prevent puppies from jumping on guests

Jump for joy — just not on people

It can be a little uncomfortable when your dog jumps all over someone when meeting them. Sure, it’s a natural expression of friendly excitement, but it’s not very polite. And while it may not seem like a big deal when your puppy is small, it will definitely become as issue when they get big. Now is the time to teach your happy, bouncing pup that the best way to greet human guests is on the ground.

A cartoon puppy jumping on its owner
Vector graphic of an orange leash

Jump on that jumping

A good way to get your puppy to quit jumping? Don’t reinforce it with positive reactions when it happens. Here’s how that works.

  • Your puppy jumps up in greeting
    Solution: Immediately and calmly turn away, cross your arms, avoid eye contact, and do not talk until your pup stops jumping up.
  • Your puppy continues jumping
    Solution: Leave the room or remove your puppy to another area.
  • Your puppy stops jumping
    Reward: Calmly engage with your pup, talking, making eye contact, petting, and so on.
  • Your puppy jumps up again
    Solution: Immediately turn away again and repeat the above.

You can also use a leash, head-collar, or crate to limit your dog’s opportunities to jump on people, especially when new friends are in your home.

Vector graphic of a hand, pointing up, placed within an empty orange crossed out circle

Don’t reward or punish jumping

Your playful pup is so cute when they joyfully leap all over you, but you really, don’t want to encourage it.

  • Don’t give your puppy any attention if they’re jumping. Don’t talk, make eye contact or pet your puppy when they are behaving this way.
  • Don’t knee your pup in the chest to get them off, kick them, step on their paws, or smack them, ever. Physical reprimands can lead to fear and aggression in your puppy.
Vector graphic of a puppy sitting

Teach them to sit and stay

The “sit” and “stay” commands are extremely useful in many situations, and greeting you and your guests is one of them. When your pup sits and stays on command, be sure to provide positive attention and reinforcement by praising and petting your pup and making eye contact.

  • Start with teaching your puppy to sit and stay without guests before adding new people to the mix.
  • Wait to provide attention and positive reinforcement until your pup sits and stays while greeting you or other people.

How Banfield can help

Talk to your veterinary team if your puppy just can’t learn to keep all four feet on the ground. They can help you rule out or treat health conditions, and may be able to refer you to more resources, like animal behavioralists, who can work with you on a positive training regime for your pet.

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