Company of Animals

Jumping up

Why does my dog jump up?

Jumping up is always an attention seeking behaviour and as cute as it is for a puppy to jump up for a cuddle, it can soon become a nuisance or even be dangerous when they are fully grown. Dogs often jump up because they naturally want to make contact with our hands and see our faces when they greet us.

What to do

Discourage jumping up                                                                                                                                                                            First thing is to discourage jumping up, particularly in puppies, by crouching as you greet them with your hands down low in front of you so that your dog can make contact with you easily without jumping up. If your dog gets greeted in this way regularly, they are less likely to feel the need to jump in future. However, should your jump up anyway, you should still immediately withdraw your attention. Withdrawing all attention can feel a little cruel but with so many dogs suffering with hip dysplasia in later life, it’s important to their health too that you discourage jumping up. Check out our “How dogs learn” post here

Act quickly and praise good behaviour                                                                                                                                                In order for your dog to link your removal of attention to their act of jumping up it must be an immediate response but more importantly it must only last whilst they are jumping up. If you continue to ignore your dog after they have put their feet back on the floor, then they are unlikely to associate their behaviour with your actions. Note: the faster your response the faster your dog will learn! If your dog jumps up while you are sat down, turn away and cross your legs away from them. If they are persistent then stand up and walk away. Once they are calm you can sit down again, once your dog starts to approach without jumping then remember to give attention and praise. If the jumping persists then repeat as before.

Jumping up at others                                                                                                                                                                      Sometimes, embarrassingly, your dog may want to jump up on guests. We recommend you have your house line fitted so you can easily and remove your dog without giving any attention.

Consistency is key                                                                                                                                                                                   When training your dog, you need to make sure everyone else in the household is adopting the same behaviour until they learn that nobody will give them attention if he or she jumps at them!

Top tips

Fiona Whelan ~ Pet Behaviourist

Fiona has been working at the Training and Behaviour Centre as a behaviour specialist since 2002, and previously ran her own training and behaviour establishment in Lincolnshire for seven years so has a wealth of experience as a behaviour counsellor.