Help! My dog is jumping at me.

Oct 20, 2017Help! My Dog Is...

“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.

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