Sharing an Easy Way to Stop Dog Jumping on House Guests

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 22, 2023

stop dog jumping

For this San Clemente dog training session we worked with 2 year-old Black Lab Archie; going over how to stop dog jumping on guests.

We started off by going through a number of dog behavior fundamentals and common mistakes that people make with their dogs. We loaded a marker word then I showed the guardians a hand targeting exercise to help them practice their technique and timing as well as explain the proper way and time to introduce a command word.

Next I went over how you can use a positive interruptor sound to distract a dog away from getting into trouble. When you combine the sound with the hand targeting exercise, it makes it easy to call a dog away from doing things you don’t want without making the dog think it gets attention for doing what you don’t want.

Like many of my clients, Archie’s guardians were accidentally giving him attention in ways that were teaching and training him to do the exact opposite of what they wanted. I recommended the guardians start celebrating desired behaviors when Archie offers them unprompted. This is literally the easiest way to teach or train any dog, but it only works if you get into a habit of doing so. I recommended the guardians tell each other “celebrate” any time they see another member of the family miss an opportunity to reward Archie for a desired behavior.

I also went over how to teach a dog manners. This is another easy dog behavior fundamental that you can adopt by simply recognizing the pattern and redirecting the dog appropriately.

Being a Lab, Archie has a lot of energy, so we spent some time going over some creative ways of exercising him including nose work and scent games like cookie in the corner. These are wonderful ways to drain a dog’s energy, give them something to do and help them develop problem-solving skills.

Next I went over my favorite lesson, teaching dog cut off signals and body language. Many people don’t know when their dog is telling them “no” until the dog gets so frustrated that it snarls, barks, nips or bites them. Recognizing dog cut off signals and acting appropriately can stop soooo many unwanted dog behavior issues. It was great seeing how quickly Archie’s guardians picked up on his body language and cut off signals.

We finished up the fundamentals portion of this session by discussing the importance of having some rules and structure. Dogs need to practice any behavior or activity we want them to do regularly. Not arranging or practicing situations where the dog hast to restrain itself is a common mistake many dog owners help make. But if you want your dog to not jump up, bark, steal things, etc. it’s in paramont that you help them practice self restraint and impulse control.

How to Stop Dog Jumping on Guests

One of the main dog behavior problems Archie’s guardians wanted me to help with was his habit of jumping up on people who visit his home. This is a very common request I get as a Dog Behaviorist.

I have found that in most cases of dogs with a jumping problem, the humans have not actually taught or trained the dog what they want them to do. But if you want a child to do something, you need to first teach them, not assume that they’re going to do what you want. Dogs are the same, but most people focus on punishing mistakes over teaching the dog what they should do when people visit.

If you want to know how to stop dog jumping quickly, this is your lucky day. This post includes a lot of related tips, but the meat and potatoes are more difficult to explain by writing. I wanted to show the guardians by demonstrating this secret to stop dog jumping. I pulled up my camera and handed it to one of the guardians so I could show them an easy way to stop dogs from jumping up on people. If you have a dog that likes to jump up on houseguests, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

By breaking down the individual exercises and steps into small slices and then practicing the first step over and over until the dog gets it before you move onto the second, you can set your dog up for success. This is an easy way to stop dog jumping, if you go at the dog’s pace.

Most people move too fast, don’t read the dog’s body language and don’t set them up for success. This causes the dog to make mistakes which causes the humans to get frustrated and can impact how the dog perceives the training exercise. That’s why I always emphasize to my clients the importance of breaking things into steps and practicing step one over and over until the dog has it down before moving to step two.

By creating practice scenarios and then practicing at the dog’s pace before you move to the next step or start adding in more challenging elements, you can teach your dog what you want – then help them practice until they get it right. Step by successful step.

It was great to see how quickly Archie picked up these tips to stop dog jumping. Now the real test is going to be for the guardians to practice regularly and build on their progress. Based on how motivated Archies guardians are, I’m confident that they are going to teach him to sit on the dog bed when people are out the door instead of jumping up on them in no time.

Since we covered so much in this in-home dog training session, I recorded a roadmap to success summary video to help them remember. If you would like to get a summary of what we covered, please feel free to watch the video below.

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This post was written by: David Codr