Stop Jumping, Spot!

How to get your dog to stop jumping.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA,
November 4, 2011

In a recent show, I talked about Teaching Manners to Dogs. Here’s a quick way to teach your dog to stop jumping on top of your guests:

When you’re training your dog to greet politely and stop jumping up, it’s easiest to work with two people. One person will hold the dog’s leash. The second person can be anyone your dog likes. The dog should have plenty of room to sit, stand, or lie down comfortably, and to move within a radius of a couple of feet. Here are the steps:

  1. With the dog’s human friend about a dozen feet away, the person holding the leash asks the dog to sit. 

  2.  As soon as the dog does so, the dog’s friend starts to approach. Because the dog likes this person, the approach will reward the sit. And, because the dog likes this person, he’ll probably get up and move toward her.

  3.  At that moment, the approaching person stops dead, turns away from the dog, and retreats.

  4. The person holding the leash cues the dog to sit.

  5. As soon as the dog sits, the friend again approaches.

  6.  If the dog gets up, the friend stops and retreats again.

Usually, after two or three tries, the leash holder can stop giving the cue to sit. Instead, count to 5 slowly, in your head. Given a few moments to think, most dogs will experiment – what was it that got my friend to come closer? Eureka! That is the first step toward a dog who sits spontaneously in order to get people to approach.

 Want to raise a happy dog who loves to play and cuddle -- but still comes when called and doesn't chew up your favorite shoes?

Then check out The Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet!