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How to Stop Your Dog From Jumping on Guests

Updated: Jan 13


I frequently get called to help fix dogs jumping on guests arriving at their homes. This is a big problem, especially if your dog is big because the dog could actually hurt someone. I have scars and bruises on my body from out-of-control jumping dogs when I get called to clients' houses for consultations for our Dog Obedience Training program.

Dog barking may also accompany the jumping. You can use the techniques listed below for both. Keep in mind that you must follow these 6 suggestions in order. You cannot effectively change the jumping behavior without identifying the triggers first.

  • Triggers - Find the triggers that make the dog jump. Is it you or someone in the household, or certain guests? Work on the following behavior modification and management tips once you isolate the triggers.

  • Extinction - Stop reinforcing the jumping when guests arrive or when the triggers are present. This means you and your guests must ignore her when entering and only give attention and affection when she stops jumping and is calm.

  • Redirect - Have her sit and watch you just before her excitement level gets too high if you have a guest over for a visit. Use the watch-me command with treats.

  • Blocking - Use blocking to diffuse the energy between the dog and the trigger. Stand between your dog and guest, facing the dog, and get her focused on you using the redirect technique above.

  • Mental Stimulation - Give her a bone or Kong toy filled with her tastiest treats to occupy her mind and not be as interested in the guests.

  • Leash - Tether her to leash and collar, put her in a sit-stay, and watch-me to calm down so she can't move. Having a dog be still will slow down their mind.

  • Crate - If all else fails, put her in the crate for a time-out.

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