How to Stop a Dog From Jumping Up on People at the Door

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 2, 2022

For this LA dog training session we helped newly rescued one-year-old Shepherd mix Winston, sharing tips to stop dogs from jumping on people at the door.

Winston was only adopted a week ago and was neutered right before his new guardian brought him home, so he had the cone of glory for our session.

Because it was an extremely hot day in LA and his guardian does not have air conditioning, we did the session outside in his backyard. This was somewhat beneficial as Winston is still adjusting to his new home. Anytime you have a dog that is in a new situation, uncomfortable or anxious, it’s advisible to meet outside as the distractions and open space help the dog feel more relaxed. Winston warmed up to me right away, but as a one of LA’s Dog Behavior experts, I usually have that effect on dogs.

We went over marker words, hand targeting, how to pet your dog to teach it to sit to ask for attention and the importance of recognizing and rewarding dogs when they do things that we like. I like to call this “celebrating.” This is probably the easiest way to train any dog. Simply wait for them to do something you want on their own, say their marked word as soon as they do it, then pet or treat them. With a few reps, your dog will be sitting, laying down, going to their dog bed or anyting else more often. Once that happens, start sneaking in the cue word before they do it and presto, your dog is learning to do what you want to get your attention and you can say the cue and get the behavior!

How to Stop Dogs from Jumping Up on People at the Door

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Winston’s new guardian mentioned that she was the only person that he was currently jumping up on. Anytime you want to stop a dog from jumping, it’s important to identify and understand why the dog is jumping in the first place. Based on what his guardian mentioned, it seems like Winston‘s jumping behavior occurred when he was over excited such as when she returned home.

As a Dog Behavior Consultant, I have had more than a few clients ask me how to stop a dog from jumping up on people. When I have a dog who jumps up because they are over excited, I like to find ways to help them settle down using positive dog training.

Many people think that punishing a dog by yelling at them, pushing them down or kneeing them in the chest is the best way to stop a dog from jumping up on you. But those things do not address the root cause of the problem; the dog is over excited and doesn’t know how to behave.

I handed my camera to Winston‘s guardian show I could show her an easy way to stop dogs from jumping up on people when they return home. If your dog jumps up on you or your guests at the door, you definitely want to check out the free positive dog training video below.

By first helping the dog practice sitting down near the door a number of times, it will be easy for Winston‘s guardian to help him understand that this is the desired behavior. Once it’s easy for him to sit there, then she can start exiting the door as I discussed in the above video.

I made sure to stress to the guardian that she needs to have treats in her hands and be holding them low, by her hips as soon as the door opens. Every. Time. If she’s using very high value treats that have a good scent, it shouldn’t take Winston long to start looking at her hands instead of jumping up to lick her face.

If the guardian practices these secrets to stopping dog jumping a few times a day every day for a week, she should be able to help Winston learn that she would prefer if he sat to greet her at the door. When he does this the fist few times, she shoudl say the marker word, then give him 5 treats in a row. We call this a jackpot!

After we finished the positive exercise to stop dog jumping, we practiced a little bit of loose leash walking in the backyard to marginal affect. We took a couple of breaks and the guardian was able to make some progress, but we would really be better served to come back in a couple of weeks and focus on loose leash walking exclusively. It was a very hot day and after two hours of dog behavior modification training, Winston was starting to get a little rowdy so we called it a day.

We wrapped up this in-home mid Wilshire dog training session by shooting a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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