One of the biggest problems people have with their dog is it jumping up.

But actually…

the most reinforced “bad dog” behavior out there is jumping up.

Uh oh. Is it actually your fault?

Yes, it is. But breaking this behavior is simple.

Think about it this way: every-time you yell at your dog to “get down”, or push him off, or scoot out of the way you are actually letting your dog frame the behavior. You are reacting to his bad behavior. You are giving him attention for jumping up.

Look at what most people do to get their dog to stop jumping:

– pushing it back

– grabbing it and holding it up

– kneeing it

These are “reflexive” responses and honestly are overkill. Your dog is simply tying to say “Hello!” to you – is that worth a push?

More importantly, by only using this negative correction you are not actually training the dog to do what you want. That is – to not jump up.

How to Use Positive Reinforcement to Stop A Dog From Jumping

Here’s what you do – only reinforce (and interact with) your dog when he’s on the floor.

That’s it.

Is your dog jumping up? Ignore it.

Is your dog running between your legs and tripping you? Stop moving.

The rule of thumb on this is, if your dog is greeting you in a manner you don’t want, don’t acknowledge the behavior. Look at the ceiling. Don’t talk to the dog. Don’t pet him.

Once your dog calms down though – and is sitting down or staying put – THEN give him lots of calm love and positive verbal reinforcement. You can give a treat as well. Then move on.

What Does This Teach?

This teaches your dog that staying calm for the greeting gets your attention.

Plus, you get to interact with him in a friendly and loving manner once you return home. That’s how to should be.

Another Approach to Jumping Up

An alternative way to deal with jumping up is to extinguish this behavior with the help of a leash and another person. Start by leading your dog and then sitting down or standing up, have your friend approach the dog.

As your dog starts to run forward and jump up, make sure your friend turns around and walks away. Don’t say anything.

Keep doing this until your dog does not jump up when approached. It’s important to stay quiet so the dog can figure it our for himself.

In his mind, jumping up causes the person to go away and he doesn’t get to say Hi. But when he stays seated, he gets to say Hi and gets love.

Incompatible Behavior Theory

The next way to stop jumping up is to use and incompatible behavior. What this means is you teach a dog to do something that is incompatible with the undesired behavior.

For example, make your dog SIT when it starts running to jump up at you.

By making a dog so the new behavior (sitting) the old behavior (jumping) cannot occur.

No matter what method you use to remove jumping up, always remember to be consistent.