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Puppy jumping up
puppy jumping up

How to Stop Puppy Jumping Up: Top Tips Explained

4 min read

It’s only natural for your puppy to jump up when they’re excited or pleased to see you but this is something you  should discourage before they grow up and this becomes a habit. So even though it might seem cute now, when your pup comes home with you, start to teach them the behaviours you’d like to see straight away. 

Find out more about how to stop a puppy from jumping up – and why they do it - by reading on.

Why does my puppy jump on me? 

Jumping up as a greeting behaviour is totally natural and how they will have learned to behave interacting with their canine family in their life so far. So, when your puppy jumps up at you, they are greeting you or trying to interact with you in the only way they know how – and in a way that is totally polite in ‘dog language’.

If you watch a litter of puppies greeting their mother, they will jump up at her face and even try to lick around her mouth. Dogs who live in the same family and are closely bonded will also do the same thing.

It is important to recognise this – and not to think that our puppies are being ‘naughty’ or inappropriately ‘attention seeking’. In fact, it is because of your bond and your growing relationship that they want to do this. So, celebrate that your puppy is looking at you as their family – but now you need to teach them another way to greet you and interact.

Why does my puppy need to stop jumping up?

Though it might seem cute, as your pup gets older, jumping up can become inconvenient and more dangerous as they grow bigger and stronger. Your dog could accidentally cause an injury (especially to children or vulnerable adults), frighten someone with their over-enthusiastic greeting, or cover someone (or you) in wet muddy paw prints. This could even put you on the wrong side of the law!

So far, your puppy has only had their littermates and their mum to play and interact with and so only know ‘dog language’. You and your family now need to take on the role of teachers and playmates – and teach them how to behave in their new life as a companion dog living with humans.

How to stop puppy jumping up

Always remember that this behaviour isn’t unusual or ‘naughty’ - most puppies jump up, as it is a natural canine greeting behaviour. Puppies want our attention and up until now they only know one way to get it, so you can’t blame them for doing what comes naturally. 

You just have to teach them that to get what they want – your attention – they have to learn a different way to interact. Teaching your puppy not to jump up is very simple – it just needs you, and all your family, to be consistent.

1. Don’t reward jumping up!

The most important thing is that if they jump up on you, don’t punish them, shout at them or frighten them in any way. They are jumping up to greet you, interact with you or try to instigate play with you and punishing them for that is unfair and will damage your relationship before it even gets started.

When they jump up however, don’t give them your attention until their paws are back on the floor. It’s easy to do that by just gently turning your body and legs away from them, which will encourage them to put their paws back down. You’re not trying to push them away, make them lose balance or fall, or worry them, it’s just a slight turning away with no interaction or speaking. 

The most important bit however is that as soon as they put their paws back on the floor, you reward them by giving them what they are craving – your attention. That will be their reward for having all four paws on the ground.

The instant their paws are on the floor, crouch down and make a fuss of them. You are teaching them that jumping up doesn’t get them what they want – but having their paws on the floor does.

Make sure everyone in the family – and everyone your dog meets – does the same. This is often far harder than training your puppy!

2. Anticipate the times your puppy is likely to jump up

You know the times your puppy is going to jump up at you. For example, when you come back from being away from them for any reason (even if you just went out of the room) or when they are playing and get over-excited. 

Anticipate this and instead crouch down to greet them or interact with them. This way they get your attention at their level rather than feeling they need to come up to yours.

Sometimes excitement can take over and puppies or adolescents just can’t help themselves. At these times, it can be useful to redirect them onto an activity they can do that is rewarding but also calming and ‘ground-focussed’. This could be a scent game - such as hiding treats or kibble in a bunched up old towel for them to sniff out.

3. Teach an alternative behaviour

Once your puppy knows how to ‘sit’ when you ask, you can ask them to sit instead of jumping up, and then reward them with your full attention - and a tasty puppy treat for doing that instead.

This has the advantage of it being a polite way to greet (or ignore) unknown people.

How to teach your puppy not to jump up on visitors

Dogs can get super excited when people come to visit. Sometimes, the puppy jumping up training goes out the window from all the excitement! However, it’s important to ensure that your puppy doesn’t jump up on your guests by training them with a few simple steps. Take a look:

  1. When your guests or visitors arrive, make sure to keep your pup behind a baby gate or in a puppy play pen. People coming through the door is so very exciting!
  2. Let your visitors settle and get relaxed – while you instruct them not to give your puppy attention unless they have their feet on the floor. Also ask them to ignore your puppy totally for the first few minutes while they get used to the sight, sound and smell of these new visitors.
  3. Use a houseline or long lead when you let your puppy into the room, and first of all, scatter some treats on the floor (which will hopefully be more interesting than the new arrivals and take the edge off their excitement and energy). 
  4. Let your puppy slowly investigate the visitors but if they start to get overly excited, call them back to you and distract them with something you can reward (a few ‘sits’ etc).
  5. Once your puppy is calm, you can let them interact freely – reminding your visitors about the ‘paws on the floor’ rule!

The secret to teaching dogs not to jump up is to start when they’re very young (before it becomes a potentially dangerous behaviour) and to be consistent. There will be slip-ups as your dog grows up and when the excitement or joy to see you just gets too much but keep working on the tips above, and soon jumping up will be a thing of the past.


Now that you know how to stop a puppy from jumping up, you might be looking for more puppy advice and tips. Read our top tips for socialising your puppy, next.