Do you want to learn how to stop a dog from jumping up on strangers? This article is for you. A dog jumping on strangers can be unpleasant for both the owner and the person being “jumped on.” Not only that this can be very embarrassing, but the dog can be dirty and wet, and allowing it to jump on you will definitely rub dirt on your clothes and body.
Making the dog stop doing this is not a very simple task, especially if it has had this canine craze for a long time. However, don’t worry: It’s entirely possible to make your dog understand that he can’t (or shouldn’t) jump on strangers. So, let’s get to it.
Here are some tips or points we are going to be discussing here:
- Be calm, and don’t push the dog.
- Block the dog’s path.
- Do not fight or punish the puppy.
- When the dog goes down, interact with it.
- Avoid giving the dog attention (that’s what it wants).
- Early training is very important.
- Teach your dog basic commands.
- Institute positive reinforcement in socializing (and never punitive).
Let’s discuss and understand more about each of these points so that you can put them into practice and thus help your dog stop jumping on people. But before then, let’s look at why dogs jump up on people.
Why do dogs jump up on strangers?
Dogs often jump up on people as a way to greet them or get attention. While this behavior is natural for dogs, it can be frustrating or even dangerous for humans. Here are some common reasons why dogs jump up on people:
Excitement and enthusiasm
Dogs are social animals, and they like to show their excitement and enthusiasm for meeting new people or seeing familiar faces. Jumping up is an instinctive behavior that allows dogs to get closer to their human companions.
Dogs might jump up on people to get their attention. If they have learned that jumping up gets them what they want, they are likely to repeat the behavior.
Lack of training
Dogs that haven’t been trained not to jump up may not understand that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Training can help teach dogs alternative ways to greet people.
Fear or anxiety
Some dogs might jump up on people as a way to express fear or anxiety. This can be particularly common in dogs that haven’t been socialized properly or that have experienced traumatic events.
In some cases, dogs may jump up on people as a way to establish dominance or assert their position in the pack. This can be particularly common in dogs that have not been properly trained or socialized.
How to stop a dog from jumping up on strangers
Be calm, and don’t push the dog.
If your intention is to stop your dog from jumping up on you or strangers out of excitement, always stay calm and try not to push the dog away.
A dog jumping on people or strangers is not a situation that should be normal, although it happens frequently in many dog homes out there. In fact, whenever you see a dog jumping on strangers, it’s a sign that the dog wants something or is simply excited to see the person. But in some situations, it could even be canine aggression.
So if you want to stop your dog from jumping up on strangers, one of the main things you need to do is stay calm and do not push the dog down.
Block the dog’s path.
If the dog’s jumping up on people is going too far, it’s important to have some kind of blockade so that the dog doesn’t get what it wants. That is, you need to block the dog’s passage so that it cannot put its paws on the person’s waist or chest.
This blocking should happen naturally and without much interaction. Just put the leg in front (in the position where the dog goes to jump) and don’t let the dog reach the goal of “hugging” the person.
By putting your leg in front, you make a strategic block, and your dog feels like it couldn’t meet the goal. With time, the dog will stop making this move when it sees that its previous trials were blocked.
And also, it is advisable not to use your hands or make very sudden movements. This is because the less interaction you have with the dog at that moment, the better for you.
Do not fight or punish the dog.
If there’s one thing dog trainers or owners like to do when their dog jumps up on strangers, it’s to fight or punish the dog. However, this is not advisable, and punishing your dog can make it very stressed and anxious.
Believe me, dogs see jumping up on people as fun. And if the fun is matched by an extreme attitude from the tutor, the students might get confused and thus behave even worse.
So fighting or punishing your dog simply because it jumped on people out of excitement is one of the worst methods of training your dog. It may seem that the method is working because most dogs that you physically punish during training develop a fear of people, but in the long run, the dog will develop a timid, depressed personality and run at the sight of strangers.
In addition to not helping, it ends up hindering the development of adequate behavior. This is because fights and punishment tend to make the dog very uncomfortable, and it can do even worse things over time.
When the dog goes down, interact with it.
One of the most promising things you can do when your dog is jumping up on people is to encourage him to stop doing it. But this stimulus must come from positive reinforcement and not from punishment or punitive reinforcement.
For example, when the dog is jumping on you or someone else, ideally, you only interact with the dog when it has all four paws on the ground. Once it’s down, give him a treat or some praise.
Check out >> How to teach a dog to stand on hind legs
From the moment you reward this type of interaction, the dog starts to understand that he gets good things when he has all four paws on the ground.
Be careful not to miss the timing when the dog jumps on people. Do not force the dog to lower (push it) and do not fight with the animal. Stimulate the dog to come down to win a treat. Give only when it is in the position you want.
Avoid giving the dog attention (that’s what it wants).
When a dog is jumping up on strangers, it’s a sign that he wants attention and interaction.
The jumps, when not aggressive, are affectionate and playful. And so, every time the dog feels comfortable and happy jumping, it will condition the action and repeat it every time.
Therefore, when the dog is jumping up on people, do not pay attention to it. Do not interact with any kind of action or word. Even when you interact in a punitive way, the dog still understands interaction. The dog got what it wanted: your attention.
Training from an early age is essential.
If there’s one thing that’s important for a puppy’s life, it’s dressage.
Training your dog from an early age helps a lot when it comes to creating appropriate behaviors and positive conditioning. Even as a puppy, the dog tends to learn things more easily, as it does not yet have canine manias, and, therefore, it is easier to go “straight to the point.”
Read also: How to teach your dog to shake your hand
Therefore, if you are thinking about adopting a puppy or even if your puppy is already jumping up on people, it is important to intervene in a rational way. Make positive reinforcements; encourage the dog to stand on all four paws; and do not fight with the dog when it refuses your command.
Teach your dog basic commands.
When you teach your dog basic commands, it tends to be a much less stressed and anxious little dog. After all, you can always be in control of situations, so the dog doesn’t have to worry about that.
Basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and others tend to be very important in the long run. With these commands, you can control some situations in the dog’s daily life.
That is, when a dog is jumping up on strangers, for example, you can intervene with the “sit” command. Thus, the dog will stop immediately upon your command.
Also, read more about why some dogs are aggressive towards other dogs.
Institute positive reinforcement for conviviality (and never punitive).
And finally, of course, never institute punitive reinforcement during moments of your dog’s disobedience.
If you feel that your dog’s jumping up on people is embarrassing or going the wrong way, you can change that behavior by using positive reinforcement, not punishment. Otherwise, in addition to continuing to jump, the dog will also be anxious, stressed, and afraid of you.
Reinforcing a positive attitude will help your dog understand what it can and cannot do. That is, through rewards, the dog starts to act in a controlled manner since it knows it will get something good when it does this or that.
Dogs jumping up on people is a bad attitude for some tutors, but for the dog, it’s a good thing. The positive reinforcement for a dog to keep jumping up on people is the owner’s interaction. But when you want to stop your dog from jumping up on strangers, you must stop interacting and rewarding the dog for it.
What if the dog does not understand the command?
At first, the dog may not understand what he can and cannot do. After all, he will still be in the conditioning phase, and it may take some time before it brings results.
The most important thing is to be patient with your dog and keep teaching it what to do and what not to do. Gradually, it will understand!