Puppies jump up to say hello, quite simply. They don’t know how humans prefer to be greeted, and it never occurs to them that they might knock us over or ruin our clothes. Thankfully, consistent anti-jump training can quickly solve the problem for good.
Anti-jump training when you arrive home.
- Open the door a teeny bit. If your puppy jumps up, close the door.
- Repeat until you can step through the door without your puppy jumping up.
- If he jumps on you, turn away. If he keeps jumping, go back outside and start again.
- Whenever your puppy keeps four paws on the floor, praise and pet him.
Anti-jump training inside your house.
- When your puppy jumps on you, turn your back to him. Say, “Too bad” as you turn away.
- When he stops jumping, turn around to face him. If he jumps again, turn your back to him again.
- Repeat until he stops jumping. Then pet and praise him.
- If your puppy keeps jumping up when you turn your back, walk away from him, ignoring him completely. If he follows and jumps again, give him a time-out. Either close a door between you or put him in his confinement area for a minute or two. (The point is not that he is being bad, but that you won’t play when he jumps.)
Anti-jump training when visitors come to your house.
- When someone comes to the house, put your puppy on leash before you open the door.
- Open the door and invite the visitor in. If your puppy jumps up, tell him, “Too bad” and walk him away from the visitor. Once he calms down, let him try again.
- Leave the leash on your puppy during the visit. You don’t have to hold it the entire time, but if at any point during the visit your puppy jumps up on your visitor, grab the leash, tell your puppy, “Too bad” and walk him away.
- Remember to praise and reward him with pets and attention when he keeps four paws on the floor.
Anti-jump training when you meet people on the street.
- If your puppy jumps up on someone approaching you on the street, tell him, “Too bad” and walk a few feet away. When he settles, try again—if the person is willing.
The key to anti-jump training is consistency. You can end jump-up greetings for good if you turn away every time.
If your puppy is particularly exuberant when meeting people, ask him for a sit while he’s still a couple of feet away from the person he’d like to say hello to. Block your puppy from the person with your body if you need to buy time to focus your pup to set him up for success.
Be patient. It might get worse before it gets better. If your puppy has used jumping as his main way to say hello, it will take a little while for him to learn new ways.