Stop your dog from jumping up at people with this trainer’s tip for keeping paws on the ground

Dog sniffing person's hand
(Image credit: Getty)

Jumping up on people can be an unwanted and even potentially dangerous behavior in dogs. While dogs may do this out of excitement or to get attention, learning how to stop a dog from jumping up is essential if you want your dog to have more controlled and pleasant interactions with guests and other humans.

You may use short term solutions to the issue of jumping up such as distracting your dog with one of the longest lasting dog chews when your know you have guests coming round. Or, taking a less busy route on walks to avoid people traffic. But putting in some time to train this behavior out of your pup is better for the long term.

Thankfully, Kaia Wilson, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer at Noble Woof Dog Training, has shared on Instagram a valuable tip to help you keep your dog's paws on the ground and improve their greeting manners.

Wilson's technique focuses on teaching dogs a nose targeting exercise. This exercise involves training your dog to touch their nose to a person's hand, and then immediately retreating with you to receive a treat, creating an expectation of earning treats away from the person after the initial interaction. 

This approach helps prevent jumping by redirecting the dog's attention and energy towards a more controlled and rewarding behavior. Watch Wilson demonstrate this in the video below...

To start implementing this technique, it's crucial to first train your dog to nose target a person's hand. This forms the foundation for the exercise. Once your dog understands this concept, you can proceed to the next step.

The goal is to set up a pattern where your dog greets someone by nose targeting their hand and then immediately retreats to receive a treat at a distance (check our guide to the best dog treats if you're running low). 

This sequence helps your dog associate calm and controlled behavior with positive rewards. Gradually, your dog learns that approaching people without jumping leads to pleasant outcomes.

Observing the technique in action in Wilson's video, you can see how the dog's behavior changes over time. Initially, the dog might be eager and inclined to pull towards the person, displaying signs of excitement. 

However, as the training progresses, you can witness the transformation. The dog becomes more composed, less interested in jumping, and more focused on the reward and the designated handler.

The beauty of this method lies in its simplicity and effectiveness. By channeling the dog's energy into a specific behavior, you're giving them a productive outlet for their excitement. This not only prevents jumping but also promotes a positive and controlled interaction between your dog and people.

Remember, training is a journey, and doesn't happen over night.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

With over a year of writing for PetsRadar, Jessica is a seasoned pet writer. She joined the team after writing for the sister site, Fit&Well for a year. Growing up with a lively rescue lurcher kindled her love for animal behavior and care. Jessica holds a journalism degree from Cardiff University and has authored articles for renowned publications, including LiveScience, Runner's World, The Evening Express, and Tom's Guide. Throughout her career in journalism she has forged connections with experts in the field, like behaviorists, trainers, and vets. Through her writing, Jessica aims to empower pet owners with accurate information to enhance their furry companions' lives.