Whether it happens while you sit down or while you take your dog on a walk, you might be wondering “why does my dog jump on me?”.
There are various reasons why your dog might resort to such behavior, such as knowing that it grants them extra attention and treats. Keep on reading, if you want to know more about this behavior and how to limit or even get rid of it!
Reasons Why Your Dog Jump on You
Jumping in dogs is a complex behavior, which they actually use to communicate or respond to certain situations. In the following section, you’ll find all the possible reasons why your dog jumps on you.
1. It’s a Rooted Behavior from Their Puppyhood
Jumping on their parents is one of the earliest things that puppies learn when they want something. It’s their way of seeking attention or showing their need for a certain problem.
Jumping, especially up the mother, would let the parent know about their needs and help them tend to their puppy’s needs.
As they grow up, your dog knows that you’re its caregiver and looks up to you the same way puppies look up to their mothers.
That’s why they might resort to jumping on you if they’re hungry, seeking attention, or want to play.
In that case, the jumps would be accompanied by acts of submissiveness like they did when they were puppies.
2. Due to Excitement and to Express Happiness
Sometimes, when dogs are too excited about something, they might start jumping on you. What characterizes this type of jump is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be on you.
Instead, the dog would be jumping around you and you might hear some barks and loud panting too.
If you’ve just brought your dog a new toy or opened a bag of your dog’s favorite treat, the dog is mostly jumping to let you know how happy and excited he or she is!
3. You Encouraged the Behavior Inadvertently
If your dog jumps on you but you don’t actually know a reason for it, you’ve most likely encouraged the behavior while not even knowing.
As you already know, puppies tend to jump their parents when they need something. Since the act of jumping a cute behavior at a young age, you might’ve created an association in your doggie’s brain between jumping on you and getting pets and treats.
4. Greeting Instinct
In addition to their puppyhood instincts, dogs also have the instinct to greet their own by walking up to each other and sniff face to face.
If your dog jumps on you when you’re just back home, it’s most likely them trying to greet you. But, since you’re much taller than them, they might need to jump on you to reach your face for sniffs.
The behavior is usually accompanied by signs of happiness, such as wagging tails, panting, and even whimpering if you’ve been away for a long time.
5. Regaining Confidence
If you notice that your dog jumps on you more often when there are strangers or people your dog doesn’t see very often, it’s most likely due to being a bit scared or trying to regain its confidence.
Since “showing dominance” is the answer to many dog behaviors, a lot of people jump to the conclusion that jumping is the dog’s way to assert its dominance on you.
However, if they mainly jump on strangers, it means that they’re trying to assert dominance over them.
6. The Lack of Exercise
The lack of physical activity will always make your pooch more likely to run around and jump in order to spend some of its pent up energy.
If you don’t get enough time to walk or play with your dog, it’ll usually start jumping on you as a way to tell you “let’s go for a walk!”. However, this depends mainly on the age and the activity level of your dog breed.
In addition to physical activity, the lack of mental stimulation is enough to get your dog to act up. Dogs who are suffering from boredom won’t only jump on you but on everything including people, furniture, and more!
The behavior will usually be accompanied by destructive behaviors and can develop into a serious issue if you don’t intervene in time.
How to Prevent Your Dog from Jumping on You
Now that you know more about the reasons for dogs to jump up and on you, it’s time to limit this behavior. Here are some of the methods that can help you control or prevent the behavior.
1. Stop Nourishing the Behavior
Since most dogs do this behavior when they want attention or treats, don’t expect them to stop up as long as it gets them what they want.
This doesn’t mean to be cruel when your dog is jumping on you. But instead, you can simply give them enough treats and pets only when they’re not jumping on you.
This will readjust the idea in the dog’s head that jumping on you would get them what they want.
2. Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercises
You should also make sure that your dog gets enough physical exercise throughout the day based on its breed and age.
This way, you’ll make sure that your dog isn’t just jumping on you due to their hyperactivity and lack of exercise.
3. Keep Your Dog’s Brain Busy
Although aerobic exercises will work your dog’s body and make sure that it’ll direct its energy in the right channels, mental stimulation is also necessary.
By giving your dog a specific toy or other forms of mental stimulation activity, you’ll make sure to keep their brains occupied and they won’t feel the urge to show signs of boredom and loneliness.
4. Positive Reinforcement Training
Positive reinforcement training is one of the best ways to teach your dog the right behaviors and manners.
In positive reinforcement training, you train your dog to behave appropriately by rewarding them on the right behaviors and ignore them when they misbehave.
On the other hand, negative reinforcement training involves punishing your dog when they behave inadequately but the dog rarely learns the right behavior instead. That’s the positive approach is the ideal one here.
Here’s the procedure to train your dog to stop jumping on you using positive reinforcement training:
- Bring your dog’s favorite bag of treats. You may also reward your dogs with words of encouragement and being exciting and visibly happy when it does the right thing.
- Command your dog to sit or wave the treat above its nose to get the dog to sit down on its own.
- Once your dog sits down, tell your dog to stay in place, and give them the treat immediately.
- Repeat the same step above but give them the treat after 2 seconds of staying still.
- Keep extending the time between the stay command and the treat until it reaches 15 to 20 seconds comfortably.
- Depending on the suspected reasons for jumping, start implementing conditions for jumping during training, and only give them the treat when they stay put.
- Extend the time between the stay command and the treat again until you don’t have to give them a treat at all.
- Optional: you can reward them if they move around but refrain from jumping to let them know to associate jumping with the lack of treats.
- Now that you’ve trained your dog to sit and stay put on command, you can prevent them from jumping by using this command.
There you have it. A complete guide that shows you all the possible reasons for the jumping behavior in dogs and how to deal with it.
With such information, you’ll be able to pinpoint the cause of the jumping. All you have to do is pay close attention to the circumstances surrounding the jumps, and you’ll be able to get rid of the behavior altogether!