If your dog has been jumping up at you on walks, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get yours to stop doing it.
So, why does my dog jump on me during walks? Possible reasons why your dog jumps on you during walks are that you have encouraged the behavior by rewarding it, excitement or that it needs more training.
There are a number of reasons why it might be doing it but there are also a number of things you can do about them.
Why your dog jumps on you on walks
Below are some possible reasons why your dog has been doing it and what would make them more likely.
You have inadvertently encouraged the behavior
It could be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as treats or extra attention when it starts jumping up, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to stop giving it treats and to make it wait before continuing to walk it. Doing this should teach it that jumping up does not result in it getting things it wants.
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 do it.
What else happened when your dog first started jumping on you during walks
If your dog did not always jump up while walking it, 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 could also help to consider what else happens when it starts jumping up at you. For example, if it starts doing it when you start shouting, it might be doing it because it is reacting to your own emotions.
What to do about your dog jumping on you on walks
Below are some things you can do in order to get it 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 walking it when it does it and to wait for it to stop before continuing to walk it.
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.
- The goal is to be able to get your dog to sit and stay when it becomes excited so that you can get it to sit when it starts jumping.
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.
Continue giving 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.