Puppies are adorable creatures that can fill your life with joy and happiness, but they also require training to learn good behaviour. One of the common behavioural issues with puppies is jumping up on people, which can be annoying and even dangerous. It's important to teach your puppy to greet people politely, and this can be done with effective strategies that will help you train your puppy to stop jumping up.
How to train your puppy to not jump up
Training your puppy to stop jumping up requires patience and consistency. It is recommended to start training your puppy as early as possible since puppies have a higher capacity for learning than older dogs. In addition, teaching how to stop your puppy from jumping up will help them to develop good habits and reduce the chances of unwanted behaviours in the future.
Here are some tips to help you train your puppy not to jump up:
1. Do not reward your puppy's behaviour when they jump up
When your puppy jumps up on you or someone else, it's essential NOT to reward this behaviour; this means not giving your puppy any attention or affection until they've calmed down and have "four paws on the floor". Rewarding their jumping behaviour will only reinforce this unwanted behaviour. Similarly, ensuring you reward your puppy with a delicious training treat at the right moment is essential to avoid them getting confused.
2. Redirect your puppy's attention when they are excited or frustrated
Sometimes puppies jump up out of frustration or excitement. If you notice your puppy getting too excited or frustrated, divert their attention by throwing a toy or asking them to do a simple command like "sit" or "lay down" to stop your puppy from jumping up.
3. Make them wait to greet people
Teaching a dog to wait when greeting people is essential for safety, polite behaviour, impulse control, training consistency, and enhanced socialisation. It helps prevent overwhelming greetings, promotes good manners and respect for personal space, develops impulse control, reinforces obedience, and makes dogs more approachable and sociable. This, in turn, can also help to stop a puppy jumping up. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key in training. The best training treats to feed are ones that are small enough to give as rewards repetitively. Gradually increase distractions to generalise the behaviour.
4. Calm your dog if they jump up during meal times
If your puppy jumps up during mealtime, establish a designated area where your puppy can feel safe. According to Preventive Vet, a safe place in your house reduces your puppy's anxiety and helps them cope with stressful situations. Along with having a designated area or room, ignore your puppy's jumping, reward calm behaviour, maintain consistency, provide distractions like chew toys or long-lasting dog treats and teach obedience commands. Set boundaries, redirect their focus, and reward them for staying calm. Consistency is key, and patience is important. If the jumping behaviour persists, consult a professional for guidance.
5. Teach your puppy incompatible behaviours
Teach your puppy alternative behaviours that are incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting or lying down. Reward your dog with extra tasty training treats when they sit or lie down.
6. Reward them when they listen to your instructions
When your puppy follows instructions and greets people politely, reward them with enticing training treats such as Skipper's Dog & Puppy Training Treats. Beatrice Giannone and Marcella Zilocchi's research between dogs trained with a gentle method (positive reinforcement) and a coercive method (negative reinforcement) found that dogs trained with the coercive method displayed more undesirable behaviours. Rewarding your puppy with treats as a form of positive reinforcement is key to reinforcing good behaviour.
Using Skipper's treats for positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement training is a popular and effective approach to training and modifying your puppy's behaviour. It involves rewarding desired behaviours to encourage repetition and strengthen the bond between you and your puppy. Positive reinforcement becomes even more potent when combined with training techniques and high-value treats.
The use of treats as rewards in positive reinforcement training serves several purposes. Firstly, treats are highly motivating for dogs, especially when considered high-value or particularly enticing to your puppy.
When using training treats in positive reinforcement training, it is crucial to ensure the treats are given immediately after your puppy performs the desired behaviour. This immediate reward helps your puppy associate the behaviour with the treat and strengthens the connection between the two.
Furthermore, training treats can serve as a form of communication between you and your puppy. Dogs are highly attuned to human body language and vocal cues, and when combined with the presentation of a treat, they can quickly understand which behaviours are desired. The treat becomes a clear signal that your puppy has done something right, making it easier for them to understand and repeat the desired behaviour.
In addition to their immediate effects, training treats create a positive learning experience for your puppy. When puppies associate training sessions with enjoyable rewards, they are more likely to be enthusiastic and engaged. If you find it challenging to keep your dog's attention, try treats that are higher in value or toys if your puppy isn't food motivated.
While treats are effective tools in positive reinforcement training, they should gradually be phased out. Once your puppy has learned and consistently performs the desired behaviour, you can reduce the frequency of treat rewards.
"Four on the floor" is a command to teach your dog to have all four of their paws on the ground. Here are some simple steps to train "four on the floor":
1. Consistently reward calm behaviour.
2. Ignore jumping by withdrawing attention.
3. Teach alternative behaviours like "sit" or "lay down."
4. Use a clear command to cue the desired behaviour.
5. Practice with distractions to generalise the behaviour.
6. Seek professional help if needed.
7. Reinforce the desired behaviour consistently.
8. Ignore jumping and avoid unintentional reinforcement.
9. Train alternatives and reward compliance.
10. Be patient and consistent in your training efforts.
Following these steps will help train your dog to keep all four paws on the ground instead of jumping up during greetings or interactions. Remember that training takes time and consistency, and seeking professional guidance can be helpful for persistent issues.
Use management techniques
Management techniques can help you stop your puppy from jumping up. According to Dog Training Nation, behavioural management is preventing your dog from engaging in inappropriate behaviours. They also state management techniques are most effective when paired with behaviour protocols.
Leash them when a guest enters
If your puppy tends to jump up on guests, leashing them can be very beneficial. Keeping your puppy on a leash during interactions can help you maintain control over your puppy's movements which reduces the risk of someone getting hurt. Having more control over your dog's movements helps avoid reinforcing the jumping behaviour if your dog jumps up at a guest and receives attention.
2. Use physical barriers to limit access
Physical barriers like baby gates or pens can help limit your puppy's access and allow them time to settle when guests arrive. If your puppy jumps up, redirect their attention to appropriate activities or commands. When your dog displays a desired command, remember to reward this behaviour consistently.
3. Put your dog in a crate
If your puppy is prone to jumping up and has been crate trained, consider putting them in a crate when guests arrive. This will provide your puppy a safe and familiar place to calm their excitement, fear or stress. Additionally, putting your puppy in a crate will prevent them from jumping up on people.
4. Confine them in another room
If you don't have a crate, as an alternative, confine your puppy in another room in which they feel safe inside. When your guests are over, confining your puppy in the room at the beginning can help calm them down and prevent them from jumping up on people and causing any accidents.
5. Reward their good behaviours
Always reward your puppy's good behaviour with praise and nutritious, tasty treats such as Fish Skin Cubes.
To avoid your dog getting confused, ensure that everyone in your household follows the same training rules and consistently reinforces your dog's desired behaviour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do puppies grow out of jumping?
Puppies may grow out of jumping as they mature and learn better manners. However, it's essential to train your puppy to stop jumping up and greet people politely to ensure your puppy understands that jumping is an unwanted behaviour. If your puppy does not understand that jumping up is undesirable, they will continue to display this behaviour even as adults.
How do you calm a hyper puppy?
To calm a hyper puppy, try taking them for a walk or playing with them to release some of their energy. You can also engage them in interactive physical games like fetch or hide-and-seek or consider introducing some brain games that will mentally stimulate your dog's brain, which can help tire out your dog.
Providing your puppy with a calm and safe environment, such as their crate or a section of a room with their bed or blanket, can also help to calm a hyper puppy down. If your puppy is still hyper, try calming supplements or consult a veterinarian for further advice.
How to train my puppy to not jump at visitors?
To train your puppy not to jump up at visitors, use the strategies mentioned above, such as teaching them the "four on the floor" command, diverting their attention, making them wait to greet people, and applying management techniques.
Is it normal for puppies to jump up?
It is very normal and common for puppies to jump up. VCA Animal Hospital states, "Social dogs naturally jump up when they greet people... jumping up brings them closer to face level". Although this behaviour is expected, it's important to train your puppy to stop this behaviour as soon as possible. Teaching it as early as possible will help your puppy to quickly understand that jumping up is an unwanted behaviour, similar to excessive barking. With proper training and positive reinforcement, puppies can learn to greet people politely and safely, which prevents accidents and injuries.