Jumping Up

The environment that a dog lives in creates its personality to some degree. Therefore dogs raised in busy house holds with lots of excitement, children or other animals to chase, where adults encourage the dog to jump up, knowingly or not, where play-fighting and rough and tumbles on the floor with the dog are common place. These dogs are going to be boisterous.

Dogs raised in a house hold where things are done calmly, the games are Bouncy Castles controlled, the dog as plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, the owners use a crate or indoor kennel for time-out sessions to contain their dog and control situations, preventing the dog from becoming over excited. These dogs are going to be calm and well mannered.


Prevention is always better and easier than cure. It is better to behave in the same manner around a puppy as you would a full-grown adult dog. When greeting a puppy always go down to the puppies level in this way it as no need to jump up. Teach your puppy from day one that the correct way to greet you is to sit calmly and have a fuss. The same rules apply to rescue/re-homed dogs whether they are puppies or older dogs. Do not allow the dog to jump up for several days or weeks because he has not been taught any manners, it is your job to train the dog so start on day one by putting simple rules in place the moment the dog comes through the door. In this way you will not confuse the poor rescue, moor than he has been, when you suddenly decide that you have had enough. Use your dog lead or a house line for control, refer to your booklets or ask me.

The dog’s way of greeting each other

Packs of wild dogs have a hierarchy that every dog must follow to prevent the higher members of the pack attacking the lower pack members. When dogs return to the pack the lower members will lick the face of higher members in a submissive display saying I am no threat to you. When you return home your dog will want to lick your face in the same manner as a wild dog, his natural instincts are the same, and the only way he can do this is to jump up. If you respond in an aggressive way shouting and raging at the dog, you leave the dog with no option other than to repeatedly jump up to try and lick your face in an attempt to calm you down, the dog will continually try to tell you that there is no need to be aggressive, as I the dog am not looking for a fight with you the owner. Therefore if you always go down to the dogs level and greet your puppy/dog in a calm manner, there is no need for the dog to think it must jump up to greet you. You can train your dog not to lick your face by distracting his attention with a game instead of fussing the dog. It’s amazing how quickly a dog will learn to bring you a toy when you return home.

How to deal with the jumping up problem

The best plan of action is to totally ignore the dog when it jumps up, simply keep on walking through the house, do not speak, touch or even look at the dog.

When you get up in the morning and on every occasion that you return home totally ignore all the dogs attempts to gain your attention for at least 15 minutes or until the dog has been quietly lying down for 5 minutes. If it is necessary to let the dog out straight away, do it with out any form of contact, let it back in with out any contact. Make a cup of tea and drink it, before you make a fuss of the dog. When you do make a fuss do it calmly taking care not to encourage the behaviour that you are trying to cure.

If you find it difficult to ignore the dog or it is simply to boisterous walk either into a room allowing the dog to follow you, then walk out and shut the door, or go into the garden allowing the dog to follow and again go in and shut the door leaving the dog on its own. If shutting doors encourages the dog to scratch at doors then use a baby gate. The use of indoor kennels or crates as the dogs sleeping place also helps, as you do not let the dog out for the first 15 minutes and then you do it calmly.

Teaching your dog to sit on command is another good way of dealing with a dog that jumps up, if it is sitting it cannot possibly jump up.

The most contact that you should ever allow yourself is one firm get off as you continue walking, do not stop to praise the dog for getting off as that may well encourage it to jump up and lick your face to show its submission to you.

Do not push the dog off of you in an attempt to make it stop jumping up, as this will instigate a play fighting game encouraging the dog to be even more boisterous.

Do not say down if you use down as your command for the dog to lie on the floor. Dogs cannot understand the use of one word having two or three different meanings in the same way that we can.

Within 2 weeks the jumping up should stop. If it does not let me know and we will look at the problem in more detail.


If your dog gets excited about visitors and jumps up them, remove the dog from the door and put it in a room that the visitors are not going to go in. Invite your visitors in allow 15 minutes for the excitement to die down, then ask your visitors to all sit down with some titbits for the dog. Bring your dog in on a lead to give maximum control and ask each visitor to command the dog to sit and give a titbit for doing so. When the dog is calm take off the lead and carry on as normal. If the dog becomes excited again simply remove it from the room using a lead if necessary and put it in its bed.

Jumping up at strangers

Never allow your dog to jump up at any one, even if they don’t mind, this can lead dogs to jump up people that do not like dogs or cause serious problems if a dog jumps up at a child whose parents are horrified and accuse you of owning a dangerous dog. You should be aware that the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 states that any dog, no matter how large or small, and of any breed type including cross breeds and mongrels, only has to frighten someone (not actually bite), for you to be prosecuted.

If your dog does try jumping up at strangers use your lead to control the dog and ask dog friendly members of the public to reward your dog for sitting. Again a well-trained sit on command gives you the control you need to deal with the problem.