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Dog jumping – How to stop this annoying behavior

Has this ever happened to you? A friend comes over to visit and, the next thing you know, your dog is jumping up on him to say hello. While it's embarrassing for you, it is annoying and sometimes frightening to your guest. Teaching your pooch to keep all four paws on the floor is part of being a responsible dog owner. It's also relatively easy to do. This is a good thing, because while some dogs are simply jumping up in excitement — others are using it as a way to show you who's the boss. Here's what I mean…


It's true – the main reason dogs jump is because they are just plain happy to see you! Their adrenaline is pumping and they are excited about something. This happens when you come home after being gone for awhile – or when someone comes over to visit.

There is also a less common, but more serious reason dogs will jump on you.

You've probably heard that dogs are pack animals. This means they live in groups – and everyone has their rank in the group. The leader of the group is the alpha dog, and he will do certain things to show that he is the boss. For example, the alpha dog always eats first – before anyone else in the pack. The also shows he's “top dog” by showing he's physically superior. This is done with another dog by putting one or both paws over the other dog's shoulder. If he thinks he's the boss over you, one thing he will do is jump up on you.

You have to understand, you are a part of your dog's pack too. If he's jumping up on you at other times (not just when he's excited) it's likely he's expressing dominance over you.

If you find that this is happening, you need to realize that you're dealing with more than a simple jumping issue. Your dog thinks he's your pack leader. It's time to brush up on your alpha-dog techniques. Better yet, get some outside help. Since this is a more complex issue, you are going to need to make some serious adjustments to your overall relationship with your dog.

Luckily, most dogs jump up on people because they are just plain excited. And this really isn't a hard problem to solve. The key is to be consistent. Don't let them jump up on you when you're playing – and then expect them to stay off when you walk in the door after work. If you want this habit to stop, you have to teach him that it's never acceptable to jump on you.

Here is a 2-step technique that most trainers use to stop dogs from jumping.

Step one is simple. Every time your dog jumps up on you, ignore him. Withdraw all attention – even negative attention. That means you can't yell at him, shove him, or correct him in any way. What you are doing is giving him the cold shoulder.

To be effective, you just immediately turn away from him whenever he jumps up. Just fold your arms, turn your back to him and look away. Dogs are keen on understanding body language, so he will know exactly what you're saying.

This isn't a matter of ignoring the jumping. You need to completely ignore your dog. Don't look at him, yell at him, or acknowledge him in any way. Trust me, without the encouragement of your attention, he will calm down very quickly.

Now, even though you are “ignoring” your dog, you will need to pay close attention to him. The next step is all about timing.

The minute all four paws are on the ground and he is calm, then – and only then – you are going to praise the heck out of him! You need to act with enthusiasm the moment he is acting appropriately. Even though he was jumping up on you just a second ago, he will associate your praise with when he was NOT jumping.

As simple as this is, this technique works. You'll be amazed at how quickly your dog learns. By making sure he doesn't get any attention when he's jumping, he'll soon be the well-behaved pooch you always wanted.

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