Curbing Enthusiasm: Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on Your Guests

Category_Dog Training Category_Dogs Category_Informational Writer_Harrison_Howe

Sparky Steps - Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on Your Guests

Curbing Enthusiasm: Get Your Dog to Stop Jumping on Your Guests

“Down!” This is a command, like “Sit” or “Stay”, that many people like to train their dogs to do. It involves having the dog go from a sitting position to a down position and is used to keep the dog relaxed and to keep him/ her in one place. Is the Down command suitable when it comes to jumping up on guests? Not so much…mainly because by then, the activity has already happened. It’s best to learn how to stop the behavior entirely, before those front paws even leave the floor. Don’t worry; if Bowser is over-enthusiastic and likes to greet your friends and relatives by jumping up on them, you CAN control this behavior. According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are a few things you can do to stop your dog from expressing themselves in this manner; after all, not everyone—even the most ardent dog lover, sometimes—enjoys having a dog’s paws on their chest and their breath in their face. Here are some tips you can try to teach Missy that it’s NOT okay to say hello to your guests in this fashion.

Say Goodbye to Your Dog’s Way of Saying Hello

An effective way to teach JoJo to stop jumping on guests is to have them use the “approach and withdrawal” method, says the Animal Welfare League of Arlington in Virginia. This involves attaching the dog’s leash to an immovable object or to have you hold the leash firmly yourself. When your guest or guests arrive, have them approach JoJo; if she jumps as usual, have them back off and try approaching again. Repeat until she stops jumping; only then have the guest pet her and maybe give her a treat. Within a week or two of this repeated approach,

JoJo should understand that jumping does not lead to what she wants: to be petted and greeted. Only by no longer engaging in this activity, she’ll learn, will she get the attention she’s seeking. A simpler way could be to have your guests kneel down to Lily’s level when they arrive. In many cases, dogs like to sniff a person’s face in greeting; in this way, they can do so without jumping. Or, a long walk prior to your guests’ arrival could leave George tuckered out enough that he simply won’t want to perform his usual jumping ritual. Causing a distraction could work well, too. A quick game of fetch with a soft toy or a few scattered treats on the floor will keep your busy during the initial excitement period; often, once the guest has been in the house a few minutes, the desire to jump has passed.

The quickest way to stop this behavior is simply to put the dog in another room or in his/her crate when guests arrive. This is the easiest way to ensure that guests can enter your home without experiencing a greeting they are unprepared for, or simply do not want. This method would be best for those who might be afraid of dogs, or for the elderly or children who could get knocked down by Fido’s usual manner of greeting.


  • Push the dog away when they greet by jumping up; this can quickly turn into a game and lead to further participation in this unwanted activity
  • Simply tell your dog to stop jumping; they will not understand such a command
  • Punish Max or Maxine for jumping; this is mostly an appeasement behavior and punishment will only lead to the desire to appease, thus increasing the activity



Can’t always give Winnie the Poodle the exercise she needs? An adequate amount of exercise, after all, could leave your pup satisfied enough that she won’t need to jump up on guests to expel any pent-up energy she might otherwise have. From dog sitting while you’re vacationing to daily walks while you’re working, Sometimes your dog just needs to go for a walk and get their steps in!

If you found this info about the prevention of jumping up on guests helpful, please don’t hesitate to share with every dog owner you know on Twitter, Facebook and any other social media outlet.


Written by Harrison Howe

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