Jumping up on people is a natural form of greeting for a dog. When dogs approach each other, they often sniff each other’s face and ears. Since people walk upright, dogs frequently feel the need to jump up in order to say hello. It is important to teach your dog that the proper way to greet a human is with all four paws on the ground.

The best thing to do when your dog jumps on you is to simply ignore him by folding your arms and turning your back to him. If your dog continues to jump on you, walk away and return in 20 seconds. Repeat this process until you are able to return to the room without being jumped on. Only praise your dog when all four paws are on the floor.

Dodge out of your dog’s path. When your dog starts to jump, say “off” and swiftly step to the side or backwards. Praise when all four paws are on the floor.

Hip check you dog. As he jumps, say “off” while you turn sideways and thrust your hip toward him (dogs use a similar maneuver with each other to show who is in control). This should throw him slightly off balance. Praise when all four feet are on the floor.

Teach your dog how to greet people appropriately by sitting. When you come home or wake in the morning, only pet your dog after he sits. Cue him once to sit. If he does, praise, hug, kiss, etc. to your heart’s content. if he does not sit, walk away and try again in 20 seconds.

You are not the only one who must not pet your dog when he jumps up. When you are on walks, tell him to sit as people approach you. Having him sit before he starts jumping will keep the situation under control. Allow people to pet him as long as he refrains from jumping. If he jumps, say “too bad!” and walk away. He will learn that jumping causes good stuff to end while sitting or standing keeps the petting and treats coming.

DO NOT knee a dog in the chest, yell, hit, or otherwise punish the dog. Doing so could actually teach the dog that being friendly leads to discomfort and people are to be avoided. Kneeing a dog can also injure the dog if done with enough force.

If you would like information from an Anti-Cruelty Society Behavior Specialist regarding this behavior topic, please call 312-645-8253 or email help@anticruelty.org.

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