How to Stop Puppy from Jumping on People

Jumping on people can be bothersome, embarrassing and, at times, even dangerous. Like many inappropriate behaviors, jumping up can be corrected. The sooner, the better.

Why Puppies Jump On Folks

Puppies jump on people because they have been reinforced to do so. When they jump up, they get attention. However, they need to be taught that in order to get attention, they need to be in a sitting position.

How to Stop Your Puppy from Jumping

As with most behavioral problems, preventing the unwanted behavior while encouraging better behavior is an effective plan.

Practice "sit"

Click here to read our article on commands for training tips. Have your puppy sit for everything he enjoys in life from food to petting, from opening a door to throwing a toy. Soon your puppy will learn to associate sitting with everything good and this will give him something else to do other than jump up.

Don’t reward jumping

If you pet, hug or respond excitedly when your puppy jumps up, he’ll think that you like it. When your puppy jumps up, step forward toward your puppy and say “Off!” in a low tone. (“Off” is the preferred command since “Down” is usually used for lie down.)

If this does not work, consider turning away from the puppy. Every time he jumps on you or motions as if he's about to jump up, turn and move in the opposite direction. Whatever you do, don’t praise him directly after he jumps up; wait until you’ve got him sitting.

Praise him when he does it right

If he puts all four paws on the floor, immediately give him a treat and praise him calmly. Now direct him to “sit” and again reward with a treat and calm praise.

If he does not respond ignore him until he does and then reward right away. You may have to practice this several times so he understands that jumping is not permissible. You can practice this with your puppy-loving friends who understand that training takes time. Have your puppy on a leash when meeting guests so he will be well behaved as an adult when friends come over. If this isn’t possible with some guests, then prevent the issue entirely by crating your puppy when your guests arrive. You can always bring him out later when things are calmer.

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