How to Train a Puppy to Stop Jumping Up

Jumping up on guests or family members is one of those tough things for a puppy to understand.

Puppies are bursting with energy and easily excitable, especially when their favorite person comes into the door.

Without training, a puppy’s natural reaction is often to jump up on the person they’re excited to see, but this behavior can be startling for guests coming into your home or passers by in the park as your bouncy puppy introduces muddy paws to someone’s new white sweater, or uses those wicked sharp puppy teeth on the local pensioner’s hand…

It’s a real nuisance, but a well mannered dog is loved by all members of your family, friends and strangers. And if you have a larger dog, this is definitely one of those things you’re going to want to invest a lot of training sessions in. So let’s look at the training process for a jumping puppy!

Oh! And whilst this is written for puppies, the good news is that this method works for your adult dog as well as your new puppy! Positive reinforcement works for all!

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Note: for multi-dog homes, practice one at a time! Asking all dogs to behave together is going to be a hard time. Break it down and instead try one at a time, it will absolutely help. Train individually, and then train together.

puppy dog jumping up 2
no matter how big or little your puppy is you are really going to want to train them what proper behavior is for greeting new people (or even passers by)

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Understand Why Puppies Jump Up on Someone 

First thing is that you need to understand why. It’s important to understand why they react the way they do and what they’re trying to tell you. 

Puppies jump up for a variety of reasons, but it’s most often because they’re looking for attention. Dogs don’t necessarily understand that words, shock or surprise from a human is a bad thing, they often actually mistake loud noises as being playful, and rarely as anger. Because of this, telling your puppy “No” or to get down only reinforces to them that their method of getting attention works. 

Puppies will also jump up because they’re excited, and they haven’t yet learned how to channel that energy into a different behavior. It’s also possible that your dog is overstimulated or anxious when they jump up – it’s normal behavior. But it’s not appropriate, and it’s our duty to show our dog appropriate ways to communicate what they need.

We have to remember that to a dog? This is normal. Dogs greet at face level, but they don’t for humans! It’s unusual. So their instinct becomes to bounce! And with this, we get the conflict of instinct vs expectation.

Jumping up is not socially acceptable. So all this is? Is simply adjusting our dog to living with humans; aka just some manners!

Control Your Puppy’s Surroundings

The best way to curb behaviors, especially in puppies, is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By controlling your puppy’s environment, you make it easier for them to learn the positive behaviors that you want from them. 

If your puppy struggles with jumping up on visitors to your home, use a baby gate or exercise pen to block your puppy from reaching the front door. While your puppy is still learning, it can also be helpful to control who comes over and when, so you can prepare your puppy ahead of time. 

If your puppy gets overstimulated easily and turns to jumping when there is too much happening around them, set up a quiet, safe space in your home where your puppy can go to decompress. 

puppy jumping up 4
even though some people love puppies and will want to say Hi, not everyone will, so this is one of those “non-negotiable” elements of training

Give Your Dog Appropriate Mental and Physical Stimulation

Jumping is often the result of excess excitable energy that your puppy isn’t sure what to do with. Giving your dog the physical and mental exercise they need can help channel their excess energy into more productive tasks, like a good game of fetch or a snuffle mat. 

If your dog struggles with over-excitement when you have guests over, consider taking your dog for a long walk before they arrive or giving them a treat-filled Kong to help redirect their attention. 

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Ensure Puppy Is Properly Rested

This one is overlooked so much by dog owners, but an overtired puppy struggles to listen, struggles to learn and reacts in a much more erattic manner. Sleep is a big deal when it comes to behavior. And if you want to break this bad habit, young dogs will need 18-20 hours of sleep, this will help your dog regulate their own emotions and remember their good manners. What you’ll do is reward them every time they’re relaxed and they’ll learn this is what you want to see from them.

Coach New People!

Enthusiastic greetings are easier to handle if your guests know what to do. You may want to avoid small children for this part, and instead pick adults who can follow instruction. As a dog trainer, one of the things that I commonly advise to people is to leave a small bag of treats at the door and have them reward your own dog with treats so long as they’re on the floor, and then add in the affection and attention, making sure that we don’t reward bad behaviour.

Remember: Not all people will be training opportunities! Pick your battles. Young children can be particularly difficult for your best friend, you’ll need to build up to this and make sure you’ve practiced a lot to ensure that your puppy’s attention doesn’t knock a kiddo to the floor.

Reward Calm Behavior

Calmness is not just a moment when guests come in, but it’s also a lifestyle.

puppy jumping up 5
big or small, there’s no need for rudeness!

Use Proactive Training to Reinforce Good Behavior

Capturing and rewarding your dog for moments of good behavior is the best way to help your dog understand what you’re asking of them. 

Rather than waiting until your dog is jumping up on someone walking through the door to work on training, try to reinforce good behavior in the moments your dog offers it to you naturally. 

Always keep treats nearby, so you’re ready when the good moments happen. Having several treat containers placed strategically around the house makes it easier to reach for rewards when you need them. 

It’s also helpful to have a few treats in your car that you can grab before you come into the house for moments you need to reward your dog for calm greetings. 

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

Leashes are good things. It’s such a simple thing when it comes to the array of training techniques, but management? Is so important to manage your jumping dog and slowly pushing out this unwanted behavior. A leash can help you to better control your dog’s environment and help redirect their attention when you need to. If someone comes into your home and your dog gets overly excited, you can use the leash to guide your dog further away from the guest or into a room where they can calm down. 

Never use the leash as a form of punishment. Your puppy is only doing the behavior that comes naturally to them, and it’s up to you as the pet parent to guide them towards behaviors that are more appropriate. 

Ignore Your Dog’s Jumping Behavior

The best way to curb your puppy’s jumping behavior is to ignore it. 

While that may sound counterintuitive, reacting to your dog’s behavior gives them the attention that they’re looking for, teaching them that their attention-getting method is working. They will continue to use the methods that have proven effective until those methods no longer work. 

Instead of pushing your dog off, telling them “No,” or otherwise acknowledging their jumping, simply turn around and ignore them. Every time your puppy jumps up, turn your back towards them and only face them when they put their paws on the ground. 

If you’re consistent with this method, and you instruct all of your guests to use this method as well, your puppy will learn that jumping doesn’t work. From there, you need to introduce an alternative behavior that does give your puppy what they want. 

puppy jumping up 3
Kids and toys are one of the ultimate issues for a dog, kids are usually very exciting, add in a toy, and add in the potential ability to bounce and get that toy? That becomes difficult – build up to this!

Teach an Alternative Behavior for Greeting

This is the most effective way of training out the dog jump. Choose a behavior that’s incompatible with jumping, such as sitting, laying down, or going to a designated space in the room (we love a bed cue!)

When you sense your dog is about to jump up, redirect their attention with treats or a toy and lure them into the behavior that you’re looking for. When they’ve successfully gotten into position, reward their good behavior with the treat or toy, as well as plenty of praise and attention. 

Practice this alternate behavior by recreating the scenarios that cause your dog to jump up, such as having someone in your household or a friend come in through your front door several times while you reward your dog for staying in position. 

Eventually, your dog will learn to associate someone walking through the door with the behavior that you ask them to perform, and they’ll offer that behavior on their own. 

Keep Arrivals and Departures Calm

As pet parents, it’s easy to work your puppy up without realizing it. You’re excited to see them when you get home from work, so you give them lots of love as soon as you see them, often ignoring that they’ve jumped up onto you. 

Likewise, when you leave the house, you likely tell your puppy goodbye and give them lots of attention because you’ll miss them when you leave. 

By giving your dog so much attention when you get home or before you leave, your dog starts to anticipate the attention or associate their jumping behavior with receiving so much attention. This reinforces the behavior in your puppy’s brain. 

Instead, try to keep your arrivals and departures as calm as possible. When you get home, ignore your puppy for the first minute, and only give them attention only when their paws are on the ground.

Are You Ready to Train Your Puppy to Stop Jumping Up? 

If your puppy jumps up when they’re excited or they want attention, you’re not alone. Many puppies struggle with the natural instinct to jump up, but there are ways you can curb this behavior. 

The earlier you start to work with your puppy, the easier it will be for them to learn what behaviors are appropriate.

Puppies are bursting with energy and easily excitable, especially when their favorite person comes into the door. 

Without training, a puppy’s natural reaction is often to jump up on the person they’re excited to see, but this behavior can be startling for guests coming into your home and it can quickly get out of hand. 

Learn training techniques to teach your puppy how to stop jumping up. 

Understand Why Puppies Jump Up on Someone 

Before you can work to actively change your puppy’s behavior, it’s important to understand why they react the way they do and what they’re trying to tell you. 

Puppies jump up for a variety of reasons, but it’s most often because they’re looking for attention. Dogs perceive any reaction from you, whether you’re praising them or scolding them, as attention. Because of this, telling your puppy “No” or to get down only reinforces to them that their method of getting attention works. 

Puppies will also jump up because they’re excited, and they haven’t yet learned how to channel that energy into a different behavior. It’s also possible that your dog is overstimulated or anxious when they jump up. 

Understanding your puppy’s body language and why they’re jumping up can help you determine the best way to teach them new behaviors. 

puppy jumping up 6
Huskies are a whole different kind of dog, haha, rules are relative. So remember some breeds will struggle with this more than others, for example, it’s not likely that your english bulldog is going to be this bouncy.

Control Your Puppy’s Surroundings

The best way to curb behaviors, especially in puppies, is to prevent them from happening in the first place. By controlling your puppy’s environment, you make it easier for them to learn the positive behaviors that you want from them. 

If your puppy struggles with jumping up on visitors to your home, use a baby gate or exercise pen to block your puppy from reaching the front door. While your puppy is still learning, it can also be helpful to control who comes over and when, so you can prepare your puppy ahead of time. 

If your puppy gets overstimulated easily and turns to jumping when there is too much happening around them, set up a quiet, safe space in your home where your puppy can go to decompress. 

Give Your Dog Appropriate Mental and Physical Stimulation

Jumping is often the result of excess excitable energy that your puppy isn’t sure what to do with. Giving your dog the physical and mental exercise they need can help channel their excess energy into more productive tasks, like a good game of fetch or a snuffle mat. 

If your dog struggles with over-excitement when you have guests over, consider taking your dog for a long walk before they arrive or giving them a treat-filled Kong to help redirect their attention. 

Use Proactive Training to Reinforce Good Behavior

Capturing and rewarding your dog for moments of good behavior is the best way to help your dog understand what you’re asking of them. 

Rather than waiting until your dog is jumping up on someone walking through the door to work on training, try to reinforce good behavior in the moments your dog offers it to you naturally. 

Always keep treats nearby, so you’re ready when the good moments happen. Having several treat containers placed strategically around the house makes it easier to reach for rewards when you need them. 

It’s also helpful to have a few treats in your car that you can grab before you come into the house for moments you need to reward your dog for calm greetings. 

Keep Your Dog on a Leash

A leash can help you to better control your dog’s environment and help redirect their attention when you need to. If someone comes into your home and your dog gets overly excited, you can use the leash to guide your dog further away from the guest or into a room where they can calm down. 

Never use the leash as a form of punishment. Your puppy is only doing the behavior that comes naturally to them, and it’s up to you as the pet parent to guide them towards behaviors that are more appropriate. 

puppy jumping up 7
this is an example of a mutually exclusive behavior, and this? This is a lifeskill – don’t underestimate it’s value!

Teach an Alternative Behavior for Greeting

The ignore method is only effective if you offer your puppy an alternative behavior to use instead. Choose a behavior that’s incompatible with jumping, such as sitting, laying down, or going to a designated space in the room. 

When you sense your dog is about to jump up, redirect their attention with treats or a toy and lure them into the behavior that you’re looking for. When they’ve successfully gotten into position, reward their good behavior with the treat or toy, as well as plenty of praise and attention. 

Practice this alternate behavior by recreating the scenarios that cause your dog to jump up, such as having someone in your household or a friend come in through your front door several times while you reward your dog for staying in position. 

Eventually, your dog will learn to associate someone walking through the door with the behavior that you ask them to perform, and they’ll offer that behavior on their own. 

Keep Arrivals and Departures Calm

As pet parents, it’s easy to work your puppy up without realizing it. You’re excited to see them when you get home from work, so you give them lots of love as soon as you see them, often ignoring that they’ve jumped up onto you. 

Likewise, when you leave the house, you likely tell your puppy goodbye and give them lots of attention because you’ll miss them when you leave. 

By giving your dog so much attention when you get home or before you leave, your dog starts to anticipate the attention or associate their jumping behavior with receiving so much attention. This reinforces the behavior in your puppy’s brain. 

Instead, try to keep your arrivals and departures as calm as possible. When you get home, ignore your puppy for the first minute, and only give them attention only when their paws are on the ground.

Are You Ready to Train Your Puppy to Stop Jumping Up? 

If your puppy jumps up when they’re excited or they want attention, you’re not alone. Many puppies struggle with the natural instinct to jump up, but there are ways you can curb this behavior. 

Just remember, if you’re well and truly stuck, manage the 3D’s and take it slow! Take a step back and remember if they’re not learning, there’s something you’re not communicating clearly.

If you need help figuring out how to make this training work, then get in touch! I’m happy to help.

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is the Positive Puppy Expert, dog trainer and is the founder of Rebarkable. She is passionate about helping puppy parents get things right, right from the start. To help create a puppy capable of being a confident and adaptable family member and keep puppies out of shelters.

Ali has won multiple awards for her dog training, and has had her blog (this blog!) rated as 2021 & 2022 worlds’ best pet blog!

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