Gunbil German shepherd puppy in motion

Most dogs jump up at people because they want to greet them at face level to say “hello.”

It is a natural, instinctive behavior. Observe a bitch of any canine species with a litter and you’ll notice the pups greet their mother by jumping up and licking her muzzle.

In the wild, this would result in the mother regurgitating food for the litter. Many dog owners reinforce this behavior by slapping their thighs and encouraging their puppy to rush forward and jump up.

This may be okay while the puppy is small but can be dangerous once puppy grows up.

Teach a “Sit!” Command

“Off!” not “Down!”

Other Methods of Training

The “Ignore” Method

If you can’t gain control with the “sit” command, cross your arms, look up, and turn your back to the jumping dog. Once the dog settles down make eye contact, ask for a “sit,” and then praise. If the jumping up starts up again, immediately ignore the dog and start the sequence again.

The “Knee” Method

When a dog jumps up on you, raise your knee and knock the jumping dog in the chest. Tell him “Off!” Sit!” They key here is to bump the dog off you, not send him flying across the room.

The “Squeeze” Method

When the dog jumps up on you grasp his paws and hold them tightly. The trick here is to hold onto his paws until the upright posture becomes uncomfortable. After a few seconds the dog will want to get off you! Release his paws and tell him to sit.

Remember that consistency and clear expectations are important to train your dog not to jump on people. You are working against instinct and a natural occurring behavior. Be patient BUT persistent in your efforts to control this potentially dangerous behavior.

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