2 Easy Ways to Stop a Dog From Jumping on People

By: Adam Nichols

Published Date: August 30, 2023

stop a dog from jumping on people

For this West LA dog training session we worked with Chocolate Lab Ozzie, sharing tips to stop a dog from jumping on people.

I started off the session by having a number of small treats in my hand before I knocked on the door. As soon as they opened the door, I pushed my hand towards Ozzie’s nose so he knew what I had, then sprinkled the treats on the floor. This is a great way to redirect a dog away from  jumping up on your guests.

I had to toss three small handful of treats on the floor all in. It only took Ozzie about a minute to gobble them all up, but by the time he finished, his energy surge had passed and I was able to ask for some hand targeting and sits and only had one jump up.

Often when dogs jump up on people at the door it’s because they haven’t been taught a different behavior and they are over excited. This was something I knew I needed to address later in this session.

Next I shared a number of dog exercise tips to give this busy family some activities that they can use to drain Ozzie’s excess energy. Exercise alone is not going to stop at a dog from jumping up or engaging in other unwanted behaviors, but a lack of exercise can give them more strength and stamina to practice the behavior you’re trying to stop.

I recommended the guardians incorporate a number of short exercise sessions and some mental stimulation exercises into his schedule every day. This will not only help with the jumping behavior but it will also improve Ozzie’s quality of life.

I went over some fundamentals like how to read dog body language, how to recognize dog consent, how to teach a dog to back up on cue, some loose leash walking tips as well as the method that I use to stop dogs from acting aggressive to other dogs.

How to Stop Dogs From Jumping on People

There are a few different ways to stop dogs from jumping up on guests. As a Dog Behavior expert, my job is to analyze a dog’s home environment then come up with the best solution for their problem.

The two most fundamental elements of stopping a dog from jumping on people are teaching and training the dog what you want it to do, and practicing often. Dog behavior modification is really a numbers game. You can’t cram or practice inconsistently if you want to see results.

But the best way to learn how to train a dog to stop jumping up is a live demonstration. I handed my camera to one of Ozzie‘s guardians so that I could share some tips to stop dogs from jumping on people. If you have a dog that jumps up on people who visit your home, your family members and strangers, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

By practicing these tips to stop dogs from jumping on people a couple of times a day in short, successful practice sessions, Ozzies family will help him develop a new behavior pattern or habit. The key is to practice consistently and successfully. That means not making it too hard too fast or skipping days. Although we all want to see results as soon as possible, it takes time and consistent practice for a dog to adopt a new behavior. Fortunately this secret to stopping dogs from jumping up is relatively easy.

The guardians can practice both techniques that I outlined in the video, they will just to break them into two separate practice sessions.

For example they can practice the hand targeting at the door strategy for a couple of minutes, then a couple of hours later practice knocking on the door as they throw the treat to the dog bed. Ideally, the family needs to practice each one of these exercises in 1 to 2 minute practice sessions that happen three or more times a day – spaced apart.

That amounts to 12 to 15 minutes of practice a day total, but since they’re all one or two minute practice sessions, it will be very easy for the family to incorporate them here and there. One of the more common mistakes people make when their goal is stopping dogs from jumping up, is forgetting to practice every day.

If the guardians make a reminder chart that has each technique listed three times, they can start marking the time of the day that they do them and leave the sheet in a common area so that when they have a minute a free time, they can easily practice while journaling their progress.

The guardians can also set Ozzie up for success by making sure that he gets some exercise that finishes about 15 minutes before they practice. Giving Ozzie an opportunity to release some of that pent up energy will really help. It will also be important for Ozzie to have a good 10 to 15 minute rest period in between the exercise and practicing the techniques.

If the guardians practice each exercise three or more times a day, every day, I would imagine in three or four weeks that Ozzie will stop jumping up on people who visit. There will be good days and bad days as training is not a linear process. But if the guardians are consistent, I have a high confidence that they will be successful.

I would also like the guardians to get into a habit of practicing the click for looks technique that I showed them to address Ozzies dog reactivity. Just like practicing the secret to stop dogs from jumping on people, the guardians will need to practice that a couple of times a week.

The practice sessions should be relatively short, none longer than 35 minutes. It’s more important to have shorter, successful practice sessions that it is to have a longer one where he reacts at the end. Essentially were teaching Ozzie to not react around other dogs by managing the distance for him so that he doesn’t feel the need to react. Then rewarding Ozzie richly when he looks at the other dogs without lunging or reacting.

With consistent practice, Ozzie will start seeing other dogs as a positive. Now this may only extend to him looking at the dogs and not wanting to play with them. That’s OK. Our goal for Ozzie is to have a neutral or neutral positive response when he sees other dogs. The most important thing is that he doesn’t react. If he does that usually means we allowed the other dog to get to too close to him.

But if the guardian is able to practice a couple of times a week and manage the distance for Ozzie by reading his body language and increasing distance before Ozzie feels the urge to act out, eventually Ozzie will get out of a habit of reacting to other dogs.

I did suggest the guardian always has treats in his hand on walks so he can reward check-in’s on the walk as well as to practice the find it game each block on walks. These are great auxiliary exercises that can have a benefit when you’re dealing with a reactive dog.

I would like to see the guardians practicing this click for looks technique with Ozzie two times a week or more. I know that’s going to be a challenge for this busy family, but I’m hoping that they are able to carve out 25 minutes twice a week to help him learn to stop reacting to dogs.

Since we covered so much in this in home West LA dog training session, I recorded a summary roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: Adam Nichols