One Way to Teach your Dog not to Jump up on People

A very common behaviour problem dog owners request help with is their dog jumping up on people. There is one simple way to remedy this situation and that is to teach your dog to sit when it meets people. This also includes when your dog says hello to you. If your dog is sitting it automatically is not jumping up.

But how to teach your dog to sit when it is so enthusiastic or friendly or bouncy? Firstly, and importantly, start teaching your dog to sit at other times besides when meeting people e.g. when you are out on a walk.

One way to do this is by using the lure and reward method which uses TINY morsels of food to lure the dog into the sit position and then giving the dog the food as the positive reinforcement or reward for the action of sitting.

Hold a piece of food at your dog’s nose letting it sniff it, SLOWLY move your hand up over your dog’s head saying ‘sit’. As your dog’s head goes up its bottom will go down. The ABSOLUTE INSTANT it is sitting give it the piece of food and say ‘good dog’ in a praising tone of voice.

Then walk away, (your dog will follow you because you and the food are now very interesting), and repeat the process. Do this several times in a row and then no more. Always finish any training session when your dog has successfully completed the required action and is still interested in doing more.

The next step is to do this in many different places, situations and times of the day. In other words from now on ask your dog to sit for everything it wants e.g. a pat, affection, its dinner, to have its lead put on, before going outside, before coming inside, before getting in the car, etc. You get the idea; your dog sits for everything and before everything.

Once your dog has learnt to sit ask people you meet to help you train your dog by getting them to do what you have been doing, i.e. using a food treat to ask your dog to sit. If at first your dog continues to jump up simply remove any attention, (the reinforcement/reward), for jumping up by folding your arms, turning your body away and lifting your chin. Ask the other person to do the same.

As soon as your dog gets the message and stops moving ask it to sit as per your usual training. If it is already sitting reward it with a piece of food or a calm rub behind the ears. Not too enthusiastically as this might get your dog over excited again.

For persistent jumpers walk away and ignore them COMPLETELY. And try again later. Dogs can learn to sit to say hello to human friends you just need to be consistent, persistent, calm, and indefatigable.