How to Stop a Puppy From Jumping Up on People

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 27, 2018

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with Benji, a 6-month-old Australian Shepherd / Rottweiler mix who likes to jump up on people.

Puppies are often taught to jump up on us from a young age. They are cute, they want to get close to us and jump up on our legs as a result. We reach over and pet the pup when it does this, essentially teaching a puppy jumping up is the way to ask for attention from people.

Knowing that Benji likes to jump up and get excited when people arrive, I called ahead and gave his guardians a few instructions to set up an exercise that should teach the dog to stop jumping on people when excited.

If the guardians call or text one another each time they are heading home, they should be able to practice this a few times a day. Each practice will probably only last 1-3 minutes, but if they do it consistently for a month or so, Benji should learn that people prefer when dogs don’t jump up on them.

Training a dog to stop jumping on people isn’t hard with this approach, in fact its really easy. It just takes practice repetitions. That said, stopping dog jumping is a pretty common request we get from clients and our success rate with this approach is amazing.

After showing his guardians this dog behavior tip to stop dog jumping, we sat down to discuss his daily life and a few other dog behavior problems.

A big problem was Benji’s dislike of the kennel. He had protested in it so intensely that what was left was a crate barely held together. Recognizing that the crate was causing him distress, the guardians started dropping him off at a local dog day care.

I wish more people would recognize a dog protesting about the kennel is communicating its in distress. All too often I see people who’s “solution” is to get a stronger kennel. But if your child was in distress about something, would you want to make it harder for them to move away or help it get over the fear in the first place.

To help eliminate the dog’s fear of the kennel, I walked Benji’s guardians through a kennel training exercise I have developed over the years.

If the guardians take their time, practice regularly and use this positive dog training approach, Benji should get over his fear of the kennel and see it as a safe place to go and hang out or get away.

I also went over ways to reward Benji when he offers desired behaviors, how to pet with a purpose and the importance of rules and enforcing them so the dog sees the humans acting as leaders (in the dog’s eyes).

Another great thing to do for dogs suffering from separation anxiety is to teach them to stay until released. Once they teach Benji to stay, they can start practicing having him stay by himself for short periods of time in the other room. Dogs with separation anxiety have little experience being alone while calm. Practicing being alone when he knows his humans are in the next room can help him be more relaxed when he is flying solo.

The guardians should also look for triggers, things they do before they leave that Benji has associated with them leaving. By repeating these actions independently of actually leaving, the humans can help reduce things that stress Benji and cause him to think they are about to leave.

Another exercise I showed them was teaching a dog to focus. This is a great way to redirect a dog’s attention away from things it may be reactive to.

To help his guardians remember all the dog behavior secrets I shared with them in this at home dog training appointment, I shot a roadmap to success video. You can check it out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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