If your dog jumps up at you when you get home, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you common reasons why dogs do it and what you can do to get yours to stop.
So, why does my dog jump at me when I get home? Possible reasons why your dog jumps on you, when you get home, are that it has learned that it gets rewards for doing it, it’s excited, it wants something from you or that it needs more training.
Since there are a number of possible causes, it would help to consider what would make each of them more likely. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier to get yours to stop.
Why your dog jumps at you when you get home
Below are common reasons why dogs do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why your dog has been doing it.
You have inadvertently encouraged the behavior
It could be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it rewards when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it jumps up at you when you get home, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
The cause could be that it is showing its excitement. This would be more likely if it also jumps up at other times when it gets excited as well.
One reason why excitement could be a cause is that it might want to greet you at the face. It could also be because puppies mothers would feed them from the face and they would jump up to get the food.
It is unlikely to be dominance
Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.
With that being said, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if it tries to get you to move and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to avoid giving it reasons to feel threatened and to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (“Nothing in Life is Free) dog training.
A lack of training
If you have not given your dog much training, it will likely behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way that you would like it to behave. This is why it is important to give it lots of positive reinforcement training by starting with the basics and building up from there.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out what has been causing your dog to jump up at you when you get home.
What else happened when your dog first started jumping at you when you got home
If your dog did not always do it when you get home, it would help to consider if anything else happened at around the same time. It could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it. If it started doing it suddenly, it could be because it learned that it gets rewards for doing it.
What is different when it jumps at you
It would also help to consider if it always jumps at you or if it just does it sometimes. If it does not always do it, the reason why it does it sometimes could be that it is hungry or because it started getting anxious if you were away for a long time.
What to do about your dog jumping at you when you get home
Below are some things you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
Avoid encouraging it
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have been encouraging your dog to jump up at you by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it does not jump up at you, to stop giving it attention when it does it and to wait for it to stop before giving it any attention.
Positive reinforcement training
You could also train it not to jump up using positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward it when it does not jump up and stop rewarding it when it does.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop jumping do as follows:
- Get some treats that your dog likes
- Get it to sit. If you haven’t taught your dog how to sit yet then you can do this by luring the treat above its head until it sits naturally
- Tell it to stay and then wait for half a second then give it a treat. The idea is to reward it for staying sat and keeping its attention on you so you want to reward it before it has a chance to fail.
- Do the same as above but increase the duration each time you get it to stay.
- When your dog is able to stay for over 15 seconds start to introduce distractions such as the squeaking of a toy. Start out with minor distractions such as simply showing it the toy and then build up to harder ones such as rolling the toy in front of it.
You can watch the video below to see how it is done.
Redirect its focus
If possible, you could also try to redirect its focus onto something else before it starts jumping up at you in order to prevent it from doing it and to get it out of the habit of jumping.
Give it exercise
In order to keep your dog fully stimulated and to reduce how hyper it becomes, it would also help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise.