Does the dog jump on you all the time? We help you how to get him off it

Buzgó Csilla

2020. July 4 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary

There are few more annoying dog habits than unsolicited and sometimes dangerous jumping up. Here's why this common emotion is so common, and how to teach your pet to greet people in a more polite way.


The root of this jumping behaviour can be found among wolves. When they were puppies, your dog’s ancestors used to get their mothers to regurgitate their food by licking their noses and mouths. This action is therefore linked to a pleasant feeling of reward, and later this form of greeting is developed between individuals who are on good terms with each other. Are you surprised, then, if the first thing your pet does when you get home is to give you a good kiss on the nose?

If it’s not greetings, it’s inattention that encourages your four-legged friend to bounce up and down, often annoyingly and in some situations dangerously. Just think, if a child or an elderly relative or friend who is not very stable in terms of movement or posture comes to visit, the affection of a large dog can cause serious injury. So the first and most important rule is…

Do not reward him with attention!

Negative attention also counts as attention in his eyes, so the best solution is to either turn into a frozen person, i.e. face forward or away from the poker face, and accept the unruly behaviour without moving, or turn on your heel and walk away. This way, sooner or later, the dog will realise that he is not getting what he craves from you and will stop jumping.

Grab his paws!

As soon as your dog tries to greet you by jumping up and down, grab his front paws and don’t let go until you see that he is starting to feel uncomfortable. This takes about 10-20 seconds, and if he experiences it regularly, he’ll realise that it’s not so much fun to jump up all the time. The advantage of this method is that it works even with your friend’s unruly pet, no prior training is required on the animal’s part.

Get help!

There is a simple exercise that works through positive-negative reinforcement. Ask someone your puppy really likes to stand a few metres away from you, facing you. You hold the dog next to you and sit him down!

Your friend should start to walk slowly towards you – virtually 100% of the time your dog will want to walk towards you, but as soon as he takes the first step, your friend should turn and return to his original position. Ask the dog to sit back down! Your helper should start walking towards him again, and as soon as he wants to go to him, leave him stranded again!

You can also incorporate a clicker into the task, which you can use when the dog has made the right decision, i.e. stayed sitting. After a few tries, let him work it out, i.e. don’t specifically instruct him to sit down, in case he realises what he needs to do to get his friend to move towards him. This will ingrain in his mind that, although he may be excited and happy when he spots someone he likes, the desirable choice is a greeting from a relaxed position.

behaviour Education jump up wolf wolf and dog

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