How to Train Your Dog NOT to Jump

Phoebe Cooper · Jun 3, 2024 · All

Author: Natalie Szymiczek

You've set the stage for a perfect BBQ soirée – sun shining, music playing, burgers grilling. But just as the party kicks off, your furry friend decides to join the fun - by jumping on everyone in sight! Jumping dogs are a universal challenge for dog owners. Whether they're launching themselves at you, your guests, or even the tantalizing food on the table, it's a behavior that can quickly spiral out of control. Today, we're diving into the reasons behind why dogs jump and sharing some effective strategies to ground your pup's jumping habit for good.

Why Dogs Jump

Believe it or not, dogs jumping is a natural behavior rooted in their instincts and social dynamics. In the wild, canines use jumping as a way to greet one another, establish dominance, or show excitement. When they jump, they're attempting to get closer to your face. Dogs jumping can simply be an overexcited version of the human hug!

Without realizing it, many dog owners reinforce this behavior. Have you ever petted your dog after they jump on you to return the affection (or simply get them to stop jumping)? This can inadvertently reward and reinforce the behavior, especially among puppies who are still learning social boundaries.

Jumping can also be rooted in fear or anxiety. This is called panic jumping and it can happen in new settings or around unfamiliar people. It might also happen during thunderstorms, fireworks, or other unanticipated loud noises. Panic jumping often occurs when a dog feels overwhelmed or threatened and attempts to escape or seek comfort. If your dog is panic jumping, it’s important to seek help from an experienced professional.

Techniques for Training Your Dog Not to Jump

There are a range of techniques to tackle jumping. You might only need one of these, or you might need all of them. Every dog is different!

Ignoring the Behavior

This method sounds simple, but it can be challenging in practice! Dogs typically jump to seek attention or affection. While it's tough not to react, especially with an adorable puppy, withholding any response like turning away or crossing your arms teaches them that jumping doesn't lead to attention.

In this method, make sure to give extra attention when your dog greets calmly or without jumping. With consistent reinforcement, your dog will learn that calm behavior earns them attention and rewards.

Sit Instead

One of the most reliable tools in your training arsenal is the simple "Sit" command. Encourage your dog to sit whenever you or your guests approach them. This keeps them firmly on the ground and provides a clear alternative to jumping. Consistently rewarding them for sitting calmly reinforces this behavior over time.

Use Distraction Techniques

Another option is to try to distract your dog with something else, like a bone or chew, during situations where they typically jump. This can divert their energy into chewing as opposed to jumping. Bones can be used preemptively to distract them, while treats can be used as rewards for not jumping.

Natural Farm has a wide selection of all-natural bones, treats, and chews for distraction and training purposes! Reward your pup with our delicious fish treats, Natsticks, or use yak cheese as a special training chew to discourage jumping.

“Four on the Floor” Method

In the "Four on the Floor" method, proactively train your dog not to jump. Start by having someone approach your dog while you throw treats on the floor. As your dog enjoys the treats, the person can pet and greet them. Gradually, switch to where the person still approaches but your dog only gets the reward if they have kept all four paws down during the greeting. With practice, your dog will learn to greet without jumping.

Enlisting the Help of Professional Trainers

If your dog is having trouble grasping the skill of not jumping after using these techniques, or if you believe they are panic jumping, it’s wise to loop in a professional trainer. They can provide tailored guidance and advanced techniques to address specific challenges your dog may be facing.

Keep in mind that every dog is unique and may respond differently to these techniques. Consistency and patience are key; stick with your chosen method for best results. While it may take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months for dogs to grasp this skill, energetic breeds or known jumpers like Border Collies and Terriers may require additional time. Consider incorporating obstacle courses to channel their jumping instincts in a positive direction!

Ready to train your dog to stop jumping? Check out our store for a range of all-natural, healthy, and delicious dog treats to jumpstart your training sessions! Well, maybe not 'jumpstart' – we're trying to teach them not to jump, after all!