. She seldom jumps and she doesn’t get all wired up. She observes quietly, and if she thinks we are on our way out, she runs ahead of me.
As she runs, she is constantly looking back to see if I’m following her. She waits patiently to go out with me. If she is not sure we are going out or just wants my attention, she lays down on her back to lure me into rubbing her belly. However, her male sibling gets excited straight away. He tries to grab my hand with his mouth without biting while jumping beside me. See him here before we started training:[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hw_UpauoQ7k[/embedyt]
I decided to teach Atlas not to jump up anymore. He’s allowed to rest his front paws on me when we are out hunting or in a competition. Atlas is also allowed to jump up in my lap, but it is only if I invite him to do so. The first thing you need to do is to make a decision. From the moment you start training this new behavior, there is no way back. Remember, you must be consistent.
How to Make the Jumping Stop
The typical advice is to ignore a puppy when she jumps on you. But instead you should go for her not jumping at all.
The Two Ps to Stop Jumping: Predict and Prevent
Try to predict when your puppy is about to jump. Before it happens, reward your puppy for keeping all four paws on the floor. Clever as your puppy may be, she can’t jump and eat treats from the floor at the same time. Make sure the treats are your puppy’s favorite to prevent her from jumping when excited. If your puppy is not food driven, use her favorite toy instead.
Some dogs, like Atlas, love to use their mouths. To show your puppy to express her excitement in an acceptable way, keep toys by the door as this is typically a place where your puppy will get excited. When you come home, give her a toy as soon as you come inside. This helps by keeping your puppy occupied and on the ground. Remember to praise your puppy for not jumping, but keep it calm as to not get your puppy too excited again. Keep toys in other places to divert your puppy’s attention, too.
Also, start obedience training by asking your puppy to sit and give lots of praise. Your puppy will learn she has to work for attention, or for a toy or treat, instead of jumping on you.
Ignoring a Dog: Atlas Illustrates
Back to the ignoring part. Most people have heard that they are just supposed to give their jumping puppy the cold shoulder. This may sound simple, but to truly ignore your puppy when she jumps on you, don’t turn away, talk to her or stop what you are doing. For instance, if you are talking to someone, keep talking as if nothing is happening.
Most people who think they ignore a puppy by turning away is not training her to stop at all. Turning away or firmly saying NO or DOWN is also giving the puppy attention and walking away quickly can simply turn into a fun game for her. So ignoring this way won’t work.
So I have decided if Atlas jumps on me in the future, I will ignore him and at the same time not allow him to get away. Often puppies that are ignored will do something else you don’t allow. Some puppies will change position and jump again.
When I combine ignoring Atlas and keeping him in the same spot, he can’t do anything else but feel ignored. And I can truly ignore him because he is not in my face. This is a bit difficult to explain, so let me show you here:[embedyt]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKzBMCS0Tag[/embedyt]
Did you notice how I let Atlas go again without talking to him? This is important, as he is now allowed back in our cuddling session. However, he must make a new choice: will he jump or will he not? It’s easy to see how he thinks about jumping but holds himself back for a while until he is not able to any longer. To change his behavior, I need to make him repeat it, so I can help him understand the right thing to do.
To make Atlas jump on me again, I kind of invite him to jump again with my body language. This also makes the sister, Luca jump – something she rarely does. So, Atlas also chooses to jump again, and again I ignore him, holding him away from all the fun. After this, Atlas simply chooses to lay down away from me while waiting for me to call him, which is a strong choice. And for this, I reward him, by calling him and showing him a lot of attention.
For me to keep doing this to shape a new behavior, Atlas must always wear his collar, which he is not used to; however, he doesn’t mind. It is a little change that will make a big difference. In time, he’ll know not to jump and I can take it of him again.
Remember, Consistency is the Key
The most important thing to remember is to be consistent. For example, although I still want Atlas to jump up in my lap, he must wait for me to invite him and in all other situations, I won’t allow it. It sounds so simple, and to Atlas, it is. It is us humans who struggle with consistency. Nevertheless, being consistent yourself is possible. But what if your dog jumps up on guests? Keep reading to fix this problem fast.
Training Your Puppy or Dog Not to Jump on Family, Friends, Guests or Strangers
You can use the same method to train your puppy not to jump on guests as you used to get her to stop jumping up on you. However, there is one difference: Your guests, family or the people you meet should know exactly what to do and when to do it. And if it is hard to train a puppy, training guests and family is much harder, if not impossible. It may sound funny, but I was doing great at teaching my puppies not to beg at the table. But, then my father in law came to visit and now all my dogs are champion beggars.
Instead, train your puppy to stay in a sit or to lie down when guests come to you. You can train this with the help of a friend or family member, but it’s best if your puppy really likes this person. In the beginning, your puppy must be on a lead or leash, and your friend must be 8 to 10 meters away.
If your puppy knows the command to sit, ask for a sit. As soon as your puppy sits, your friend should move closer to you. As long as your pup stays sitting, keep praising her in a low voice, showing her that this is the right behavior. But if your puppy stands up, your friend must turn around and walk away. When your puppy stays still, your friend can stop moving away. Repeat this until your puppy understands she must stay still or else your friend will go away.
If your puppy keeps standing up, don’t cue her to sit again. Let your dog figure out what to do to bring the exciting human closer. Can you see the resemblance of this exercise to the other impulse control exercises?
When your puppy controls herself all the way, sitting patiently waiting, let her say hello to your friend. But if your puppy gets so excited she jumps on your friend, your friend must move away again. To make it a bit easier for your puppy, let your friend feed your puppy some treats of the floor. Remember, your puppy can’t eat off the floor and jump on your friend at the same time.
Tell your friend to greet the puppy in a low voice and as calmly as they can. Also, keep these sessions as short as possible, making it easier for your puppy to achieve some success. When this works out beautifully with your friend, try it with other friends. Eventually, try it without the leash. When you take off the leash, you must be aware and keep a close eye on your puppy.
Watch closely so you can quickly ask your puppy for a sit if you think she is about to jump on your guest. This means you get to reward your dog for sitting, which will teach the right behavior faster. Remember to reward your puppy heavily for good behavior, making it easy for her to do the right thing. And keep in mind that your puppy needs lots of repetitions before she can master a new skill or behavior, so repeat, repeat, repeat.
When to Crate Your Puppy
Your puppy needs to do this exercise many times before she forms a behavior so strong, you can fully rely on it. So, if you are expecting visitors before the habit is strong and you don’t have the time, or if it is inappropriate to do this exercise with your puppy, just crate her. If your guests are staying for a long time, you can let your puppy out to say hello at a less stressful moment. You may even explain that you are training your puppy and ask them to help you with training.
What if you can’t control strangers coming towards you outside your home? You could stand on the leash to make it a completely different experience for the puppy to try jumping. However, it is preferable to take control of the situation instead by redirecting your puppy’s attention. This makes it easy for your puppy to make the right choice and then you can reward her for this.
When an interesting person comes your way at home or in the street, place yourself in the space between your puppy and the person while asking your dog for a sit or lie down. This will occupy your puppy’s mind so she will have a harder time focusing on the stranger. You could also ask your puppy to play a game of tug with a toy. This will divert her attention away from the stranger and back at you, rewarding her for doing so.
Help your puppy in every way you can by diverting her attention – after all, she deserves all the help you can give her.
In Short: My Recipe for Jump Control
Here is my quick no-jump recipe for you:
- Make up your mind. What will you allow and what will you not allow?
- Be aware of your body language. Are you encouraging your puppy to jump or are you helping by diverting its attention?
- Remember to praise the right behavior.
- Ignore your puppy when it jumps on you.
- Be consistent for as long as it takes.
- Train impulse control with a couple of your friends. No one becomes a champion without practice.
- Set your puppy up for success by watching her closely.
- Crate your puppy if you haven’t been able to train her not to jump yet.
- Take control and redirect your puppy’s focus back to you by playing, tugging, training or whatever will get her mind of the interesting person.
Please help me by letting me know if you find value in this blog post. And, if you do, please share.
Also, feel free to comment if you have further questions, or if you have another way to teach your puppy or dog not to jump.
Questions and Answers on Jumping and Training
What about kneeing? Some people use kneeing to prevent a puppy from jumping on them by bending their leg and raising quickly at the moment the puppy jump up. However, raising your knee up to the ribs of a puppy that is already jumping could cause pain and injury to her, so it is a bad idea.
Can I use an obedience collar to stop jumping? An excited dog like my Atlas wouldn’t be able to pay any attention to a sound or a smell. Also, you want your puppy to change her behavior by choice, not with a shock or pain. In addition to a great discomfort, these collars can cause many unwanted side effects. So I don’t recommend using these collars.
Is the puppy seeking protection when jumping? Yes, she might, especially if you pick your puppy up or comfort her whenever she jumps on you. This is often the case with small breeds. I don’t recommend picking up a puppy when she is scared. Instead, kneel down to support your pup if eg bigger dogs are around. This way, you let your puppy be a part of the game, but she’ll still feel safe and can play along on her own conditions.
If you always rescue your puppy when it is scared, she will never know how to react to other dogs and people. It is okay to do this in situations where it is necessary, but be aware of what behavior you are shaping by “rescuing” your puppy repeatedly.
Why do dogs jump? Jumping is natural for dogs, so you must teach your puppy or dog it’s not alright to jump up on people. Puppies jump up most times to get close to your face so they can lick it and show respect. A puppy does the same with a grown dog. Older puppies and grown dogs jump up to get attention. Dogs build on the experience that jumping gets them noticed. So, there is a lot of positive reinforcement for a puppy or dog to jump on people.