If your dog has been jumping up at you a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do to get it to stop. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might have been doing it and what you can do about them.
So, why does my dog jump at me? Possible reasons why your dog jumps at you are that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by rewarding it, it’s excited and it jumps up naturally to show its excitement or that it needs more training.
There are a number of possible causes but there are some things you can consider to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do to get it to stop jumping on you.
Why your dog jumps at you
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your dog might jump on you a lot and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely to be the reason if you tend to give it more attention when it does it and if it tends to do it more when you give it attention.
To prevent this, it would help to give it attention when it is behaving the way you want it to. But, it would also help to avoid rewarding it with attention when it jumps up by not letting it jump up and ignoring it until it calms down.
You have inadvertently encouraged the behavior
It could also be the case that you have encouraged your dog to jump on you by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it jumps then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to give it rewards when it is behaving the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it misbehaves.
It wants something from you
The reason why it does it might be that it wants something from you. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at around a certain time such as when you would normally feed it or give it exercise.
The cause could be that it is showing its excitement. This would be more likely if it jumps on you more in situations such as when you arrive home or when you’re playing with it.
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 why your dog has been doing it.
What else happened when your dog first started jumping at you
If it did not always jump up at you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If your dog started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as it learning that it gets rewards when it does it, suddenly giving it less attention or if you started getting very emotional around it causing it to become very reactive.
What is different when it jumps at you
It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it tends to do it more since the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to do it more when it is excited, it would be more likely to be due to the excitement and it would help to get it to stop by ignoring it until it calms down as mentioned above.
What to do about your dog jumping at you
Below are some things you can do about your dog jumping up at you.
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
Another option would be to redirect its focus onto something such as sitting or laying when it seems like it is about to try to jump up at you. Doing this should help to get it out of the habit of jumping up at you.
Give it exercise
In order to keep your dog fully stimulated and to reduce how hyper it becomes, it would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise.