Tips to Stop Dogs From Jumping Up on Guests

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 19, 2023

stop dogs from jumping

For this Santa Monica dog training session we worked with a pair of rescued Vizsla’s, Romeo and Juliet; sharing tips to stop dogs from jumping up on guests.

Juliet is a former puppy mill dog. As someone who has rescued dogs out of puppy mills, I’m sadly familiar with the horrible, horrific conditions that these dogs are subjected to. Juliet showed a few signs of coming form a puppy mill, but fortunately she is much less fearful than many of the dogs I have rescued.

Fortunately Juliet was surrendered to a shelter then later adopted by some pretty awesome people. They had already helped her learn to trust them and that not all humans are evil. They said it took a while to earn her trust, but they are good, patient people and in time, Juliet learned that she was finally in a safe place.

Another bonus for Juliet was her roomie Romeo, a 5 year-old Vizsla who provided her with moral support, a companion and a lifeline of sorts. It’s a safe bet that Romeo helped Juliet in many ways that will never know. Seeing dogs find a buddy or soulmate after suffering a rough early start to life is very comforting and reassuring.

After meeting the dogs and making sure that Juliet was comfortable with me, we sat down so I could go over a number of dog training fundamentals with her guardians. We introduced a marker word, loaded it and then used a hand targeting exercise to help the human practice their timing and technique. These tips are helpful for all dogs, even a Vizsla dog trainer.

Next we went over the importance of recognizing and rewarding desired behaviors (sitting down, laying down, coming to them, giving eye contact, dropping things etc.) when the dog offers them voluntarily. I call this celebrating and it is probably one of the easiest things that you can do to teach your dog good manners.

Next we went over dog consent and cut off signals. Many people don’t realize that they are petting their dog in a way that the dog doesn’t like, but the humans don’t realize it because they don’t speak dog. Knowing what dog cut off signals are and respecting them is super easy to do and profoundly impactful on dogs, especially if they are fearful like Juliet.

I also ran through how to read dog body language and suggested the guardians look at the various parts of their dog’s body when it is calm and relaxed to identify what the neutral body mechanic is. Once they have identified those attributes, then I suggested that they look at those same body parts when the dog is excited so that they can see the difference. Once you know what neutral and happy are, you can start looking for differences when you know the dog is anxious, fearful, stressed, etc. Knowing how your dog feels and taking action is a supremely underated skill for most dog guardians.

We finished up the fundamentals portion of the session by going over a number of dog exercise tips like the importance of allowing a dog to sniff if you want to burn energy. How to use a snuffle mat when feeding your dog to drain energy. How to use a lick mat to help a dog feel better about things they are scared of or to redirect them away from licking humans.

How to Stop Dogs From Jumping Up on People

One of the main concerns the humans wanted to address was Romeo’s habit of jumping up on guests at the door. This is a very common dog behavior problem and usually results from how we interact with our dogs and how we react to them when they do jump up. But no one likes it when dogs jump up on people so I was excited to show the humans an easy way to teach dogs to stop jumping up.

Since the guardians are planning having a number of people over for the holidays, they wanted me to show them how to stop their dog from jumping up on visitors. If you have a dog with a jumping problem, you should definitely check out the free positive dog training video below.

Stopping a dog from jumping up on guests is easier if you set them up for success. If the guardians follow many of the tips to stop dog jumping that I share in the above video, they will see faster results.

But it’s also important that we teach a dog to not jump up at times when they dont jump, at least at first. This seems counterintuative to my cleints when I first explain it, but if you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  Creating set ups or situations where you can help the dog practice the individual elements of opening the door without guests present makes it much easier to train your dog to not jump on people.

I recommended that the guardians practice these techniques to stop dog jumping with themselves first, then with some friends or neighbors who live nearby. Practicing with people who come over exclusively to work on training the dogs to not jump up is a dog training tip that can really accellerate your progress. I also recommended they practice in shorter, more frequent practice sessinons.  It’s better to practice in short more frequent practice sessions than trying to cram a lot of work into one training session.

Im excited to hear how Romeo’s not jumping at the door practice goes. I recommended they practice these tips a few times a day every day this week. Dog training and behavior modificaiton is a numbers game. You need to practice often to get results.

By the end of the session, the dogs were pooped and the humans felt envigorated and were excited to get to work. I asked them to call or text if they have any questions or issues as soon as they come up. Its not uncommon to need to make adjustments and I always want my clients to know I have their back.

To help the guardians remember all of the dog behavior tips and secrets that I shared in this in-home Santa Monica dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success summary video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr