Why do puppies jump on you when you get home from work? Or why do they bounce and leap in excitement when a new visitor arrives in the house? This is their way of getting attention and receiving affection from humans and say “hello!”
When your new puppy has come home to your house, usually we let them nuzzle up to us, curl up in our laps and lick our faces. This is perfectly acceptable behavior because we are down at their level.
However, most of the time when you come home from work or you’re sitting in a chair, your puppy will come bounding over to you and jumps up to lick your face, in exchange for hugs, pats and kisses.
If you bend over and greet them to say hello when they are doing this, then you are rewarding them for the unnecessary behavior of jumping up on you.
Eventually, as your puppy grows older and gets bigger, you may want to stop this behavior because they are bigger and more rambunctious. What if grandma came over to see the puppy, and when he was a bit older he accidently knocked her over? Or what if a little child came running to play with the puppy and it knocked the child clean off their feet?
Obviously, when you think of how your puppy is all cute when it’s little jumping up on you, if this behavior isn’t eliminated when before it gets older, then you’ll have a hard time training your maturing dog.
Like all basic puppy training I’ve mentioned in this article, your puppy jumping on you to greet you must be taught that it’s not acceptable straight away.
Here’s how you do it:
Teaching Your Puppy To Sit
Placing a treat in your hand, walk over to your puppy and hold out the treat above them. As your puppy will be transfixed on their reward, as you hold out the treat above their head, they will automatically sit down to get a better view of the treat.
As your puppy goes to sit down, say “Sit!” in a stern, but kind voice. Sometimes, your puppy won’t get the hang of sitting down automatically, so get a family member to mould them in a sitting position on the floor, and at the same time, approach your puppy and hold the treat out directly above their head.
Each time your puppy successfully sits down, praise them affectionately and give them their treat. This process will take some time for the puppy to get used to, and as always keep the training sessions short to keep your puppy interested.
Like all training sessions with your puppy, these should be fun and exciting times for your dog.
After a while when your puppy has got used to sitting down on command, every time that they are about to jump up on you, tell them to sit. And then produce a treat to reward them for not jumping up.
Teaching Your Dog To Stay
If you’ve followed everything in this article to a tee so far, then you’ll find at this stage your puppy will be a lot more obedient than it first was. So teaching them to sit and stay, shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.
Step 1: Place your leash and collar on your dog, and have something that serves a common distraction and purpose for your puppy. The best example would be their favorite treat. Ask them to sit before adding the new command “Stay”.
Step 2: Kneel down to your puppy’s level, and restrain them by their collar or by kneeling on the leash. Hold out the treat at an arm’s reach in front of them. (You may like to have your puppy in their harness so they’re not choking or pulling on their neck.)
If they are pulling and trying to get the reward, just wait patiently. If your puppy holds the position correctly without pulling, praise them and say “good stay!”. Place the treat closer to them when they do this. The more the puppy squirms and tries to get the treat from your hand, the longer they wait to get it. Every time the puppy goes for the treat, hold the treat at an arm’s length away from your again.
Be calm and patient on the first few tries, however keep the training short and sweet. If your dog successfully stays the for period of time you wish (start off with say 5 – 10 seconds), say “OK” and release them to go to their reward.
You’ll probably have to do this a few times before moving on. Eventually, your puppy will connect the behavior of staying with the reward, and then they will find it more rewarding by staying and waiting, than getting it straight away.
Step 3: Stand up and hold your puppy’s leash close to you. Say “stay” and toss your puppy’s reward about 2 feet away from you so you can still reach it. While restraining your dog, wait for your dog to be calm and still.
When your puppy is calm and still, reach for their reward on the ground, and bring it back to them. (Some dogs will get excited and try and get the reward straight away when you reach for it. In this case, either drop the reward, or wait longer until they become still again.)
When your puppy is calm and staying properly, release them by saying “OK” and reward them.
Bringing The Training Together
When you have successfully taught your puppy to sit and stay, all you have to do now is when you greet him coming home from work, or a visitor greets them, give them the sit and stay command!
If you’re still having trouble, try and have some treats ready to distract the puppy’s excitement when somebody greets them. Display the treat to them and tell them to sit and stay. Then reward them for not jumping up on you.
Sometimes your puppy will need a lot more practice than once a day for when you come home from work. In this case, greet your puppy by coming home through the front door, practice the training with a few treats in your hand, get your dog to sit when you enter and reward them.
Then exit your house via the back door, and enter through the front door again. Repeat this process over and over until your puppy understands that jumping up on people is not acceptable. Eventually, try and wean out the treats and only reward them every second or third time.
Eventually, every time you come home, your puppy will automatically sit and wait for you to greet them.
Further Reading On Training Your Puppy Not To Jump Up On People:
- How to Stop Your Dog Jumping on Guests – LoveThatPet.com
- How to Stop a Dog From Jumping Up – QuickAndDirtyTips.com