Stop Jumping Up

First, I would like to say that it is not necessary to punish a dog for jumping!
If your dog is jumping up on people or you for that matter, then he just has not learned what he is supposed to do.

Usually dogs jump up on people because they are excited and want to see you. However, if you give the dog attention (positive or negative) for jumping up on you, your dog WILL continue to jump up. Sure you could punish, but this would just damage your relationship and would teach the dog to fear you or others. Why not just ignore and let him jump and WAIT until he jumps down to reward. You are still sending him a message and the message is: as long as you jump, I will not pay attention to you. You are telling your dog that you do not like the behavior of jumping. As soon as your dog jumps down (he will jump down EVENTUALLY because you are boring and unavailable), you WILL reward him with your attention (what a good dog, here is a cookie, or play with him). Reward your dog for being on the ground. In the beginning reward right away, then later reward after the dog is on the ground for a few seconds. You do not want your dog to get into a pattern of: jump up, sit down, get treat. You do not want him to link the jumping with the sitting. So, to separate the two behaviors wait a few seconds while the dog sits, and then click and treat that.

Second, reward your dog whenever he is on the ground already. Reinforce him for being down BEFORE he jumps up. Have others reinforce your dog for being down on the ground, before he jumps.

I would say that if you do not want your dog to jump up on you or others, then you should NEVER allow it at all! I try to make things as black and white for my dogs. Either yes you can, or no you cant. Not maybe sometimes, as that is just too confusing!

If you do canine freestyle and your dog is allowed to jump on you as a trick, then I would say to get that behavior under stimulus control and have it on CUE!!! This way your dog will not just jump up on you at any time, but rather he will jump up on you when you give the cue.

If you have any questions on training your dog, consult a clicker or positive reinforcement trainer in your area. If you live in the San Diego area, give me a call at (619) 888-3139 or email me at

Have a great time training your dog!

Pam, Isabelle, & Bandit