Why Does My Dog Jump on People?

Dog jumping is one of the most common dog behaviors that some people are uncomfortable with. Dog jumping is normal canine behavior, and there are many reasons why dogs jump.

Sometimes, dogs that are not actively taught how to jump will put their paws on people as they do not understand other ways to greet the people they meet or communicate their emotions.

Here are some of the reasons why dogs jump.

Jumping to greet people

Most dogs, jumping begins very early in their lives. Tiny puppies jump up to sniff and lick adult faces. Jumping up on other dogs is a standard greeting ritual for puppies. As they mature, the behavior may stop as they no longer need to jump to sniff.

Puppies between 4-6 months old who are well-socialized to adult dogs tend to grow out of this behavior quickly and no longer jump on other dogs except when playing.

Of course, puppies not only jump on dogs; they also jump on people as a friendly way to greet them.

When you come home from work, don’t be shocked that your dog wants to jump on you in excitement and get closer to show you some love. It is a healthy dog behavior.

Jumping up for attention

Jumping up for dogs sometimes is an attention-seeking behavior. Sadly most people reward this

Behavior by focusing their attention on him in one of several ways: by distracting him with petting and caresses, by admonishing him to stop it or by shoving him down, or punishing him in some other way.

Unfortunately, all of these responses, even the punishment, get the dog the attention he is seeking and reinforce the unwanted behavior.

If your dog seems to be jumping as a way of getting your attention or that of other people who come into your home, start by addressing that issue.

Please make a point of giving him your undivided attention at regularly scheduled times each day. Set aside the first 10 or 15 minutes in the morning or when you come home from work as playtime with your dog.

Use this anticipated time to work on training, playing with toys, or practice tricks. Whatever you do, make your dog the focus of your attention.

Dogs jump when they want to show dominance

Dogs don’t have language skills like humans, and they have to figure things out differently. They use their body language to work out pack rankings. A dog will jump to show dominance when you are on your way, or you have something that they want.

Often they jump on you and try to hold on, and sometimes to try to push them away may elicit a growl because they want you to back off. Jumping to show control is a different thing from jumping to show excitement.

Dogs jump when they are afraid or to be alert

If a dog is afraid or stressed, their demeanor and regular behavior changes; if you witness this in your dog or any dog you know, pay very close attention as it is trying to communicate something is not okay.

Check whether the dog is hurt, is the environment hostile for them, is the weather too hot? When the last time they had a chance to go outside and poop or pee?

Look closely at your dog to determine what is stressing them and don’t dismiss their change of behavior.

They have turned to you to beg for something, and they do not know how to communicate this to you.

Offer them a treat to calm them down, and then have them sit down politely next to you till their stress has subsided. You can also take them somewhere else to calm them down.

Dogs jump due to poor social skills

Dogs with poor social skills often don’t know any better. They will jump off of and on everything, jump on everyone, run around like crazy, and investigate everything they can get their snout, paws, and eyes on.

These dogs can come from any background, whether a rescue or puppy from a great breeder; if they haven’t had experience in new places or new situations, this can be how they respond.

Having a dog with poor social skills is a balancing act, and you need to get on top of things. Go out with them so that they can experience new places.

Experiencing new things will balance out their stress levels and make sure they get used to it all. When they are too overstimulated, take it away from the situation and bring it back when it is calm. This time keep it focused on you.

Jumping up to show excitement or high energy

Jumping up is also common in extremely excitable dogs. Your high-energy dog isn’t merely hyperactive – he’s probably not getting enough exercise and maybe a little bit bored as a result.

The solution is to challenge your dog, mentally and physically, every day as long as there’s no medical condition that would prevent your dog from exercising. Jogging, playing games, and other forms of exercise can tire your dog physically, but that’s only half the battle.

Tricks and food puzzles will stimulate him mentally, which is essential as well. Canine sports such as agility and fly ball combine physical and mental energy.

If your dog was bred to do a job like hunting, herding, or pulling, allowing him to do that job is one of the best ways to fulfill his needs and help channel calmer behavior when needed.

It is adorable when your dog runs up and jumps on you and wants to give you some love. Make sure to pay close attention to this jumping behavior and determine why it is jumping.

Some dogs jump up to show a certain situation stresses them, or they are hurt. Some jump for attention makes sure you analyze the situation, and establish if you should reward, train, or calm him down. Do not punish your dog and be patient with them.

1 thought on “Why Does My Dog Jump on People?

  1. Kristina Greenwell

    I am so happy to say that my dog is FINALLY fully trained! I found out about this online dog training tool at TrainDogsOnline.org – it has been such a wonderful help in learning how to train my dog without ever leaving home. I learned so many great ways to teach my dog nearly every trick imaginable. Also, I can finally correct common behavioral issues, anywhere from potty-training to barking too much. It’s an actual man who’s a real dog trainer training his dog. He’s an expert so you can see his mannerisms and changes in his tone of voice… especially his body language. My dog behaves PERFECTLY now and picked up on these methods so fast. From what I understand, this will work on all dogs regardless of breed or age. Best of luck to you and your dog! Check out TrainDogsOnline.org – highly recommended!


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