Why Do Dogs Jump on People, And How to Fix It with Positive Reinforcement Training!


We’ve all been there—opening the door, only to be greeted by a whirlwind of fur and excitement as your dog leaps up to say hello! While this enthusiastic greeting might be adorable, it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially for guests. But don’t worry, with a bit of patience and some fun training, you can teach your dog to greet people more politely. Let’s dive into why dogs jump and how to fix it using positive reinforcement training!

Why Do Dogs Jump on People?

1. Excitement Overload: Dogs are naturally enthusiastic creatures. When they see you or a visitor, their excitement can make them jump up to get closer to your face and show their joy.
2. Seeking Attention: Jumping up is a surefire way for your dog to get your attention, even if it’s not the kind of attention they were hoping for.
3. Energy Release: Jumping can be a way for dogs to release pent-up energy, especially if they’ve been waiting eagerly for your return.

How to Fix the Issue with Positive Reinforcement Training

Here are some fun and effective ways to transform your bouncy pup into a polite greeter:

1. Teach the “Sit” Cue:
• Step 1: Keep treats handy and ask your dog to sit before you open the door.
• Step 2: If they stay seated, reward them with a treat and lots of praise.
• Step 3: Practice this consistently so your dog learns that sitting calmly gets them what they want—your attention!

2. Ignore the Jumping:
• Step 1: When your dog jumps up, turn away and avoid eye contact.
• Step 2: Wait for all four paws to be on the ground, then immediately reward with a treat and attention.
• Step 3: Be consistent. Over time, your dog will understand that jumping gets them ignored, but staying down gets them love and treats!

3. Use a Target:
• Step 1: Hold a treat or favorite toy at your dog’s nose level.
• Step 2: Slowly move it to the ground and encourage your dog to follow it into a sitting or standing position.
• Step 3: Reward them once they’re calm and all four paws are on the floor. Repeat this until your dog starts to understand that good things happen when they keep their paws down.

4. Practice Calm Greetings:
• Step 1: Enlist the help of friends and family to practice.
• Step 2: Have your helpers enter one at a time, and only reward your dog when they remain calm and keep all paws on the ground.
• Step 3: Vary the practice sessions—sometimes with treats, other times with praise or a favorite toy—to keep your dog guessing and engaged.

5. Reward Quiet Behavior:
• Step 1: Pay attention to moments when your dog is calm and relaxed and reward them with treats and praise.
• Step 2: This helps reinforce the idea that calm behavior is the best way to get your attention and affection.

Remember, the key to success with positive reinforcement training is consistency and patience. Every dog learns at their own pace, so celebrate the small victories along the way. Before you know it, your dog will be the model of politeness, greeting guests with a calm demeanor and a wagging tail.

Happy training and enjoy the journey of transforming your excitable jumper into a well-mannered greeter! 🐾🎉