How to Stop Your Dog Jumping up on People

We know our gorgeous pooches are just trying to be friendly when they charge at a visitor and try to give them a 20mph hug. We think it's adorable - but not everyone else does. Some folks just aren't 'dog people' and of course we must exercise caution when our dogs are around little children.

Bounciness is just part of what makes dogs so wonderful, but when they have to coexist with people who don't really appreciate the overexcited boinging of your little Tigger, it's time to get training.

Why do dogs jump?

Usually, dogs jump because they're excited (and we know it doesn't take much to get them there) and they want to 'greet' their new friend with enthusiasm. Any kind of reaction, whether positive or negative, only excites them further and extends the whole lively affair. Pushing them away or shouting makes them think it's a game, so the only sensible option is to...

...turn your back!

It might feel a bit mean at first, but when your dog starts jumping up at you, turn your back on them and fold your arms up, ignoring them completely.

They're trying to get your attention so by reacting this way, they're not achieving the objective. Don't make any eye contact or pay any attention until they've calmed down again. Once they're playing more peacefully, heap on the praise.

Get other people's help

When visitors arrive, ask them to adopt your back-turning policy as well. Don't feel awkward asking: they'll probably be glad that you're trying to control the situation. So many dog owners forget that not everyone is as crazy as we are about great big slobbery canine kisses.

Try and get everyone to be as consistent as possible so that your dog doesn't get confused about what's okay and what's not.

Use the lead

It's easier to control the jumping when you're on a walk. If your dog tries to jump up at someone while you're out and about, use the lead to gently pull them back to heel. You could even lead them away for a quiet word in their ear before going back to say hello again, giving them another chance. If they get it right the second time, remember to offer plenty of praise and maybe a treat or two.

Try not to jerk too hard on the lead and cause pain. Some people swear by this 'correction' method but you don't want your pooch to start associating new meetings with discomfort as this'll have a negative impact on their general sociability.

How long will it take?

As with most dog training, it really depends on the breed, age and level of springiness of your pup. Some will start to learn the new rules in just a few days whereas others might need several weeks of constant reminding. In either case, consistency will be the key so stick to your guns and reinforce your new rules whenever you get the opportunity.