How To Stop My Dog From Jumping (On Me And Other People)

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Dog jumping on you and knocking you down while joyfully licking your face is a scene that may seem cute and pleasant, but only in movies and commercials.

Dog jumping on you and knocking you down while joyfully licking your face is a scene that may seem cute and pleasant…Only in movies and commercials.

Dog jumping on your guests and knocking them down or ruining their clothes will ensure you never to have guests again. Therefore, training your dog not to jump on you and other people, especially when it comes to big, strong dogs, sure is time well spent.

Much like any other training task, this one takes time and patience. Learning not to jump may not seem as crucial as, for example, learning to recall, but it sure does make the time you spend with your dog much more pleasant.

Before you start, you need to decide what it is that you want to teach your dog; what you will allow and what you will not.

It seems unfair to expect of your dog to acknowledge the fact that you are, for example, wearing some old clothes and therefore have no problem with him jumping on you, but that he will be punished for the same thing if he jumps at you while in a fresh-from-the-store outfit. Dogs can’t tell the difference. And after all, they are not supposed to.

Why Does My Dog Jump?

There are many reasons why dogs tend to jump up. Sometimes they jump as a manifestation of joy, trying to get as close to you (your face) as possible. Sometimes as a manifestation of an instinct to stop and block a person’s motion. And sometimes they jump up to reach for something they want.

The root of jumping as a behavioral pattern lays in the way that dogs communicate with each other. No matter how cute it may seem at the time, have no doubt that jumping anytime he feels like it will soon start causing problems of some sort.

Keeping the rules straight will, for example, prevent your dog from becoming the thief that devastates shelves and make your guests’ visits less about your dog and more about other things.

How To Stop The Dog From Jumping Up

There are plenty of training strategies that may be applied to this problem. It is far less demanding a task to train a puppy not to jump, than to retrain an older dog who has already adopted this model of behavior as a habit.

It is important to stay consistent to the rules that you establish in the begining, and not to make exceptions. If we agree not to allow jumping – then we should all stick to the agreement, in order not to confuse the dog.

Another thing that may cause the confusion is the choice of the particular word you use as a command. Many owners had issues caused by using the same word as a signal for different actions – is “down” supposed to mean “stay down”, “do not jump” or “lay down”?

Rather than confusing your dog, pick a word that won’t cause a mix-up. For example, “Off” may do the trick, especially since it covers a wide variety of situations: not jumping on people, furniture or the door.

Turning Your Back Strategy


One of the basic strategies that may be applied to solving the problem of “How to stop my dog from jumping on me or jumping up at all” is very simple. Jumping on you is most of the times a means to gain your full attention.

Therefore, use the reverse action – when your dog starts jumping on you, simply turn your back on him and deprive him of any attention; ignore him. Follow this action with vocal command, for example “Off”. The “Off” training should start when your dog has already adopted “Sit” command as an understandable and familiar signal, or at least at the same time as the “Sit” training.

A reward should follow a job well done, but be careful with treats so that they don’t become the reason for jumping. That is also why the “Sit” training is important, so that you may establish the link between these actions, not jumping – sitting still – being rewarded, with no fear of causing counter effect.

Leash Training Strategy

This approach is based on causing your dog’s reaction rather than reacting to the type of behavior that needs correction. It is also a simple technique and can be practiced indoors as well as outdoors.

By stepping on one end of the loose, but not long, leash attached to your dog’s collar, try creating a situation that your dog often responds to by jumping. For example, hold some treats or something your dog would usually jump to reach.

When you actually provoke the dog to jump, the length of the leash you have stepped on, will simply prevent the motion, and stop the dog from jumping on up. Some more stubborn dogs may try jumping repeatedly, but even they give up quickly.

Follow each return to the sitting position with a reward. When you feel as if this routine has become a habit, try the same exercise with no leash.

Two People Strategy or How To Stop The Dog From Jumping On Other People #1

Training your dog not to jump on you is not an easy task, but training your dog not to jump on other people seems impossible. Well, it’s not, and it’s not even as complex as it may seem.

This approach requires at least two people (you and another person) to take part in creating a situation that would usually provoke your dog to jump. One person should hold the leash while standing next to a seated dog, while the other should approach them in a manner that will catch the dog’s attention.

Use a quick short motion, yank the leash, and that way apply the force that will clearly point out that you want him to remain sitting still and follow it with a word you usually use when you want him not to jump (for example “off”).

As the other person approaches, repeat this every time you feel as if your dog is about to jump. This exercise takes time and patience, but rather than punishment, insist on repeating the same exercise over and over with as many different people as possible. Don’t forget to reward every successful attempt.

Two people strategy or how to stop your dog from jumping on other people #2

The goal of this method is also to teach your dog not to jump on other people. The main difference from the previous technique we wrote about is that it is not based on mimicking real life situations that may provoke the jumping, but on the provocation itself.

One person holds the leash and the other one stands in front of those two basically teasing the dog until he or she provokes the jump. By a quick pull-and-release motion, put the dog back into a sitting position before his paws actually reach the body of the person being jumped on.

That way, you will send strong signals that jumping is not only unwanted but actually unpleasant for the “jumper” as well. This practice takes time and patience, since not jumping while being provoked to jump, may be a bit too much to deal with for your dog at first.

Keep in mind that one training session shouldn’t take more than five or six attempts. But, as said, patiently repeat the practice and don’t forget to reward not only the job well done, but also the progress you notice during the training process.

Walking Backwards Strategy

The following training strategy may come in handy when it comes to big or medium sized dogs. Reasons for this are practical; when the dog jumps on you, his paws are somewhere near your hands and you can easily hold them and start stepping forward. Walking backwards this way will after only a few steps cause stumbling, which is the moment you should use to gently put the dog into a sitting position.

How To Teach A Dog Not To Jump When Someone Is At The Door


This particular question is one of the most frequently asked when it comes to training in general.

Luckily, achieving the goal is not as hard as it may seem. Ask the person at the door to wait a few minutes, and then, using a leash just as you already practiced (two persons strategies) command your dog to sit while you open the door.

It may take some time, since the sound of the bell ringing or knocking on the door usually make dogs super excited. But, be patient. Try mimicking this real life situation by asking someone to ring your doorbell or knock on the door, and then practice the response as previously explained.

How to teach a dog not to jump on furniture

Jumping or not jumping on furniture is an issue that depends more on you sticking to the rules that you once established than a real training task. Once you decide that you do not allow jumping on furniture, it will not take more than several times that you take your dog by the collar and drag him off the bed, sofa or some other piece of furniture, following the action by the “Off” command.


The problems occur when inconsistencies happen. You need to decide if jumping on the furniture is allowed or not – the rules once established must not change, because your dog simply can not understand what “sometimes” mean.

Things are either allowed or they aren’t, they cannot be allowed sometimes, from time to time, or when in the mood for it, or your dog will soon translate “sometimes” into “it is allowed, I did it yesterday and no punishment came my way”.

Try not to push your dog off the furniture, but rather pull him off as previously explained. Pushing motion in the language of dogs translates into an invitation to play a game.

Common mistakes

  • Using your hands to push the jumping dog off – not just that this signal will not be understood as a form of disapproving of certain behavior, but it will probably be translated as some form of a game, or an invitation to do it again
  • Not being consistent in training – once you establish the rules, you need to stick to them. Dogs do not understand what phrases like “sometimes” and “from time to time” mean. Either you allow something or you don’t
  • Causing mix-ups – Choose words that your dog is supposed to associate with a certain action carefully. One word for one action
  • Make sure that everyone who lives with you and everyone close to your dog also respects the rules you established