Help! My dog is jumping at me.

Help! My dog is jumping at me.

“Down! Fiffi down! Fiffi! Dow..down..DOWN!” But Fiffi keeps on jumping up at you when you are coming home? Then I have some good and some bad news for you: Good news always first: An effective workaround for your problem exists, and this article brings you closer to it.

Bad news: There isn’t just that one magic trick to disclose which makes your dog stop from jumping up at you. And I’m gonna tell you why: Every dog has his very own personality and is a unique character. So you need a proper solution suitable for your very own dog.

Why do dogs jump up at us? Dogs are jumping up at us because they want to greet us, they are very happy to see us, they want to say hello directly to our face. That’s how they interact with other beings, dogs are very body-related creatures and playful – so jumping at you for a kiss in your face is a passionate greeting. And of course, all they want is your attention!

Although there isn’t a magic trick to fix the jumping problem, there are basic rules to help you get the right settings for your training.


Basic Rules to make your dog stop jumping up at you

  1. Exercise your dog physically and mentally before you teach him something new
  2. Impulse control: only pay attention to your dog when all 4 feet are on the ground
  3. The right timing: the moment to stop an unwanted behavior is the very moment before the unwanted behavior occurs, so watch your dog closely
  4. Always make eye contact when you working with your dog
  5. Find the best alternative behavior to jumping at you specifically for your dog
  6. Be extra patient and consequent: this will take a while, give your dog enough time to understand the new situation. It’s hard for him to not jump at you anymore.



Firstly and most important to understand: The whole trick is not about stopping the actual jumping, it is about what behavior your dog shall do instead of the jumping. If you want to make your dog stop a certain behavior, you have to tell him which wanted behavior he shall do instead of. Put yourself in your dog’s shoes: As long as he has just the choice between several joyful and love expressing jumps at you and between a simple and boring “down” – he apparently chooses to jump at you. So he needs an alternative in behavior for the jumping which he likes to choose instead.

Which alternative in behavior is the right one for your dog?

To figure out which alternative to jumping up at you is the best for your dog specifically, we have to see the bigger and beautiful picture – the personality of your dog. Let’s have a closer look at possible and suitable solutions:

A very cuddly and normally rather calm dog might be very happy about the alternative to stay on the ground and get a decently long welcome-cuddle along with your lovely voice fluting him how happy you are being back at home with him.

A very obedient dog might be very pleased by getting your attention for just sitting down and getting rewarded with a treat and your voice and then following you along in your home.

A powerful high-energy dog who has a penchant for getting 


over-excited pretty quickly might not even consider staying down and getting cuddled as an alternative to jumping up at you – it’s not exciting enough. He rather might be happy about doing some exciting circles directly in front of you and getting some whoop whoop from you for that.

A highly intelligent dog might be way too clever to just staying down and enjoying cuddles or doing some simple circles. He might be happy to transform his excitement of greeting you home into a few different more difficult tricks in a row, showing you how clever he is.

You also might have a dog who in general might not respect your physical boundaries in any situation at all and therefore needs some basic training regarding that issue in the first place.

Don’t skip the important steps of a solid fundamental training! A basic training a few times a week is essential to master the bigger challenges.


Might be? Why always just “might be”?

Because I can just outline some rough examples in this article, but you have to take all the important aspects of your dog’s personality into consideration. And the personality of your dog is not the only factor to take into account for finding an appropriate behavior to replace the jumping with. Breed / breed-mix, age, physical condition, environmental surroundings and other individual conditions have to be considered as well. And of course, you have to be able to understand and speak your dog’s language to respond properly and in time to finally have the conversation “Please stop jumping at me and do this and that instead!”.

Be creative, make it suitable and fun!

Be creative, work with your dog’s unique energy! If you have a dog who is passionate about carrying things around, use his passion as a baseline for alternative behavior.  So when you come home, teach him to follow you to your car with the purpose of helping to empty the trunk by getting the shopping bags out of the car and inside the house. A much more interesting and exciting alternative to jumping up for such a dog! And even if you didn’t go shopping that day, have a lil something for your dog in your trunk he can carry inside.

Regarding creativity in finding the right alternative in behavior, the sky’s the limit. Make it fun for your dog, choose an alternative in behavior he is thrilled about performing. It pays off very soon and will be more fun for you, too.

I’d be happy to help you with learning your dog’s language and finding the right alternative in behavior to jumping up at you for your dog specifically.

Help! My dog is not tolerating ear care

Help! My dog is not tolerating ear care

If your 4-legged housemate refuses to tolerate ear care, you need to work on that, because ear care is important his whole life. Although it’s low maintenance, it has to be done regularly to keep your dog healthy. The goal: you want your dog to tolerate you examine his ears and wipe them gently, if necessary. But how can you realize that when your dog just runs away or starts playing as soon as you are about to check his ears? The following 8 steps explain how to manage that.
Essential & most important: Please always make sure that each ear-care-training session ends with a positive experience for your dog, like lots of extra cuddles. You never want to rush him! You rather would take smaller steps or go one / a few steps back instead of making him run away once. It’s all about building trust and this naturally and simply can’t be quickened. A patiently and love-powered change in behavior is the sustainable one.

8 Steps to Make Your Dog Tolerating Ear Care

1. Exercise & Feed Your Dog

First of all, a tired dog is more likely to tolerate an examination of his ears than a well-rested, hungry and full-of-energy dog. What you need is a calm dog in a sleepy mode. So make sure you’re just back from a long nice walk in the evening, that your dog got some mental exercise as well and, of course, that he is stuffed. It will be way easier for the both of you that way.

2. Be Far-Seeing and Prepared

As it is your goal to have a closer look at your dog’s ears, you need some light (and later some clean clothes). Prepare for that, switch on the light in the area of the room he will have his rest and deposit your cleaning equipment before your dog lays down. When he finally goes to his bed, you are already well prepared without making him nervous by approaching him with headlamp and wipes.

3. Take Small Steps: Pet Ears & Head

When your dog so far refused you to check on his ears, you probably won’t be able to change that at a moment’s notice. You need to take small steps. Start the whole process with something he likes: just pet his ears when he is resting. Laud him with your voice when he stays still and tolerates the touching of his ears. Your dog does not even like to get pets on the ears? Please check with your vet that there is no medical reason for that behavior in the first place. If he is healthy, start with the area around the ears and work your way up to the ears.

4. Always Watch Your Dog Closely

Be mindful and watch him closely. As long as he keeps on lying still and is relaxed, you can intensify the contact with the ears.  When he gets nervous or in motion, stop the ear touching and just stroke him gently on his favorite spot to calm him down again.

5. Be Patient

You should only go one step further when your dog is really comfortable with the last step, so watch him closely read his body language. Be always ready to go one or a few steps back – that’s pretty normal and totally wanted. Be patient. You want your dog to be comfortable with the ear care to make his and your own life much easier.

6. Combine The Pets With a First Glimpse In One Ear

While stroking the ears, try to have a look in the ears by holding one ear in your hand, firmly but smooth between thumb and pointer, and gently expose the whole outer ear and have a short look in it. Don’t just concentrate on your work touching the ear, talk to your dog in a calm and friendly voice and just tell him what you are doing “Hi homie, I’m trying to convince you to tolerate or even like ear care – our life will be better if you will do so.”. If your dog keeps lying still, rewards him again with words and extra strokes.

7. Examine The Outer Ear

This time you expose the outer ear again and look in it for a bit longer, by just having a cotton ball/piece of clean clothes in your other hand (as you are well prepared, you don’t have to get up to get your tools and can keep up the cozy atmosphere). Give it a careful but firm try to wipe the outer ear. That’s exactly what you want him to tolerate. So reward him again with your voice if he is lying still. If your dog gets excited and starts moving and you can’t calm him down with rewarding words, you just go one / a few steps back.

8. Don’t Act Awkwardly

It’s important to not act awkwardly. If you hide your tools behind his back, you will rather arouse his attention then anything else. If he is interested in your equipment, let him have a sniff. There is nothing to hide from him because nothing bad will happen. If you managed to wipe his ears, most dogs are quite keen on sniffing what you just removed from his body. That’s natural and very doggish. Just let him have a sniff at his own earwax and dirt. That will make him feel more comfortable because he kind of understands whats happening.

It’s All About Trust!

I myself made the experience, that dogs love the ear care in the end. Cleaning another dog’s ears is a gesture of affection for dogs, it is a part of grooming and they feel comfortable with that. So use this to your advantage, even if it seems a bit wiggy to us. If you combine it with pets and extra love instead of making it a necessary it-has-to-be-done procedure, it’s rather likely that your dog will enjoy it.

If you need any help with convincing your dog to tolerate ear care, feel free to contact me anytime.

Got something to work on?

Angelina Behrendt

@ Vancouver, Canada


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