How to Stop a Puppy From Jumping

German Shepherd puppy chasing after a stuffed toy

Bringing home a new puppy is exciting, but it can also be frustrating. Puppies tend to indulge in all types of behaviours, some undesirable to us but entirely natural to them. This includes everything from chewing and barking to jumping on people. Luckily, with proper training and a little patience on your end, your puppy can learn the behaviours expected of them. Below, we'll discuss what you need to know about how to stop a puppy from jumping.

Why Do Puppies Jump on People?

Jumping is a natural behaviour for puppies — and dogs of all ages. Dogs love attention from humans and when they're young, jumping on you is the only way they know to get it. But, unfortunately, if you give them attention every time they jump up, it reinforces the behaviour. So instead, it's essential to teach them that they get attention only when they’re on all fours. 

Do Puppies Grow Out of Jumping Up? 

Your puppy won't learn they’re not supposed to jump up unless you teach them that it's undesirable behaviour. As mentioned earlier, jumping up for attention is natural, so your dog will continue to jump up without training. Depending on their breed and size, they could unintentionally harm someone as they grow into an adult dog, so it's important to teach your puppy when they’re young.

How To Stop Your Puppy From Jumping

Consistent training is key to training your dog not to jump on you. As with most behavioural issues, it's best to provide your pup with positive reinforcement by encouraging the behaviours you want and preventing those you don't want instead of punishing.

With a solid plan in place, you can stop a puppy from jumping and encourage permanent positive behaviours in your new best friend. Follow the steps below to help them understand and follow your expectations.

Teach Your Puppy to Sit

Sitting is a simple command that your puppy should learn rather quickly. Encourage them to sit before mealtimes, before you throw their favourite toy and before you give them love and attention. Encouraging sitting before letting them indulge in the things they enjoy quickly associates following your commands with the things they love. With time, they'll realize that sitting is a far better way to get your attention than jumping on you.

Don't Give Your Puppy Praise When They Jump

If you respond to your puppy with kisses and petting every time they jump on you, they'll think they’re doing what makes you happy. But, ultimately, that positive reaction to their behaviour will lead to continued jumping, and the longer you allow it, the harder it will be to curb. 

Instead, respond to your pup's jumps by reacting unexcitedly. Initially, try stepping forward when your puppy jumps up on you and command them to get off without getting angry. Using the command "off" typically works best when you train your new puppy, as using the command "down" can be confused with "lie down." 

If your dog doesn't respond to the "off" command and continues to jump, try turning away instead of stepping forward. If you're able to anticipate their jumps, try turning away from them before, so they’re unable to jump up on you. Once they’ve calmed down, command them to sit and provide positive reinforcement once they obey.

Consider Using a Crate

You can also implement crate training when guests visit and consider letting your puppy out once everyone is settled. Many dogs feel more secure in small spaces, and being separated from the excitement of a social gathering might give your puppy time to calm down before greeting your guests.

Reward Good Behaviour

Training is about building trust between you and your puppy, and the best way to honour your side of the bargain is by rewarding them when they get it right. Rewards can be in the form of petting, belly rubs, and of course, tasty dog treats. However, when using treats as a reward, praise should be calm and quiet, so your puppy can remain focused. Dog treats are often the best training tool in the early days.

When you're teaching your puppy to stop jumping up, begin by rewarding them when they stay on all fours. When you command them to get off and they listen or when they stay off when you've just arrived home, they should be rewarded. Once they’ve shown they can stay on all fours, ask them to sit and offer further praise and rewards. 

It's vital that throughout the training process, you avoid verbal or physical punishment. These negative reactions are likely to invoke fear in your dog instead of trust. Instead, briefly ignore your dog when they don’t respond to your commands, then try again. Repeat the process until they get it right, and reward them when they do. 

When Should Puppies Start Training? 

Now that you have some idea of how to stop a puppy from jumping, you're probably wondering when you can get started. 

Puppies are smart creatures, and if you teach them young, they learn quickly. So start as soon as you bring them home. Begin teaching them simple commands and take them for short walks on a leash (if they have all their required vaccinations) so they can learn proper behaviour both at home and in public. Just remember to provide plenty of positive reinforcement when your puppy does well, and you'll have a well-behaved pup before you know it.

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