How to train a dog not to jump on people

A dog that jumps, whether they are large or small, is not only an irritation it’s a danger to people and to itself. Unless taught to do so (perhaps teaching a small dog to jump into your arms ON COMMAND), there is no reason a dog should jump on people – ever!

There are several methods for training dogs to not jump, and depending on the size, age and temperament, one method may be more effective than the others. Start with the gentlest method first, and escalate only if absolutely necessary.

– Method 1 – Ignore the Jumper

If you have a puppy, a smaller dog or if you are big enough to withstand the jumping of a larger dog, the best method to use is turning your back on the problem. Simply stand up-right, cross your arms and don’t acknowledge the dog at all, with eye contact or voice. In effect, you are withholding the “reward” or “reinforcement” your dog was receiving when you leaned down, petted, pushed them down or yelled at them.

When your dog calms down and has all four feet on the ground, slowly and calmly turn back to them. If they stay down, great – pet them and praise them calmly. If they jump, turn your back again.

It’s especially important with this method that everyone in the household and all guests totally ignore the jumping dog. One person breaking the rules will not only confuse the dog, they will immediately undo all the work you’ve already done.

– Method 2 – Buddy System 1

Especially when you are dealing with a large dog, make sure they are on a leash at all times during training sessions, under the control of someone strong enough to keep them from hurting the “jumpee”, who is following method 1. The person holding the leash should stop the dog from hurting the target – they should NOT jerk, choke or “hang” the animal.

– Method 3 – Buddy System 2

Even a well-behaved dog may decide that jumping is acceptable when the door bell rings and guests enter – if this is the case you need a buddy to play “guest”. Have them repeatedly ring the bell or knock when you are there paying attention, and once the dog has calmed when you catch them at it, work on “surprise” visitors. Again, everyone should ignore the jumping dog.

– Method 4 – Alternative Behavior

Always a great option for eliminating a “bad” behavior – train your dog to do something else instead. For example, if you’re dog likes to pounce on anyone coming through the door, teach them to go and get a toy first. Teach them that a “sit” or a “down” gets a really BIG reward, especially if

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