stoppingapuppyjumping

How To Stop A Puppy From Jumping Up

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Table of Contents - How to stop a puppy from jumping up

One joyous thing about being a pup is that you get to run, jump, and play to your heart’s content.

All puppies will jump, it is a playful, natural behavior. Heck, some puppies jump so much you wonder if they have got pogo sticks under their paws. 

how to stop a puppy from jumping up
Knowing how to stop a puppy from jumping up is important when you have small children.

They jump on furniture, chairs, beds, and most of all, you. This endearing, excited behavior is largely due to puppy exuberance, which is their way of communicating and playing.

However, when a puppy jumps up on your toddler or tries to get on your table and knocks everything over, suddenly, jumping up isn’t so fun anymore. 

If you’re how to stop a puppy from jumping up, you’ve come to the right place.

Often puppies will jump up and bite; in this guide we’ll teach you how to stop a puppy from jumping up.

We’ll look more closely at why puppies jump, and what you can do to keep those four little paws on the ground.

Puppy biting is a separate but similar issue, and stopping both jumping and biting can be taught in a positive way.

Why Puppies Jump

how to stop a puppy from jumping up
Everyone benefits from knowing how to stop a puppy from jumping up. If your family and guests are on board with this positive training method, you will be setting your puppy up for success.

Pups jump on you mainly because they are greeting you and want to get close to your face.

Face-to-face is how they greet their mother, and that’s how all dogs greet each other, so all your pup is doing is welcoming you home the same way. 

In addition, many dogs that jump up on people get a pat on the head or worse, get picked up, hugged, or kissed.

Anything positive you do when a puppy is jumping is reinforcing the behavior that jumping up on you gets them a reward. 

While getting jumping on and your face licked is something many dog parents tolerate, others don’t find the behavior so appealing.

You’ll then have to teach your puppy the proper way to greet you because if you don’t, your little pint-sized pup might grow into a tall, adult dog, and knock you or someone else over with the whole jumping thing. 

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Teaching Your Dog Not To Jump

Teaching your dog not to jump is relatively easy, and can be accomplished with tons of patience, and 100% consistency.

You cannot teach your dog not to jump 95% of the time, because all he will remember is that the 5% of the time, he gets away with it. 

how to stop a puppy from jumping up and to sit for attention

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Use a Positive Reinforcement based puppy training method

There’s no pushing your dog off, no kneeing your dog in the chest, none of that nonsense. Positive reinforcement simply means you reward your dog for the desired behaviour, and ignore the rest.

When a dog exhibits the desired behaviour, they are typically rewarded with a treat, praise, or attention. 

The reward reinforces the behaviour, making it more likely that the dog will repeat the behaviour in the future.

Positive reinforcement is an effective way to train dogs because it helps them to associate good things with desired behaviours. It is essential to use positive reinforcement consistently to see results and to vary the rewards based on what your dog enjoys. 

Teach your puppy “four on the floor,” which means four paws must be on the ground, either sitting or standing and if the puppy jumps when you pet him, back off and ignore him, only giving him attention when he is sitting or standing calmly. 

You can also fold your arms in front of your chest and turn your back. After your puppy calms down and stops jumping, turn around and try to pet them again.

If your puppy starts jumping again, do the same trick again. Do this consistently until it understands the consequences of this jumping behaviour is that he gets ignored.

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Have A Solid “Sit”

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If your pup is sitting, he cannot jump! Reinforce the “sit” command and distract him from jumping with treats.

If your pup is listening at all when he is about to jump, make him sit for treats or attention. Failing which, don’t give him any attention until you get what you are looking for. 

Obedience Training

If you haven’t trained your puppy to sit, it is one of the easiest things in the world to teach a dog. 

  • Stand in front of your puppy and show the treat in your hand. Let your puppy sniff the treat but don’t give it to him.

  • Move the treat up to the top of your puppy’s head slowly. When his head follows the direction of the treat, his butt will touch the ground.

  • When the puppy is sitting, say a verbal marker like “good!” and give the treat as a reward.

  • Repeat the process after your dog has gotten used to it without having a treat

  • Still, continue to say your marker and reward your puppy with praise or a pet when it finally sits down. 

  • Include the command “sit” and make a hand gesture after your puppy can sit well. If you are constant in this training, your puppy will begin to sit when you ask for it.

  • Don’t force them by pressing on their butts or anything.

  • Also, use one “sit” command consistently and don’t use different commands like “sit down” because it will confuse them.

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Ignore Them When They Jump

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When your puppy jumps, do not respond because they are most likely doing so to get your attention.

Don’t interact with them by talking or petting them because they will interpret it as a sign of attention.

Don’t even push them off, as this is touching them and still a form of attention.

Your puppy jumping on you is a request for attention. If they are not getting it, they will likely try something else. Any form of interaction or attention, even negative, is reinforcing the behavior that if they jump up, they get something from you. 

Wait until they have four paws on the ground, then give them attention or a treat. Don’t scold them, yell at them, or push them off. They might feel your negativity and get confused and anxious.

As a result, they may jump even more to try and placate you. The key is to completely ignore the jumping behavior. 

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Keep Calm

Puppies mirror our own emotions. If we greet them excited in a high-pitched voice, we’re only fueling their excitement and enthusiasm. If you want them calm, you’ll have to be calm.

Greet them in a low, calm tone when they are on the ground, and then pat them. 

Don’t pat them excitedly and trigger the excitement again, simply calmly stroke them and talk to them in a mellow voice. 

How to stop a puppy from jumping up – Get Everyone’s Buy-In

When your friends or family meet your pup, they may not mind getting jumped up on and may give your puppy a hug or affection as your pup is bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. This will completely derail all your training efforts so far.

Puppy Training has to be 100% consistent across the board with your visiting friends or family members that live in the same household.

Explain the process behind teaching ‘how to stop your puppy from jumping up’, so that their efforts mirror your own.

Prepare loads of treats for your visitors to reward your pup with when its paws are finally on the ground. 

How to stop your puppy from jumping up – Impulse Control Training 

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Everyone has impulses, and puppies have them in DROVES! They are not born with the inherent ability to control their impulses, and this has to be taught.

You’ll need to teach your puppy how to resist the temptation to behave in an undesirable way, like jumping up, stealing food, or chewing on something they shouldn’t.

Some other annoying behaviors for puppies usually show a lack of impulse control.

These behaviors include charging out the front door ahead of you, pulling on his leash, running at full speed to greet someone else, snatching at food or treats, jumping up, and chasing other animals. 

Training the “stay” or the “wait” command is invaluable in teaching your pup impulse control. Here are some exercises that you can do to help your pup learn and exhibit impulse control. 

  1. Waiting For Food

Never let your dog charge their nose into their bowl the moment you put it down. Have them in a sit-stay, and only let them eat when you release them from the stay.

  1. Sit For Reward, Always 

You’ll want your dog to sit for everything, not just a treat or physical reward. If he wants to go out for a walk, he has to sit while you open the door.

If you need to put on his collar or leash, he has to sit. If he wants to get into the car, sit while you open the door. 

Basically, you are making your dog sit nicely and calmly before anything good is going to happen, teaching more self-control behavior.

  1. Tug-Of-War

Most dogs love a good game of tug, and your pup is likely to be no different. Tug is a fantastic game to teach impulse control by adding a few new commands, the simplest of them being “drop it”.

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Teach the “drop it” command so your pup learns to release the toy periodically, then add another step by requesting the “down”.

The moment your pup goes into the “down” position, restart the game. Soon, your pup will understand that when the game is paused, the sooner he goes into a “down”, the quicker he gets to play again.

FAQ around How to stop a puppy from jumping up

How to stop a puppy jumping up on furniture?

There are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want your puppy jumping up on furniture –

  • They could injure themselves on the way back down
  • Damage your sofa
  • They will grow into a larger dog that will still jump on the couch; your guests might not appreciate this

If you want your puppy to sit calmly with you on the lounge, this behaviour can be trained.

The first step is to make sure your puppy has some amount of impulse control and an understanding of the ‘place’ or ‘bed’ command. 

Sometimes you won’t want your puppy jumping up on the couch – wet paws for example! First, train them to sit for attention as explained above, away from the couch at first.

Your puppy will quickly learn that good things and more importantly things they want, are likely to happen when they sit.

Don’t allow your puppy to practise the behaviour of jumping up on the lounge – it’s fun and rewarding.

Anything that your pup enjoys doing and does regularly, is likely to continue and become part of their daily routine.

This might mean utilising a crate, pen or having your puppy on a leash until they understand that the value for them, is not in jumping up on the couch.

Once your pup understands the behaviour of sitting for attention. Practise this behaviour with you sitting on the couch.

To change where the value lies for your puppy, you might scatter some of their favourite kibble or treats on the ground in front of the sofa.

The value then changes from jumping up to having all four feet on the ground. 

Be consistent and your puppy will quickly learn what behaviour results in the best outcome for them. 

How to stop a puppy from jumping up and biting clothes?

Puppies naturally want to grab at anything that is moving fast or that’s dangling; clothes, hair, jewellery, accessories, shoes etc are their favourites! 

This is a natural behaviour for puppies and a great outlet for their energy. We can train them to do this on-cue so that they know when they’re allowed to do it. Using a tug toy, say “get it!” and wiggle it around in front of them.

Your puppy will quickly learn that clothes that are moving around are not a cue to start jumping up and biting. Instead they will learn to wait until they hear the cue “Get it!”.

Our puppies also need to learn how to be calm in the face of moving objects and we can train calmness with some treats and a clicker. 

Sit down with your pup and when they are lying down calmly, click or say “niiiiiiice” in a drawn out and calm voice while slowly feeding them a treat. 

Now take an item of clothing and move it slowly so your puppy can see it but far enough away that they’re not tempted to bite it or jump.

If your puppy remains calm, say “niiiiiiice’ or click and slowly feed them a treat. 

This training aims to build a calm association with moving  clothing. The goal is that the puppy will do nothing when they see clothes moving nearby. As the puppy gets more skilled at leaving the clothing, you can move it more quickly and repeat the process. 

Eventually when you have a few repetitions of your puppy successfully leaving items of clothing in a stationary position. You can then stand up and move around with your puppy and show the other faster, erratically moving items of clothing. 

If your puppy grabs on to anything you’re working with place a high value treat by their nose and start the training over in a much calmer and slow moving training context. 

How to stop a puppy jumping up at dinner table or counter?

Teaching your puppy not to counter surf or pester people at the dinner table is an important life skill. 

Firstly, we teach our pup an attention noise. We can start training this by having our puppy on lead and placing a piece of low value kibble in a bowl nearby.

Let them go sniff and when they come to the end of the leash, make an attention noise (a high pitch sound is generally effective) and the moment they turn and orient back to you, click your clicker or say ‘yes’ and give them a super tasty treat.

Repeat this approximately 10 times. Your pup should be orienting back to you quickly and have an understanding that when they hear your attention noise, they should orient back to get a tasty treat. 

If you’re wondering how to stop a puppy from jumping up to get to food – get a bag of low value treats (not their favourite ones, perhaps just some of their kibble) and hold it out over their head.

Ignore them when they jump up and the moment they either sit or have four feet on the ground, say “yes” or click your clicker and feed a treat. 

When your dog is reliably not jumping up to get the food over their head; you can then take this to your counter or dinner table and repeat with human foods that they might commonly smell and be attracted to.

Dangle the food around the counter or table top and when your dog remains on the ground with at least their four feet on the floor, say “yes” or click and feed them a tasty treat. 

It’s important to keep food and anything tempting to your dog, away when they are not being supervised. This prevents them from rehearsing the jumping up behaviour and being rewarded for it.

If they get rewarded for jumping up on the counter or table with a feed of your roast chicken, while you’re still training the new behaviour, they will continue with their old behaviour. 

How to stop a puppy jumping up at a child?

If your child is old enough to be able to reward the puppy when they have four feet on the floor; teach your child to ignore or turn their back on the pup when they jump up and to say ‘yes’ or click and feed a treat to the puppy when they have four feet on the ground. 

If your child is a small toddler, who is not able to give commands or play an active role in the training process.

Have your puppy on leash during training and use our suggestions above for training an attention noise.

Use this noise to get the puppy to disengage from the toddler when they reach the end of the leash. Reward the puppy heavily the moment they orient back towards you after hearing the noise. 

You can also do the same training exercise that we recommended for stopping clothes biting. Sit down with your puppy and child, and calmly reward the dog when they ignore the child and instead sit or lay down calmly.

Ideally for the initial training sessions your toddler will be in a calm and slow moving frame of mind. Slowly build up to moments where your toddler is moving around and calmly reward the puppy for doing nothing.

Once again, don’t allow your pup to rehearse the behaviour of jumping up on your child. Have your pup in crate, pen or on leash when you’re not able to supervise the interactions.

Furthermore, if your child is in a high energy mood and your pup finds this particularly exciting; your puppy would be better off spending some time resting in a quiet space such as their crate or puppy pen.

How to stop a dog from jumping up on guests?

While your puppy is learning what behaviour you want them to do around guests; be sure to set them up for success while they’re still in the training phase. Perhaps you’d like your pup to be sitting calmly on their bed when your guests arrive.

This can be trained but initially, you should secure your dog in their crate, puppy pen or behind a baby gate when your guests arrive.

This preventative measure, will stop your puppy rehearsing the behaviours that you don’t want them to do in the future. 

When you don’t have guests arriving, teach your puppy the ‘place’ command. Throw some treats on their bed. Build value for the bed and your puppy will want to go there more.

When your puppy is reliably going to the bed when you throw a treat on there, add the cue “bed” and mark the moment their foot touches the bed with a “yes” or a click of your clicker. Simultaneously, feed them a super high value tasty treat. 

Start to reward them for staying on the bed and increasing the duration of this behaviour. After many repetitions of this training exercise, your puppy will start to reliably go to their bed when you ask them.

Start to introduce small distractions, like your partner walking into the room during training and build up to something exciting, like the door bell ringing.

Eventually the door bell can become a cue, that sends your dog to their bed. Now that’s pretty cool!

Is it normal for puppies to jump up?

Puppy biting and jumping is completely normal behaviour. As responsible dog owners we need to train our puppies to understand what behaviours we want them to do in certain contexts.

Initially puppy training should involve promoting calmness, disengagement and impulse control; these are all vital life skills to companions animals living in our homes. 

What does it mean when a puppy jumps?

When a puppy jumps they are usually excited or trying to get to something that they want or have been reinforced for when jumping in the past.

As dog owners we want to train our puppies to understand that to get something they want, they are more likely to get it, if they are calmly sitting or have four feet on the ground. 

How to stop a dog from jumping up on strangers?

Start training your puppy not to jump on strangers, by not allowing your puppy to rehearse this behaviour. Therefore when guests arrive place your puppy on leash, in a puppy pen or in their crate. 

When you don’t have guests or anything too exciting around to distract your puppy; train your puppy to sit for attention (explained above).

Also, train your puppy to respond to an attention noise (also explained above), this will help you to be able to disengage your puppy from strangers before they jump up.

You can then start the process of teaching your puppy to sit for attention with people other than yourself until they start to generalise this behaviour; your partner or close family members are a great place to start. 

Do puppies grow out of jumping up?

Puppies do not grow out of jumping. Puppies need to be trained to do the behaviours that we want them to do. Left untrained they will choose their own behaviours and these generally involve annoying traits like jumping, biting, barking etc.

The rebellious phase associated with adolescence will only exacerbate gaps in your puppy training. Ideally pups will learn the critical life skills of impulse control, calmness, place training and tolerance to frustration before entering this tumultuous and challenging phase. 

How to stop puppy jumping from jumping up on other dogs?

Training a puppy not to jump on other dogs is important for the safety of both the puppy doing the jumping and the potentially old and frail dog they’re jumping on!

Generally the older dog will react negatively to the puppy jumping by growling or biting them and the puppy will learn that they shouldn’t jump.

This is potentially okay providing the older dog isn’t too severe in their use of punishment; potentially injuring the puppy or killing them.

Similarly, if the puppy is particularly sensitive they might respond quickly to this negative response, stopping the jumping behaviour immediately.

However, some puppies are more determined and will still jump, this can frustrate the other dog and if it’s a smaller dog, could result in injury.

For these reasons, it’s important to supervise interactions between puppies and older dogs. If your pup is too boisterous, don’t allow them to run and jump in the backyard with the other dog, instead let them out separately.

And when inside, keep your pup on leash and reward them whenever they disengage from the other dog. Teaching an attention noise will be very helpful.

How to stop a puppy from jumping up off couch?

Stopping a puppy from jumping off the couch is vital to their safety and long term joint health.

The best way to teach your puppy not to jump off the lounge is to firstly avoid them rehearsing jumping off. To do so, pick them up and place them down calmly, when they are moving between the floor and the lounge. 

Excitement will generally be the emotion associated with leaping off the couch, therefore encourage calmness while your puppy is on the lounge. It should be a place that is associated with calmness and not play. Feed treats and calmly stroke your puppy when they are calm on the sofa. 

Make sure you toilet your puppy regularly (every 30 minutes or so when they’re 8 weeks old). If they need to toilet and are in the routine of potty training, they might jump off to relieve themselves. 

Applying these training tips will help you to avoid big vet bills and injuries associated with puppy falls like:

  • Jaw injuries
  • Sprains to the wrists, ankles and knees
  • Soft tissues injuries or strains
  • Tail fractures
  • Broken bones
  • Head injuries
  • Internal injuries 

Letting a small breed dog like a Cavoodle, Spaniel, Maltese terrier or Poodle jump off the lounge regularly can worsen luxating patellars and surgery to fix this can run into the $1000’s.

Similarly, larger breeds like labradoodles, groodles, bordoodles, bernedoodles, golden retrievers, labradors, sheepadoodles etc are prone to hip dysplasia which can be exacerbated by jumping off lounges, steps etc. 

Final Thoughts on How to stop a puppy from jumping up

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Having a puppy is a lot of fun, but can also be a lot of work! By taking a few firm, consistent steps, you can set the stage for your new best friend to be a model canine citizen.

If you’re having behaviour problems and you’re still wondering how to stop a puppy from jumping up, find a qualified canine behaviourist to help create a training plan.

Good luck, and have a blast! 

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