How to Train Puppy Not to Jump

To train puppy greeting behavior, owners must teach their puppies not to jump. This can begin as soon as your puppy enters your home and must be trained consistently among everyone in the house and their visitors.

Ignore Bad Behavior

As humans, it's our impulse to tell our puppy when he's wrong. We do this by yelling, pushing or kneeing. However, all of these behaviors can be rewarding to our puppy. All he wants is attention, even if it's negative attention. Thus, talking to, touching or looking at your puppy can cause the behavior to continue.

Instead, ignore all jumping behavior. Turn your back. Leave the room. Go back outside and close the door. Do whatever you have to do to ignore jumping.

Once your puppy is standing politely, immediately praise and pet your puppy. If the jumping begins at that point, stop the attention and continue to walk away. Pet as soon as the jumping ceases again.

Teach an Alternate Behavior

Your puppy can't jump if he's sitting. Thus, when your puppy is calm, teach him to sit. Do this by moving a treat straight over your dog's head toward his tail. As he looks up for the treat, he'll drop into a sit.

After two or three repetitions, use a hand signal as if you had a treat but without the treat. Using this rather than pushing your dog into the sit will help you avoid touching him while he's jumping. Reward even if you don't have the treat in your hand. When your dog is performing well, begin phasing out the treat and rewarding with praise, pets and toys.

Once he can perform this reliably when calm, begin asking him to do it before he jumps, such as when you first walk in the door or when he is meeting a new visitor. If he doesn't, immediately ignore. Don't keep repeating the command.

Jumping on Guests

Since you probably don't want to ask grandma to ignore your jumping mastiff, keep a leash near the door for when guests arrive. Clip the leash on your dog and prevent him from reaching your guest until he has calmed down.

Ask for a sit. If he does, release him to greet your guest. If he jumps, pull him back and prevent access to your guest again. Give him opportunities periodically as you see him get calmer.

Feel free to allow your guests into the house and let them sit. Just keep your dog on leash until he can greet calmly. Some dogs won't be allowed near the guests for several minutes. But as your dog gets calmer, you can begin to phase out use of the leash.

Jumping with Permission

Jumping programs often break down because people in the house want their dog to be able to jump on them occasionally. Once your dog is trained not to jump, then you can train him to jump on command.

After your dog has offered you a sit, then pat your shoulders or hips and encourage him to jump. Say "give me a hug" or "jump up" or any command that you like. Reward with attention at that time. This way, everyone in the family can be happy.