Teaching a dog not to jump

Teaching a Dog Not To Jump Up on You

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Raising Your Pets, Dogs and Cats Naturally


Teaching a Dog Not To Jump Up on You

Polite Dog Greeting: Not Jumping on You

Dogs are very social creatures, and a friendly dog’s initial greeting reaction is to sniff and lick our faces. Since we are taller than the average dog, this means they jump up to say hello. This isn’t something we humans particularly appreciate, or at least not all the time. And if you are the “not all the time” kind of person, I urge you to make that a “never.” Dogs have a hard time knowing when we think it’s ok, and when we would rather they didn’t. They don’t know the difference between your Sunday best and your grubby weekend attire.

Teaching your dog not to jump up during greeting isn’t about teaching your dog what not to do, but rather teaching your dog what TO DO. You can teach your dog to go find his toy, go to his crate, keep four on the floor, or put his butt on the ground. I tend to teach butt on the ground behaviors first.

I love teaching dogs and coaching dog parents how to teach their dogs to ask politely with their butt on the ground when they want something. If a dog wants petting, wants you to toss the dog toy, eat dinner, go outside….butt on the ground first. And I don’t want you to have to tell your dog to put his butt on the ground / SIT, I want him to do it automatically. I think by teaching our dogs to think for themselves, they understand a concept much better, and it sticks.

First, you must teach your dog at least an idea of the SIT behavior before you can expect him to offer it on his own. Put a healthy dog treat right to your dog’s nose, and move your hand slowly in an arc above your dog’s head and back. As soon as his rump hits the floor say “YES!” and follow quickly with a treat. Repeat this process until he is easily putting his butt on the ground. Tip: If your dog is leaping to get the treat, your treat lure is too high. Place your hand with the treat right ON his nose, so there isn’t any jumping to follow your lure, or to eat the treat.

Now that your dog has a basic understanding of putting his butt on the ground, it’s time to build on that so he will offer this behavior when he wants something. Again, this will lead to an offered sit for your attention instead of jumping.

Grab a handful of high-value treats or healthy dog food and do a quick round of SIT sessions. After, say, 3 sets, just smile at your dog, do not provide any luring or words. As soon as his butt hits the floor say “YES!” and give him a jackpot of treats. Quickly take a few playful steps away from your dog and stop and smile at him again. As soon as his butt hits the floor again, say “YES!” and treat. Repeat this game running around the house or yard.


You can vary the offered  sit by doing the same process before other events that your dog wants to participate in. For example, if you are ready to toss your dog’s ball during a game of fetch, hold the ball close to your chest, smile at your dog and wait. As soon as his butt hits the floor, toss the ball. If your dog jumps up at you and the ball, do not say anything, just wait for the correct behavior. This is part of the learning process. He will be learning that the “jumping up” behavior does NOT get him things he wants, but the “butt on the ground” behavior does – a very good life lesson for your dog to learn. Tip: Do not tell your dog to sit during these lessons; the point of the offered sit is that your dog is thinking through the process and realizing on his own that sit makes good things happen and jumping up does not.

Now that you have incorporated various offered SIT behaviors with your dog for a variety of days and sessions, start to wait for your dog to SIT before you greet him. He doesn’t have to SIT/STAY, but if he jumps up, stop his attention and wait for the SIT again, and immediately pet and/or treat. You will be amazed at how quickly your dog can learn to offer a SIT instead of jumping. But you must be consistent. No flip-flopping: it’s ok one day but not another.

Is your dog a polite greeter?  Tell me in the comments.

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Teaching a dog not to jump

Teaching A Dog Not To Jump|Polite Greeting

Teaching A Dog Not To Jump

Polite Dog and Person Greeting

“Can I pet your dog?” This may be a question you hear and start to worry about how your dog will greet a stranger. Will your dog jump on your guest? Will your dog knock your guest over when saying hello?

Why do dogs even jump up on people? In most cases, it is just because we are taller than they are, and they’re trying to get to our faces for a social greeting. This is a pretty normal dog behavior, but something most humans do not appreciate. This article is the first in a series that will start you and your dog on a better path to polite dog and human greeting behaviors.

Your Family: First let’s address how you and your family greet your dog. After a long day at work, you are probably eager to see your dog and start baby talking your dog, “Dexter, I’ve missed you so much! Oh, you are such a handsome boy!” If you are speaking to your dog in a high-pitched, excited tone, you are likely going to increase his excitement and your dog will start to get bouncy and jumpy. So, let’s tone it down a bit.

Walk in your house calmly and smile softly at your dog. “Hiiii, Deexxter.” Quickly squat down to your dog’s level and gently rub his chest and talk very softly to him. If he jumps up, stand up and ignore him until he gets all four on the floor again. Repeat. It will be a bit of a Yo-Yo exercise for you. Don’t yell at him, don’t tell him “off,” just stand up and ignore him. My rule is I have an “Invisible Dog” when my dog is jumping up on me (or barking for attention). As soon as those feet go back down, he reappears.

Teaching a dog not to jump
Sit Not Jump Up

Fast Tip: You can jump start your dog’s polite greeting behavior by the use of food or toys. When greeting your dog, coming home from work, or letting your dog out of his crate, have some dog treats or dog food on you or in your pocket. As soon as you see your dog, drop a dog treat or dog food kibble at his feet. Repeat as soon as he finishes eating the treat. Do this as you walk around with your dog or take your dog outside to potty. As your dog gets better at this routine, your kibble drops will be spaced out more. Instead of a kibble drop every second, it’s every 3 seconds, 5 seconds, etc. until they are no longer needed.

To use a toy in polite dog greeting behavior, you must first find a toy your dog thinks is very exciting, that he eagerly wants to fetch or hold. Sometimes this means having a cupboard full of new dog toys to keep them interesting and engaging. As soon as you see your dog, wiggle the toy and toss. You may need to have a few toys in your hand so you can keep tossing as you walk around with your dog. Again, this is a behavior you can fade over time.

Exercise and Attention: Please remember that your dog needs to be adequately exercised every day both physically and mentally. If your dog does not get physical and mental quality bonding time with you, he is unlikely to be successful. If you are unsure if you provide your dog with enough exercise and attention, keep a log book for a week. Write down your daily activities with your dog. And when I say “with your dog” I mean that you are actually paying attention to and bonding with. Not that your dog is lying on the floor in the same room. Dogs are Man’s/Woman’s Best Friends for a reason. They need you and your attention.

Read the second installment of polite greeting!

Is Your Dog A Polite Greeter?  Tell me in the comments.

Are you looking for even more ways to stay up to date with Raising Your Pets Naturally? Sign up for the newsletter for more tips and promotions. Don’t forget to be social and Like, Follow and Subscribe. Comments below are always welcome.


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