Dog Training

How to Stop a Dog From Jumping on People: Best Tips

Puppies are very energetic and, thus, might end up jumping on people. Not everyone likes that kind of attitude, and you, as a dog owner, should be able to break your dog off this behavior. Luckily for you, you can follow these tips on how to stop a dog from jumping on people!

Table of contents

Why Your Dog Jumps on You

Jumping up
These are just 3 possible reasons to get started. More reasons and tips follow below!

1) Greeting Others

This behavior can already be observed in puppies: younger dogs jump on their mothers and lick her lips. As a response, she chokes up food for her litter. A study indicates this is why jumping on others become a greeting routine between dogs: adult ones use this gesture as a greeting, too.

That is why they also like to say hello to us humans in this way. However, our faces are too far away for them. Therefore, your pet will jump at you to reach the corners of your mouth.

2) Testing Their Boundaries

Young dogs, and particularly headstrong ones, continuously test their limits. Typical behaviors are: not returning their toys, pulling on the leash to go where they want, and fooling around, which includes jumping on.

Many dogs test their owners to see if they can get on their good side. In this type of boundary testing, pets exhibit a self-rewarding behavior: 

The more they tick you off, the more attention you pay to them -. your pet perceives the action of pushing them away as you wanting to play around.

3) Signs of Anxiety

It’s possible to interpret jumping as a quasi short-circuit reaction of dogs in an enormous state of stress. They cannot free themselves from this situation and therefore jump at people senselessly. Since they’re not doing it out of their own will, they can’t break free of this behavior: it’s a malfunction in their circuits. 

Jumping is a way dogs have to relieve their stressThe dog jumps up and down frantically, possibly yelping and clinging in addition. This is a sign that he can not cope with a new situation (visitor comes and "disturbs" the previous harmony) and begins to jump out of excessive demand.

How to Stop Puppies From Jumping on People

There is nothing wrong with your puppy being happy to see you, but they should show their excitement in other ways. 

You should start using our tips on how to stop a dog from jumping on people as soon as possible.

While in puppyhood, quickly teach your dog another ways to greet others.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Do not react to your puppy when they jump positively or negatively. 
  2. Do not look at your dog and do not pay any attention to them.
  3. Turn away from your pet or take a few steps back.

This will make your dog realize that their behavior is not enough to notice them. If you ignore them, they will try to get your attention in other ways.

Don’t greet your puppy until they stay with all four paws on the ground. When they do achieve that, reward them with a treat.

Remain consistent if your dog still jumps on you. Take a few steps away, not back. Walking backwards can be perceived as luring. Ignore your pet altogether. 

Once they’re firmly back on all fours, approach them. Puppies learn quickly. Your dog will understand how to behave to get your attention in no time.

How to Stop a Dog From Jumping on People

Maybe you adopted an older dog from the shelter who enthusiastically jumps out to greet you. Don't worry: learning how to stop a dog from jumping on people is also useful for senior pets.

With an adult dog, it probably just takes a little longer to stop their old habits.

1) Ignore Their Jumping

Just like we do with puppies: ignore your dog when they jump at you and reward them when they keep their paws on the ground. You can reward them by either petting, treating or praising them. 

However, ignoring their jumping is usually not enough. Many get a kick out of jumping on you. For some dogs, this is more of a game. 

Later on, add another ways to let them greet you.

2) Cut Their Jump Off

Do not give your dog more space by, for example, leaning back or throwing up your hands. Thus you prevent his learning success by "pushing you back".

If your pet is already in the air, get into a firm stance and block the jump with your arm to the side. This way, your dog is the one being pushed back.

3) Issue Commands

Another helpful asset on learning how to stop a dog from jumping on people are commands. These are great to teach your pet some much-needed manners. 

Let's say your dog comes running up to you and looks like he wants to jump on you.

With a clear voice, issue the commands ‘sit’ or ‘down.’ 

Praise your dog when they sit or lie in front of you. Then, as a reward, you can bend over and pet them. Give them a treat, too, since they’re great positive reinforcers. In this way, you’re teaching your pet to greet you while sitting or lying down.

Should you already have a Abort signal like "No use them to signal when the greetings are finally over. 

4) Give Your Dog Some Treats

Throw a few pieces of food on the floor at each greeting so that when you arrive, your dog is busy looking for the treats before greeting you. During this time, their excitement will subside.

5) Greet Your Puppy While Crouching

Consistently greet your dog while crouching after the stop signal or distraction is safely in place. Don't even give your pet the chance to look up. 

If they go straight to your face, turn away. Turn your back from your pet provided they insist on reaching your face. They have to learn this is not a proper greeting.

6) Use Distractions

Or, as an alternative, you can throw a ball gets the spotlight. 

Do not respond to your pet’s attempt to jump at you. Throw a ball instead, send your dog after it and let them bring the ball back. 

Once they’ve done that, praise them or give them a treat.  

By doing this, your dog will associate the greeting with fetching the ball after a few times.

Beware: you’ll have to greet your dog with toys consistently. Therefore, it’s advisable to put a ball or another interesting toy on a shelf right at the door of your home.

7) Catch Their Paws

It is not always possible to react in time to their ‘friendly’ jumping. 

Catch your dog’s paws if they’re already midair. 

Most dogs don't like that at all. Then, you can walk a few steps backwards while still holding their paws. If your pet has had this unpleasant experience several times, they will avoid jumping on their own.

8) Leave Your Dog Alone

Despite all these tips on how to stop a dog from jumping on people, it’s still possible yours doesn’t stop at all. 

Fortunately, there is another option: lead them wordlessly into a room and leave them alone for two minutes. 

This is usually enough for any dog to calm down. 

However, make sure that your pet doesn’t see this as punishment. It’s essential that you don’t show angry or hectic body language. Additionally, you can give your dog a few treats in the room so that their experience doesn’t come off as negative.

Remain Consistent

All family members should jump in on the training! 

You should all use the same tactics. If you stay consistent, it's only a matter of time before your puppy or adult dog changes their jumping on people.

How to Stop a Dog From Jumping on Strangers

Your dog has learned that jumping on your family is taboo. Nevertheless, strangers don’t count as family, so they’re not safe. 

Try to involve other people in your training sessions. Anyone will do: relatives, acquaintances, colleagues or friends. 

1) Involve Your Visitors

For example, if your dog also jumps on visitors, you can try the following: your friend or colleague should turn away and completely ignore their jumping. While doing this, call your pet over. 

Learning how to call over your dog might be a good idea while training how to stop a dog from jumping on people.

2) Ask Strangers To Ignore Your Dog

It's more difficult if this happens when you're out and a passerby notices your dog: most people will think it's cute when a puppy jumps on them. 

They often confirm and reinforce this behavior. Then, knowing how to stop a dog from jumping on people become useless.

Naturally, there is no evil intention behind such reactions, but it makes training all the more challenging. Your dog is being rewarded for an undesired behavior.

Ask strangers to ignore your dog. Instead, explain to them that you are in the process of breaking your puppy's jumping habit. Then, when your pet keeps their paws on the ground, reward him them attention, treats and praise. 

When an older dog tends to jump at strangers during training on outings, use a leash. Try to keep your pet's focus on you through eye contact, petting and treats. This way, they learn that it's much more exciting and fun when they stay with you. Over time, your dog will be looking at you even if they meet a passerby.


Even if our dear four-legged friends in most cases mean well by jumping on us and just want to say "Hello!" once or play a little, this behavior can have negative consequences for unknowing people - especially for children or elderly people.

Don’t sleep on these tips on how to stop a dog from jumping on people! If you ever want to stop that habit, you’ll definitely need them.

Written by Anja Boecker
Written by Anja Boecker

My name is Anja Boecker and I am a dog trainer and behavior consultant (IHK certificate). With these articles I would like to help you understand your dog better and build an inseparable bond.

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