Every puppy owner has felt the little paws tap against their legs as their excitable young dog leaps in joy. As endearing as it may seem in the beginning, unchecked jumping can become a problem, especially when the puppy grows into a full-sized dog. For those struggling with this common puppy behaviour, we’ve got the solutions you need to curb this habit and quick!
Puppies often jump up to seek attention; ignoring this behaviour can prevent reinforcing it.
Unchecked puppy jumping can become problematic with age, especially around vulnerable individuals like children or the elderly which is why it is important to address it at a young age.
Addressing the jumping requires patience, consistency, and understanding the emotional triggers, such as excitement or anxiety.
Using training methods like positive reinforcement and behaviour redirection can effectively curb unwanted jumping.
Setting early boundaries and understanding the reasons behind the behaviour are key to successful training and preventing future issues.
Why Do Puppies Jump Up?
Puppies have a way of melting our hearts, but when over excited they can get a little on the jumpy side. It is a common puppy behaviour, that is often a ploy for attention, but one that needs to be corrected. It is important, especially if you are a first time dog owner, to understand the reasons for this behaviour. Let's take a look:
Often, when puppies jump up, their primary intention is to get attention. If they receive any reaction from you, even if it's negative, it could reinforce this behaviour, making them believe that jumping is an effective way to engage with humans.
Top Tip: Puppies use body language as their primary means of communication. Redirecting a puppy's enthusiasm to an alternative behaviour, like fetching a toy, can provide a positive outlet for their energy.
A Habit from Young Age
When dogs are tiny, it's easy to overlook or even encourage their jumping, laughing it off as a sign of their playful nature. However, as they grow, this seemingly harmless behaviour can become troublesome. A fully-grown dog jumping can be intimidating and unsafe, especially around children or elderly people.
Excitement or Anxiety
While many times a dog jumps out of sheer excitement, sometimes it could be an indication that they're feeling anxious or uncertain about something. Recognising the underlying emotion can be crucial in addressing the behaviour appropriately.
The Challenge of Changing Established Behaviours
When you decide to address the issue, remember that your dog might initially jump more often. This happens because they've been rewarded for this behaviour in the past, possibly inadvertently, and might believe they need to jump even more to get the same attention. With persistence, timing, and consistency, this behaviour can be curbed.
How to Stop a Puppy from Jumping Up on You
Training a puppy is a journey that combines patience, understanding, and consistency. With the right approach, it’s possible to curtail the habit of jumping in your furry friend. Here's an in-depth, step-by-step guide on how to achieve this:
1. Don't Respond If They Jump Up
When your puppy jumps up, they're usually seeking your attention. The more you react, even if it's a negative response, the more they'll associate jumping with getting a reaction.
If they jump up, maintain your calm. Turn your back or walk away without making eye contact or touching them. This non-reaction will send a clear message that jumping doesn't yield the desired response.
2. Avoid Punishing Your Dog
It’s a common instinct to scold or tell a dog off when they misbehave, however, negative attention is still attention. When you tell your puppy off for jumping, they might interpret this as a reward, reinforcing the unwanted behaviour. Instead of punishment, focus on rewarding the behaviours you want to see more of.
The Dog’s Trust details multiple ways to reward a dog including with toys, food, and attention. All of these methods build a positive association with stopping what they were doing and then being praised and given a treat.
3. The Two Step Approach
Transitioning a puppy from their breeder's home to yours requires a gentle touch, not a sudden leap into rigorous, bootcamp style training. It is important to remember that with a new puppy, you essentially take over the role of their mother when you take them home.
Using the two-step approach, something recommended on the episode 15 of the podcast The Dog's Way Podcast: Dog Training for Real Life, first involves decompression and distancing, using noise-making techniques for attention and cues like “let’s go” to teach approaching and retreating from stimuli.
Once they're acclimated, the second step introduces interaction with people. Consistency is key, so guiding any new person on the approach and verbal cues ensures your puppy gets a unified message. This method builds confidence, boundary understanding, and healthy interactions for a well-adjusted puppy.
4. Teach Your Dog to Sit When Meeting People
Replacing an undesired behaviour with a positive one is a proven training method. When your dog meets someone, instead of allowing them to jump, train them to sit politely. Start by using treats and voice commands. Every time they meet someone, ask them to sit, rewarding them with a treat and praise when they do. Over time, this will become their natural greeting.
In some instances, where you have a particularly excitable pup, it may be worth considering not allowing anyone other than yourself to give treats or play with toys with your dog as this reduces their excitable association with others and lessens the chance of a jumpy reaction.
5. Treat Walks as Training Sessions
Walks aren't just for exercise; they're golden opportunities for training. While outdoors, your puppy will encounter numerous distractions, making it a perfect setting to teach them to obey commands amidst distractions.
Whenever you sense a trigger that makes your dog jump, like spotting a friendly neighbour, ask your dog to sit and reward them when they do. This reinforces the idea that good behaviour, even outside the home, gets rewarded.
6. Build Puppy Patience
Building patience in puppies forms the foundation for a well-behaved adult dog. Start with minor daily routines, like holding back their food bowl for a few moments longer, or pausing before handing over a treat. Over time, integrate this patience training into more complex scenarios, such as having them sit calmly while you prepare for their walk or waiting for your command before jumping into the car.
Gradually extending the waiting periods in varied situations reinforces their patience. Not only that but it also instils a sense of discipline and helps your puppy understand that good things come to those who wait, nurturing a calm and controlled behaviour.
7. Reward Your Dog
The main principle of positive reinforcement relies on promptly and consistently reinforcing positive behaviour. Each time your puppy acts as you wish, be it sitting on command or not jumping on a visitor, instantly acknowledge their good behaviour.
While puppy treats are a popular and effective choice, verbal praise, a gentle pat, or even a brief play session with their cherished toy can also serve as rewards. Being consistent with these rewards allows you to cement in your dog's mind the link between good behaviour and positive outcomes.
8. Anticipate Times Your Dog is Likely to Jump Up
Understanding and predicting your dog's behaviour is half the battle. If there are specific triggers, like the doorbell ringing or kids playing, that make your dog jump, be prepared. Distract them with a toy or command them to sit before they get a chance to jump. By anticipating their reaction, you can guide them towards the desired behaviour.
9. Using a Leash to Control Jumping
One of the most effective tools for managing a puppy’s jumping habit is the humble leash. With a leash, you can maintain control over your puppy's movements without resorting to physical restraint. As shown on a recent McCann Dog Training video, having some control of your pup’s ability to jump, via a lead, and then rewarding them when they don’t, means that the dog will start to associate not jumping with good things happening, therefore reinforcing the behaviour.
Furthermore, combining the leash technique with voice commands can reinforce the training, making the process more effective and ensuring safer interactions for everyone involved.
Managing Other Puppy Jumping Scenarios
How to Stop a Puppy from Puppy Jumping Up and Biting
Puppies, in their eagerness to explore the world, might often jump up and use their mouth, leading to unintended biting. This is a natural behaviour stemming from their innate curiosity and playfulness.
To counteract this, it’s essential to always have a toy at the ready. Whenever they exhibit signs of jumping and biting, quickly redirect their attention towards the toy. Additionally, employing bite inhibition techniques, like letting out a noticeable yelp when they bite, can signal to them that the behaviour is undesirable.
How to Stop a Puppy Jumping Up at a Child
When puppies interact with children, their enthusiasm can sometimes manifest as jumping, which can be alarming and unsafe for little ones. Close supervision is paramount when children and puppies are together.
Teach children the importance of calm interactions and instruct them to turn away without screaming or running if a puppy jumps. Simultaneously, focus on obedience training for your puppy, emphasising commands like 'sit' and 'stay' to ensure they remain composed around kids.
How to Stop a Puppy Jumping Up on Furniture
For many pet owners, keeping furniture free from pet hair and potential damage is a priority. When a puppy continually seeks comfort on sofas or beds, it’s crucial to establish boundaries early on. Providing a cosy bed or designated space for your puppy allows you to guide their preference.
If they display an inclination to jump on furniture, gently lead them to their space, rewarding their compliance. A firm 'off' command, when used consistently, can also convey that furniture is a no-go zone.
How to Stop a Puppy Jumping Up on the Counter
Countertops are often a far too appealing temptation for puppies who are enticed by the scent of food and intriguing objects that have caught their eye, but counter-surfing can lead to harmful ingestions or accidents.
To stop this behaviour, always keep counters devoid of enticing items. Deter your pet with firm commands, and reward them for going to their bed or crate whilst food is being prepared.
How to Stop a Puppy Jumping Up and Nipping
Nipping is another form of playful interaction for puppies, but it's essential to set boundaries for such behaviours. When playfulness escalates to nipping, it’s a sign that your puppy needs direction. Offering them a chew toy as an alternative can shift their focus.
If they remain persistent in their nipping behaviour, a brief pause in playtime can convey the message that nipping leads to an end of fun.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do puppies grow out of jumping up?
Some puppies might naturally reduce jumping as they age, especially if it's not encouraged, however, without proper training, some dogs continue this behaviour into adulthood.
What is the best command to stop a dog from jumping up?
Commands like "Off!" or "Down!" can be effective, however, consistency in using the command and pairing it with positive reinforcement is key.
How do I stop my dog from jumping up and biting the lead?
This can be a sign of excitement or frustration. Distract them with a toy or treat, and work on lead training separately, rewarding them for calm behaviour.
How do I stop my dog from jumping and biting when excited?
This behaviour, often termed as 'mouthing', can be addressed by redirecting their energy towards toys or providing them with chewable items. Teaching commands like "Sit" or "Stay" can also be beneficial.
Taming your puppy's instinct to jump isn’t just about discipline, but also about understanding their reasons and addressing them effectively. Remember, it's always easier to set the right habits early rather than trying to correct them later.
Whether it's excitement, seeking attention, or anxiety, the key is to stay consistent with your training. With patience and the right approach, you'll soon have a well-behaved dog that knows how to stop jumping up and interacts in more appropriate ways.
Prepare yourself for training with our range of puppy essentials here.