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Why does my Golden Retriever jump on me?

Why does my Golden Retriever jump on me?

If your Golden Retriever has a habit of jumping up at you then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will give you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might start jumping and give you some ways to stop the behavior.

So, why does my Golden Retriever jump on me? Possible causes are excitement, wanting attention, not having enough training or rewarding the behavior.

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.

Possible reasons your Golden Retriever jumps on you

Each of the different reasons why it does it will likely come with some clues. Below are a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the cause.


The reason why it does it could be that it is excited and it is trying to show its excitement. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when you arrive home. They do it because they want to greet you at the face and because their mother would feed them from the face as puppies and they would jump up.

This type of jumping can be stopped with training using the methods in the section below. One method in particular that you should try would be to teach it to stay and sit and then to reward it for doing so. You can watch how it’s done in the video in the next section. You can also try avoiding rewarding it with attention when it does it as discussed below.


The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.

To prevent this, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by training it, playing with it and exercising it. However, it would help to avoid giving it attention, when it jumps on you, by leaving the room if necessary. Then, when it has calmed down, you could give it attention so that it learns that jumping does not result in getting attention from you.

Not enough training

If you have not given your Golden Retriever much training then it will not know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way that it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way you want it to behave which is why it is important to give it training.


If it starts jumping when it normally wouldn’t, it could be because something is wrong. When things are wrong, Golden Retrievers will often do things that are out of character so you should consider what might be wrong that is causing the jumping. Perhaps it’s because it is in pain, there’s someone at the door or maybe there’s an emergency.

Rewarding the behavior

It could also be the case that you have encouraged it 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 reward it when it is being well behaved, to stop rewarding it when it jumps and then to go back to rewarding it when it starts behaving again.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop jumping

Below are some options you have when getting it to stop doing it.


Since it might be doing it in order to get attention or other rewards from you, one option would be to stop giving it attention when it does it. By doing so you should be able to teach it that jumping on you does not result in it getting what it wants. When it stops jumping you would then go back to rewarding it until it starts jumping again so you would stop giving it attention again.


Another option would be to try to recognize when it is likely to start jumping on you and to redirect its focus onto something else. By doing so you should be able to get it out of the habit of jumping up at you.

Train it not to

Another option would be to train it to stop doing it with the use of positive reinforcement training. Positive reinforcement training is focused on reinforcing behaviors you want to see by rewarding them and avoiding rewarding behaviors you don’t want to see.

To use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop jumping do as follows:

  1. Get some treats that your Golden Retriever likes
  2. Get it to sit. If you haven’t taught your Golden Retriever how to sit yet then you can do this by luring the treat above its head until it sits naturally
  3. 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.
  4. Do the same as above but each time increase the duration that you get it to stay.
  5. When your Golden Retriever 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.

Give lots of exercise

Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise in order to be fully stimulated. It could be the case that a lack of exercise is causing your Golden Retriever to be overly energetic. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily. If yours has not been getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does.

Things to consider

Be patient

When training your Golden Retriever, it is important to be patient. It is unlikely that you will be able to make big progress with just one training session. But, if you stick with it, you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks or months.

When it started jumping

If it started jumping up at you suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it did start 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 a sudden change in its daily routine.

When it jumps more

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it jumps up more. If there is then it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

For example, if it tends to jump on you at the same time that you normally walk it then it might be trying to remind you to walk it.