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How to Stop a Dog from Jumping Up

How to stop a dog from jumping up is a question we often get asked here at RED MILLS, so we created this guide that will stop your dog from jumping up!

Why Do Dogs Jump Up?

From a very early age a puppy will jump up at his mothers face licking her mouth to encourage her to regurgitate food for him. The reward for jumping up and licking in this instance is food. He will jump up on his litter mates to instigate play and when he goes to his new home he will jump up at his new owners who will respond by patting and making a fuss of him. On some occasions the human may tell the puppy off, assuming that this will deter him from the behaviour in the future. On all occasions the puppy is getting a reward, a reaction and attention. His mother feeds him, his litter mates play with him, and the new owner cuddles him or tells him off.

Every one of those reactions will encourage the puppy to repeat the behaviour of jumping up – which is a normal behaviour for a dog. NOT a ‘behavioural problem’ as many pet owners will refer to it as. A dog will repeat an action that gets a reaction so how do we stop this?

Train Your Dog to Stop Jumping Up

First the owner must want to stop the dog jumping up enough to ensure the training works. So many people will absent mindedly pet their dog when he jumps up for a cuddle – in that instant the owner doesn’t mind. Yet in what appears to the dog to be a similar situation the owner tells him off for jumping up because the owner doesn’t want it this time. No wonder the poor dog gets confused.

The usual scenario of when the owner returns home and calls the dog over, pats his legs and encourages the dog to get extremely excited must alter. Shouting at him or pushing the dog off will only make the dog think it’s a game and excite him even more.

Unless the owner (and whoever else is involved with the dog) changes how they react to the dog, the dog will not change how he reacts to the owner or others.

It should be remembered that first of all the dog does not speak English, secondly he thinks differently to you and me – if you tell him ‘get down’ when he is jumping up he may well learn that the command ‘get down’ actually means to jump up (dogs think literally not laterally) and lastly he values reward differently to you and me. Telling him off may not be a deterrent as some dogs would prefer to be told off (negative reward) than ignored.

Generally a dog dislikes being ignored or being abandoned and may resort to unwanted behaviour to get noticed. However, if the ignoring reaction is used properly it can deter the dog from jumping up.

Where possible ignore bad behaviour but reward good behavior.


This piece was written by Connolly’s RED MILLS Nutritional Advisor, Professional Dog Trainer, Behavioural Instructor, International Judge and Owner of Tag N Rye Dog Services, Julie Holmes. Julie has over 35 years experience working with dogs of all breeds and specialises in providing Basic and Competitive Obedience, Dog Training Classes and Private Tuition to dog owners all over Ireland.

  • Tags:
  • Pets
  • Dog Training
  • Jumping Up