Hi humans! I’m always jumping up on people because I’m still quite young and I get so excited when I see people! I just want to be friends with everyone and I want to play!
But despite still being a puppy, I’m a pretty big dog, so it’s not good when I jump on people. Sometimes they get a little scared, or I accidentally knock them over.
And if I’ve been playing in the mud I get them super dirty and then they aren’t happy.
But I don’t mean to be bad!
My human is teaching me not to jump up on people anymore, and I’m slowly understanding why. So, who better than me to in turn explain to you why we jump up on people?
When we’re really small puppies, and we’re still with our mother, we learn to jump up on her to lick her face when asking for food. We also do it for affection and to initiate play.
So when we get excited around humans, we can instinctively jump upon them to express that we want to play, and to show affection. Of course, I’m now learning that there are better ways to express that affection!
Another reason why we might jump up is that, when meeting other dogs, we like to sniff each other, and will often then lick each other’s face. It’s like a friendly hello!
The problem is that you humans are always standing up tall, and your face is so high up from the ground! How am I supposed to lick your face from way down here?
That’s usually why I jump up. I get so excited about saying hello that I forget to not jump up!
Another, less friendly reason, why dogs sometimes jump up on people, is stress. You can usually tell this is the reason if your dog is only jumping up on strangers.
If they’re feeling stressed, uncomfortable, or scared, jumping up on a human can be a way of regaining some sort of dominance.
You have to understand, from way down here humans sometimes look like giants, so getting up to your level can make us feel better.
But most of the time it’s just a sign of excitement. Usually, we grow out of the habit as we learn to control our emotions better. But I still struggle a bit!
Why does my dog jump on me when I get home?
When my human is away during the day, doing whatever it is humans do during the day, I always miss them so much! I have plenty of toys and things to do, but there’s nothing better than playing with my human for a walk.
So when my human finally comes back home, I’m so super extra incredibly excited to see them!
I know I’m not supposed to jump up (and I am getting better at it), but a lot of the time I forget everything and just run over to them and jump up to say hello.
But that’s the reason: we’re saying hello! We’re so excited to see you that we want to instantly show you our affection, and we want to lick your face in greeting.
It’s instinctive behavior, and something we used to do as puppies with our own mother. We learned that jumping up and licking her face would get her to drop food for us, or would get her to play with us for a bit. So we do it with you too!
What to do when dogs jump on you?
When we jump up on humans they aren’t always happy. I’m slowly starting to understand why. I’m quite a big puppy, and my paws are very big, with sharp nails too!
So when I jump up I can sometimes accidentally hurt them, and that’s not fun for them.
I’ve also accidentally knocked down a few of the smaller humans that come and visit me sometimes, because I’m almost bigger than them now, oops!
So here’s what you should do when I, or any other dog, jump on you!
It can be tempting to try and get us down by using your hands, but we will probably see the hand movement as you initiate playtime, which will just make us even more excited!
Instead, the best thing you can do is to turn your back on us. That way we can’t reach your face to lick it, and we’ll realize we’re not getting anywhere by jumping up. It also means we’ll hurt you less, and it might help us get down faster.
Apart from turning your back on us, you should stay silent and avoid making any eye contact. Kind of as if you’re ignoring us, but just for a little while until we calm down.
Once we realize that jumping up on you gets us the opposite of what we want, we will calm down and drop back down to all four paws.
Then, and only then, you can finally say hello to us and reward us for calming down. We will finally get to say hello and get to play with you, and over time we will learn that there’s no need to jump up on you at all!
How do you stop your dog from jumping on you?
Because I’m such an excitable and friendly dog, getting me to stop jumping up every single individual time just isn’t enough.
Instead, my human is actively training me to stop jumping up on people, no matter how excited I am.
Here is how they’re doing it!
For starters, any time I jump up they ignore me until I stop. So I’m quickly learning that jumping up doesn’t get me anywhere.
They’re also preventing me from jumping up in the first place. So before I meet someone new they get me to sit down, and they make sure I’m nice and calm.
If I start getting too excited they’ll take me out of the room for a bit until I’m calm again, and try again. It takes a bit of patience and a lot of consistency.
But I’m doing really good and I’m already starting to remember to not jump up on people! Instead, I sit and wait to be petted, and then I get a treat!