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How to Train Your Dog Not to Jump

Updated: Jul 4, 2022

It’s one of the most common behavior problems in dogs: You walk in the door and there’s the wagging tail! But that might also be immediately followed by excited jumping, paws pushing, and maybe some scratches or bruises.

Dogs jumping on you or others can be annoying and even dangerous. Jumping can lead to injuries or even bites. It can also cause someone to fall, which can be especially scary for a child, senior, or someone with physical disabilities.

Fortunately, it’s absolutely possible to train your dog not to jump, and it’s an issue BFF Canine Obedience in Cincinnati, Ohio, has lots of experience with! Below, we walk you through the whys of jumping and some easy steps you can take to train your dog to greet everyone more politely.

Why Does My Dog Jump?

A woman holding her dog, trying to figure out how to stop her dog from jumping

The first step in training your dog not to jump is to understand why they do it in the first place.

There are a few reasons dogs may jump on you: to greet you nose to nose like they would with fellow canines, to establish dominance, or simply to get attention -- which, to your dog, is actually a great reward.

We often think of rewards for our dogs as treats or toys, but attention is often just as good -- even negative attention. So even if you’re not the kind of person to reward jumping behaviors positively, scolding or pushing your dog off is still making your pup think, “This action gets me attention.”

Dogs can also see the physical reaction to them jumping -- maybe you grab their paws or you nudge them off with your knee -- as an invitation to play, making it an even more desirable behavior to them.

Ignore the Jumping; Reward ‘Pawsitive’ Behaviors Instead

two obedience dogs in their sit position and not jumping on guests