How can I stop my dog jumping up at people?

Amy, our Reading West branch owner and advanced dog trainer shares her tips to teach your dog to stop jumping up:

Firstly, you will need a quiet location and a lovely assistant for this one, preferably not someone that your dog knows well.

Start with your dog on lead, either attach it to yourself or you can attach your dog to a fixed point if he is quite strong. Ask your lovely assistant to approach your dog but remain at a distance so that if your dog jumps up the lead will prevent him from making contact. When jumping up occurs have your assistant remain still until your dog is calm enough to sit again, reward the calm sit so your dog knows that’s what you want. When your dog is sat calmly ask your assistant to approach again, if your dog starts jumping up again restart the process.

Only when your dog stays sat should the person reward him with a treat or quick game if he prefers toys.

Do not do this for more than 10 minutes at a time, have a break and come back later. Remember too, if you or your dog are stressed then it will not work.

Progressing this to off lead becomes a bit harder as a lot of well meaning people will want to pet the cute doggie saying hello to them and will unintentionally reinforce the jumping up. So again, a quiet place and lovely assistant come into play.

This time ask your assistant to approach from a distance, when they come into view use the awesome recall we worked on last time and call your dog to you. Ask him to sit and reward him for staying in the sit as your assistant approaches. If your dog runs to the person have them turn around and completely ignore your dog until he stops and comes back to you. When he sits calmly reward him again showing him this is what you want and then start the process again.  

This is a long process and will need to be repeated in different places with different people many times before your dog really understands and does it reliably. Be patient and use your “happy” voice, and don’t forget to reward your lovely assistant too! Tea and cake come highly recommended!   

Let me know how you get on,

Written by Amy Pearson

My special knowledge is all around dog training. I love trick training especially and have recently become a Canine Hoopers instructor. I think training shouldn't be about your dog obeying commands, but about your dog having fun learning with you. I've worked with dogs for around 15 years and trained at the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. My own two dogs are completely different to each other! I have one little Maltipom called Rascal and a large German Shepherd called Fen - both are adorably daft! My two cats rule the house really though. What's so great about having a pet is that no matter how rubbish your day has been, they are always there to make you feel better! A house isn't a home without them.

Topics: dog training, jumping up

Related Articles

How to boost your dog’s confidence on a walk

New dog grooming service coming soon

Dog Walker vs. Day Care – which is best?