Does your Puppy Jump Up? 

Our good friend Gillian Ridgeway, head trainer of Who’s Walking Who Dog Training Centres  shares her expert tips on how to to train puppies to stop jumping up on people and say “hi” politely! 

“Long gone are the days of intimidation and over correction of your dog. Our style is based on respect, clarity and fairness”

You had me at “Hello”

When your puppy jumps up to greet you when you walk in the door, it is a friendly, flattering gesture. Puppies are very social creatures. Jumping, spinning, nipping, rubbing, licking and bouncing are how they show affection and get attention. Your baby is excited to see you and looks adorable doing backflips (I confess, I love it when Kilo the Pug shows just how happy he is to see me).

Puppy jumping up

While an enthusiastic greeting may be cute when a puppy or dog is little, it is usually much less cute when they grow bigger. It can be frightening for young children, people with allergies, strangers scared of dogs and elderly. It can damage clothing and ladder stockings. Jumping up uninvited is generally not a desirable behaviour in dogs. It is a good idea to stop puppies jumping up and teach them a more appropriate way to greet people and get attention.

Gillian’s expert tips to teach your dog how to properly say “hello”!

The first trick when you’re trying to train your puppy not to jump up on people is to make sure that your puppy doesn’t jump up on you!

If your puppy starts to jump up on you, stand still, don’t look at your dog, and bring your hands and arms up to your chest so that your dog won’t lick them or paw at them. Once you’ve done this, calmly wait until your dog stops jumping up then reward them. Do not reward jumping up on you with attention or treats.

Kilo the Pug serious about harnesses

Provide and reward an alternative

The solution to the jumping up problem is providing your dog with an alternative method of greeting you at their level. Having a strong sit-stay cue helps as this can refocus and calm your dog down (Tips for training Sit-Stay HERE). They can’t jump up if they are seated!

Once your dog is calm, then kneel down and give him a warm hug and kiss and reward for the good behaviour. In my case with Kilo, we run over to the couch and I ask him up for a Pug Hug. He jumps onto my knee and we give each other a big hug and lots of kisses and back rubs. In my husband’s case, he gets down at Kilo’s level and goes “hi little guy” and gives him some good pats and back rubs. Sometimes he even picks him up for a hug.

Never let anyone else allow your puppy to jump up on them! Most feel, “It’s OK, she’s just a puppy, I don’t mind if she jumps on me”.  If your pup jumps up, immediately intervene, put your pup in a sit, praise the puppy then scold the person!

While the puppy is in a sit, let the person then greet him and give positive reinforcement. This helps your puppy to understand that a calm greeting will get a reward.

Kilo says hello politely

Other Useful Puppy Training Tips : Stop Your Puppy From Nipping

Be Positive and Be Consistent

-Get down to their level to give affection and attention.
-Do not reward your puppy for jumping up.
-Do not allow other people to let your puppy jump on them.
-Do not give in!  Do not give up! Practice is essential! Have fun. Happy Training!

Gillian Ridgeway is a renowned trainer, speaker and published author. She is a member of both the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and International Positive Dog Trainers Association. She founded Who’s Walking Who Dog Training Centres and has been serving the greater GTA in various locations ever since, training over 250 dogs per week with a very skilled training team including the wonderful Karen from Dogs Dogs Dogs and Woofjocks.

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2 Comments

  • We had this problem with Cow, since she’s a medium-sized dog, she used to get really crazy as a puppy. Once she realized that I would pay attention to her once she sat nicely, she started to calm down. It’s so important for all dogs to know not to jump like a crazy puppy, even other dogs don’t like it!

  • This is a tough one as Mom likes to be jumped on, so to keep us from doing it to others is a real challenge, but we are pretty good about it.