Why Is My Dog Jumping Up On People


Jumping up on people is normal behavior. Dogs jump up on people for a couple of different reasons. Most often, the dog is overly friendly and wants to greet the person. When dogs greet each other they usually sniff muzzles, and private areas.

The reason they do this behavior on people is to reach their faces. Dogs use olfactory (scent related) behaviors to find out about you. They can get this information from the saliva of your mouth or the tears from your eyes. You should know that in the wild dogs and puppies greet each other by jumping up. It is also how puppies ask for food, they will lick the lips of the adults hoping they will regurgitate food for them. I know humans do not do this but it is a dogs natural instinct.

Even if you have smaller dogs you should encourage them to sit, instead of greeting people by jumping up. Any dog would probably be able to knock over a small child and then that may cause injury, so teaching them not to jump is very useful.

If your dog is sitting, they can't be jumping up. You should ignore the dog and turn your back on them when they do jump up. Most people will try to push their dog off of them or ask them to get down. Some dogs like the physical contact so when you push them off you are giving them just that. Any kind of attention you give your dog while they are doing this behavior is a reward. All they want is your attention and you just gave it to them. Hand movement to a dog is play, so now they think you are interacting with them and not trying to stop a certain behavior. Have your dog sit, if they proceed to start to get up or jump up you will need to correct them with a " uh uh" or "wrong", try not to say or shout NO! Again ignoring this behavior is your best bet. Your dog will get tired of trying to get your attention and get bored with it, so the plan is when your dog places all fours on the floor and is quiet, you may now greet or praise them with kind words and a treat.

Just another tip, anything we allow our puppies to do while they are young is practice for their adult life. So even though it may be cute to have your six pound puppy jump on you when you return home. It won't be so cute having your fifty pound dog jump on you when you return home.

Another thing you will have to teach your dog is that they are not allowed to jump on guest either. Sometimes harder than training your dog is training your friends and family. Usually guest will go ahead and start showing affection to the animal as soon as they jump up. They will say "hello" what a cute dog you have, or maybe they will bend over and start rubbing them. All of these are signs of reward for the dog. When at all possible have your dog on a leash and make sure they are sitting when you have company coming over. They too will need to ignore your dog until all fours are on the floor.

If everyone practices ignoring the dog when they are jumping up and only saying "hello" when sitting, the whole family including the dog will be much happier.