Rent safe and private dog parks hosted by locals

  1. Home
  2. Blog
  3. Dog Training
  4. How to Train a Dog Not to Jump

How to Train a Dog Not to Jump

David Adams photo

David Adams

December 31, 2023

Dog Training

How to Train a Dog Not to Jump thumbnail

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Jumping up is a common behavior for dogs, and it happens for many reasons. Whether they are excited, want attention from people, are seeking information, or are nervous or anxious, dogs aren’t out to behave badly. It’s common for dogs to jump up when they encounter new people, for any of the reasons listed above. Jumping is a totally normal canine behavior, especially for puppies, and it’s good to remember this if it becomes an issue we would like to work on.  

The rules of engagement

If you like your dog jumping up to greet you, remember that you make the rules in your house. Encourage the behaviors that you like with positive reinforcement (in this case, your attention) and add a cue for your dog, like patting your lap or chest, to indicate that’s how you’d like to interact with them. 

Jumping can be an issue when very young or older people are involved. Knocking humans over, causing injury, or frightening people are valid concerns. To help your dog stop jumping up, work to establish an alternative behavior that is incompatible with jumping, such as sitting or lying down. Positive reinforcement based training provides an engaging and fun way for you to work with your canine bestie to establish new habits.

Management

Management is an integral part of any training plan. Simply put, management gives your dog access to a space where they are not able to rehearse the behavior you are trying to eliminate, work on, or replace. This is especially important for puppies as they learn to navigate a human world. 

Use management when jumping is likely to occur, such as when people are arriving (home from work, guests, or people working in the home). 

Put up a baby gate or exercise pen, or close a door to restrict sections of the house or keep the dog in one room. If your dog is crate trained, sending them to their cozy crate is a good option to avoid jumping. 

Provide your dog with a space to engage in an activity on their own that they find enjoyable and fulfilling, like working on a long lasting chew, a lick mat, or other food enrichment toy. Licking, chewing, foraging, and sniffing are all relaxing activities for dogs that encourage calm behavior. 

If it is difficult for your dog to be separated from you inside of the house, reach out to a credentialed trainer who utilizes modern, science-backed, humane training methods. 

Management takes the pressure off of the human and the dog by providing a space where the jumping behavior cannot be rehearsed, and time for everyone to be calm.

If you’re having a hard time entering your home without your dog jumping on you, first consider if there is a better way to manage their access to you when you get home. Exercise pens can expand to block a longer area and may provide a good barrier to let you get in the door.

Scattering a handful of kibble or some small treats on the floor is an easy way to reinforce your dog for keeping their feet on the ground. 

Sniffspot Dog running on field

Get safe exercise for your dog by renting a private dog park near you

What to do if your dog does jump on somebody

You won’t be able to remove every opportunity for your dog to jump up. Be it an interesting space they’d like to investigate (like a countertop), or a person they meet, if your dog is prone to putting their front feet up, work with them to modify the behavior.

If your dog is on a leash, avoid pulling them back, especially if they are wearing a collar. Pulling all of the slack out of the leash may also make it easier for the dog’s front feet to leave the ground. Ensure the leash is secured but still has slack as much as possible. 

Here’s how to redirect your dog after they have jumped up:

  1. Move your body backward in an inviting and encouraging way, calling your dog to you. 
  2. Provide treats down low or on the ground when they are close to you. 
  3. Cue your dog’s incompatible behavior (sit or down).
  4. Provide treats down low or on the ground as soon as they perform the behavior.

If your dog is excited and likely to jump again if you approach the object or person, simply walk the other way and provide treats and/or praise for following you. Take note of the things that make your dog more likely to jump up so that you can work those situations into your training. Seek out a qualified trainer if you need help creating a training plan. 

Training

Set yourself and your dog up for success by making training treats easy to access. Place small containers of treats around the house where jumping is most likely to occur, like by the door you generally enter. Dogs continue to engage in behaviors that are reinforced, and treats and attention are the easiest way to reinforce a behavior. 

Always begin training sessions in a low-distraction environment, such as inside the house. Keep each session short and positive. Training is a wonderful bonding activity–you and your dog will both learn a lot!

Positive reinforcement for four on the floor

Provide your dog with a few small treats when they keep all of their feet on the floor (a.k.a. four on the floor) in these common jumping zones. Tossing treats directly on the floor is an easy way to accomplish this. 

Do not engage with your dog when they are jumping up and you don’t want them to. There is no need to push, kick, or punish your dog. Removing your attention can send the desired message if attention is what they are after. See if you can stand still and wait for them to make a different decision. 

If your dog has a solid sit or down, cue one of those behaviors after all of their feet touch the floor, then provide treats. 

Teach cues for “up” and “off”

It may be useful to have a cue that means “please put all of your feet on the floor.” Teaching your dog how to get up on an object and then off is one way to accomplish this. 

Use a low bench or piece of furniture that your dog is familiar with and is easy for them to get on for this exercise. To teach “up” and “off”:

  1. Use inviting body language (such as patting your hand on the surface) and encourage your dog to get up on the platform you’ve selected. 
  2. Provide treats and/or praise.
  3. Move your body backward and use inviting body language and an encouraging tone of voice. 
  4. Provide treats on the floor.

Repeat this sequence until your dog is familiar with it. Then add verbal cues such as “up” for step 1 and “off” for step 3. 

Since the “off” cue is reinforced when all feet are on the ground, it can be practiced if the front feet leave and then land on the ground. If your dog puts their front feet up on something or someone, cue “off,” and provide treats on the ground. 

Move at your dog’s pace. If they do not understand a verbal cue, avoid repeating it. Help them succeed by using your personality, inviting body language, and providing treats and/or praise. 

Calm greeting setups

If greeting guests without jumping is difficult for your dog, use management to help them. Have a person your dog sees often (such as another person they live with) help your dog practice greeting in a calm manner. Practice approaches in a low distraction environment first. 

Note: Ensure your dog is wearing equipment that will not cause damage (e.g. a well-fit harness) if they pull at the end of leash or tether.

  1. Leash or tether your dog, keeping slack in the lead. 
  2. Have the greeter approach calmly.
  3. If the dog is able to keep all of their feet on the floor, scatter treats on the ground for them.
  4. If the dog is jumping, back away and approach again.
  5. Repeat Steps 1-4.
  6. After a few successful approaches, cue sit or down when the greeter approaches.
  7. Provide treats on the floor/ground.
  8. If the dog can stay down, allow the greeter to move closer and touch the dog (if the dog is comfortable being reached for and enjoys being touched).
  9. Repeat Steps 6-7.
  10. Practice this training exercise in progressively more distracting environments and with new people when your dog is ready. 

It’s important to work with your dog in a way that allows them to succeed. Save greeting guests for later.

Stationing behavior

Teaching your dog to go to a certain place, known as a stationing behavior, is another way to teach behavior that is incompatible with jumping. The station could be a mat, rug, bed, crate, or any space you’d like your dog to go lie down and chill out.

Stationing (place) is trained using positive reinforcement. Force or aversive equipment is not necessary. 

Get your dog the safe enrichment they need by renting a Sniffspot

Sniffspot Dog swimming in pool

Setting your dog up for success

Management is key when working on changing your dog’s behavior. You may also need to work with the people in your life so they understand how to engage with your dog in a way that helps them succeed. A place or stationing behavior is also management. Any behavior or setup that provides your dog, your guests, and your family calm spaces are worthwhile endeavors. 

Remember that all dogs are individuals with their own preferences. Not all dogs like to be approached or touched by strangers. When you advocate for your dog’s needs, everyone wins.  If they are not comfortable being approached, reached for, or touched, let approaching humans know this. Practice a u-turn behavior with your dog so you can quickly change directions and avoid situations they are not comfortable with. 

Managing your dog’s environment and teaching your dog to perform behaviors that are incompatible with jumping are both forms of management. Management is more than baby gates and crates, and the purpose is always setting your dog up to succeed and have positive experiences. 

As previously mentioned, if you need help working with your dog, find a qualified trainer to be part of your team.

Trainer that reviewed this article

There is so much misinformation out there, we want to make sure we only provide the highest quality information to our community. We have all of our articles reviewed by qualified, positive-only trainers. The trainers that review our content are reviewed by other trainers to ensure that we have the best quality filters on our content. 

This is the trainer that reviewed this article:

Lindy Langum
Founder - K9 Fun Club Staff Trainer - Summit Assistance Dogs Certified in Canine Studies (CSS), NW School of Canine Studies

Sniffspot Dog running on field

Get safe exercise for your dog by renting a private dog park near you

David Adams photo

David Adams

December 31, 2023

Dog Training

About Sniffspot

Sniffspot is a community marketplace that enables anyone to rent land by-the-hour as a safe and private dog park.

Follow us

Find Sniffspot on your favorite social media

TiktokInstagramFacebookYoutube
Related articles
How to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety thumbnailHow to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety
The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnailThe Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks
Uncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA thumbnailUncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA
All categories

Most recent articles

How to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety thumbnailHow to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety
How to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety thumbnail

How to Train a Service Dog for Anxiety

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnailThe Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks
The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks to plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

Uncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA thumbnailUncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA
Uncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA thumbnail

Uncover the 50 Most Dog-Friendly Cities in the USA

With the percentage of households with dogs rapidly rising in the USA, it's never been more important to know the most dog-friendly cities. An estimated 65 million households in the US own at least one dog, and pet lovers value their pets feeling welcome where they live.

Moving with Dogs: Essential Tips and Trends in 2024 thumbnailMoving with Dogs: Essential Tips and Trends in 2024
Moving with Dogs: Essential Tips and Trends in 2024 thumbnail

Moving with Dogs: Essential Tips and Trends in 2024

Relocating to a new home can be a daunting task, especially when you have a four-legged friend to consider. So, we analyzed responses from Sniffspot users to get their best dog-friendly moving tips and advice.

Navigating Dog-Friendly Travel in 2024: Data, Insight, and Expert Tips thumbnailNavigating Dog-Friendly Travel in 2024: Data, Insight, and Expert Tips
Navigating Dog-Friendly Travel in 2024: Data, Insight, and Expert Tips thumbnail

Navigating Dog-Friendly Travel in 2024: Data, Insight, and Expert Tips

We know dog owners navigate the world a little bit differently. Whether they're planning a family outing or a week-long getaway, dog-friendly travel has its challenges. From pet policy changes and extra fees, finding dog-friendly travel isn't as straightforward as you might think.

The Most Dog-Friendly Airlines For Flying With Your Pup thumbnailThe Most Dog-Friendly Airlines For Flying With Your Pup
The Most Dog-Friendly Airlines For Flying With Your Pup thumbnail

The Most Dog-Friendly Airlines For Flying With Your Pup

Traveling with your dog can be a rewarding experience, but what do you do when adventure calls you to a place that’s a bit too far for a drive? If you're a pet-owner who want to jetset with your pup, then you’ll want to find the best dog-friendly airlines.

Top dog guides per area

Dog training guides

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog ever growl when you walk by their food dish? Maybe they get possessive of treats, carrying them far away and giving you side-eye when you start to approach — or snarling at your other pets or children if they get too close.

Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

Comprehensive Guide to Scent Training for Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

As almost every dog owner is aware, the nose of a dog is an amazing thing. Just as they can pick up sounds we can’t hear, their sense of smell and ability to pick up scents is well beyond ours. In fact, dogs have 40 times the number of olfactory receptors as humans.

How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog? thumbnail

How Much Does it Cost to Train a Service Dog?

More than 80 million Americans rely on their service dogs to help them navigate the world. Task-trained assistance animals perform a huge range of life-changing—in many cases, life-saving—services: These dogs act as eyes for visually impaired handlers, provide mobility support, alert to seizures and blood sugar crashes, interrupt anxiety attacks, remind their people to take medications, and so much more.

What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression thumbnail

What is and How to Handle Potty Training Regression

You thought your dog was house trained. Your home was clean, those dreaded middle-of-the-night bathroom breaks were behind you, and you loved every minute of dog ownership… until your four-legged best friend started using the bathroom inside again. What’s going on?

Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop? thumbnail

Coprophagia: Why Does Your Dog Eat Poop?

Ah, poop. We humans think it’s disgusting… but many of our dogs seem to love the stuff. If you’re wondering why your canine companion tries to eat feces (either their own or that of other animals) you’re not alone!

Dog enrichment guides

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Dog Water Parks in the United States

Do you have a water-loving dog looking to burn some energy? There are countless dog parks to visit throughout our country — but some of them become far too hot in the midday sun to be safe for your pets to play. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best dog water parks throughout the United States! At these locations, your pup can frolic, splash, and swim to their heart’s content.

Best Toys for Herding Dogs thumbnail

Best Toys for Herding Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

The Best Dog Toys for Aggressive Chewers (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog destroy every toy you give them? Is your house littered with remnants of fabric and stuffing of all different sizes? Are you tired of investing in “indestructible” toys only for your pup to still dismantle (or worse, get bored of) them in just a few days?

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need? thumbnail

Dog Exercise Calculator: How Much Exercise Does Your Dog Need?

You’ve been told your dog needs regular exercise. There’s a reason “walking the dog” is a classic daily activity: Frequent excursions give your pup a chance to experience the world, maintain a healthy weight, and — most importantly — spend time with you! Consistent physical activity can also improve their strength, muscle tone, coordination, and mental ability over time.

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs thumbnail

Complete Guide To Herding With Dogs

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Dog reactivity guides

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It thumbnail

Rottweiler Aggression: Signs, Causes, and How to Handle It

Many dogs have gotten a bad reputation over the years for being "dangerous breeds." Rottweilers are among them. Much like pit bulls and other large, blocky-headed types of dogs, these powerful and beautiful animals are often assumed to be aggressive.

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity thumbnail

Dog Reactivity Chart: Understand and Fix Dog Reactivity

Your dog is reactive. They’ll see another dog, person, or other stimulus in the environment (like a car or bike) while out on a walk and suddenly go crazy at the end of their leash. The barking, lunging, and growling feels embarrassing for you — and it’s clear that your pup isn’t having a great time either.

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog thumbnail

How to Socialize Your Reactive Dog

* All Sniffspot articles are reviewed by certified trainers for quality, please see bottom of article for details *

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity? thumbnail

Definitive Guide: What is Dog Reactivity?

Do you have a reactive dog or suspect you may have one? You’re not alone!

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic) thumbnail

How to Deal With Food Aggression in Dogs (Facts + Infographic)

Does your dog ever growl when you walk by their food dish? Maybe they get possessive of treats, carrying them far away and giving you side-eye when you start to approach — or snarling at your other pets or children if they get too close.

Sniffspot community guides

The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States thumbnail

The State of Public Dog Parks Across the United States

From 2009 to 2020, there was a 40 percent increase in the development of public dog parks. Designated spots for canine exercise have become commonplace in every major city in North America — many pet owners won’t even consider renting an apartment that doesn’t have its own fenced-in pet area for their canine companions.

How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs thumbnail

How This Family is Affording Their Dream Property Through Renting it Hourly to Dogs

Thousand Oaks, California has been a safe haven for Sniffspot host, Jen, since childhood. Having grown up in busy Santa Barbara, Jen, an introvert from an early age, would seek out solitude and serenity away from tourists attractions and droves of people visiting from elsewhere. “My grandparents own 60 acres about a 30 minute drive from here, and I grew up spending every summer and every holiday visiting them on the ranch,” Jen explained. “In Santa Barbara, we wouldn't go to the beach on the weekend because that's where everybody was, so you'd find places off the beaten path where the tourists weren't. For me, the ranch was just my happy place.” 

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me thumbnail

Host Tips: Ellen K. What Makes Sniffspot Successful for Me

Ellen is the host of Country Pasture Getaway, one of Sniffspot's most popular sniff spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great sniff spot host.

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs thumbnail

How this Oregon Farmer is Making a Business From Renting Her Land to Dogs

Just 20 minutes outside of the busy city of Portland, Oregon, and settled right on the banks of the Columbia River, you’ll find what countless visitors have flocked to the area in search of – mountain views, crisp, clean air, and running water for miles. What you might not expect to find, however, is a hidden oasis designed just for dogs and their people, owned and operated by a farming couple and enjoyed by visitors on two legs, and four.  

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot thumbnail

Host Tips: Fran T. Providing Great Guest Service at our Spot

Fran is the host of Ranch Setting, one of Sniffspot's most popular spots. She has taken the time to write up the lessons she has learned about how to be a great Sniffspot host.

Top dog trainers in the US

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in the United States of 2023

Welcome to the United States Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in the United States based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used.

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in New Jersey of 2023

Welcome to the New Jersey Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in New Jersey based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Michigan of 2023

Welcome to the Michigan Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Michigan based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Washington of 2023

Welcome to the Washington Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Washington based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023 thumbnail

The Best Dog Trainers in Florida of 2023

Welcome to the Florida Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2023. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Florida based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 55,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. To learn more about our dog trainer contest, feel free to view the dog trainer contest post.

City dog parks guides

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Indoor Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for a space to play with your dog no matter what the weather’s like outside? Look no further than our list of the best indoor dog parks in the United States! These climate-controlled spaces are growing in popularity as pet ownership increases throughout the country. As a bonus, many of them also offer dog training, boarding, grooming, or daycare services on the premises.

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States thumbnail

The Best Off-Leash Dog Parks in the United States

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered! It’s hard to narrow down, but we’ve put together some of the best off-leash dog parks throughout the country so you can plan your next adventure — along with a checklist of what to bring, what to know beforehand, and some frequently asked questions.

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Las Vegas, Nevada Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Las Vegas? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks to plan for your next adventure in Sin City.

The Best United States Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best United States Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog? We’ve got you covered!

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks thumbnail

The Best Portland, Oregon Dog Parks

Looking for the perfect place to play with your dog in Portland? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at the best local dog parks and plan for your next adventure in the City of Roses.