How To Stop A Dog From Jumping Up When Walking?

Taking your dog for a walk can be a fun time for the two of you. But it can also be an impossible task. Depending on their personalities and breed, some dogs will try to jump up to get your attention or tell you that they want something. 

The jumping behavior can be towards you, a dog, or a stranger, which can be dangerous. If you have a medium or large dog, you’ll need to keep him on the ground. However, small dogs can also jump and leave their muddy paws all over you or a stranger. 

In today’s guide, we’ll take a look at how to stop a dog from jumping up when walking and why your pup may be doing this. 

Why Do Dogs Jump Up When Walking? 

A Dachshund mix leaps towards owner from the grass

Jumping up is common in all dogs because it is a way to greet someone and get their attention. But that type of greeting can be a danger for humans, especially for the elderly and small kids. 

To help your puppy stop jumping up when walking, you need to understand why he is jumping. There are many reasons why a dog might jump up when walking. It could be a dog behavior problem caused by anxiety or fear. It could also mean he is full of energy and is expecting some playtime. 

Here are the most common reasons for your dog to jump up when walking. 

Attention

One of the main reasons a dog might jump towards you or any other human is attention. Dogs love attention, especially the breeds that are predisposed to be family dogs. If they don’t get the attention they want, they will look for ways to get it. 

Once your adult dog notices that he can get your attention by jumping up on you, he’ll continue doing it every time he wants pats, food, or a scratch. 

The behavior becomes even more prominent when you spend a lot of time during the day away from home. If your puppy doesn’t see you that much, he will want to receive as much attention as possible in the little time you are together. Sometimes this may lead to barking or biting from the same motive. That’s why he will jump non-stop until you give him what he wants. 

Dogs are social creatures, and for them, staying home alone without you is not as fun as being with you. It does not mean you should tolerate the behavior, but it is good to understand their reasoning.

Note: Pushing your excited dog aside when they are jumping up on you is still a form of attention. In their minds, when you do it, it means they’ve accomplished their mission. 

Playfulness

Another reason for dogs to jump up on you when walking is because they want to play. This is a more significant behavior in breeds like Golden Retrievers, and believe me, I know about it from my Golden. 

Playful breeds may jump upon you to get you to play with them. It might seem a bit violent or aggressive, but that’s how dogs play. They will usually tackle each other and nibble when playing, and if your jumping dog does not socialize with other playful dogs, he may do it with you. 

If your dog jumps up on you when you are taking a walk, it could mean that he has a lot of stored energy, and they need to release it—playing with him before a walk could quickly fix the problem. However, if you don’t have the space to play with him before walks, you can invest in some dog puzzles or a chewing tug toy. 

Anxiety

A variety of external factors can trigger the feeling of anxiety in your dog. It is also one of the reasons your dog might jump up when walking. 

Your dog could dislike the people around when you two are on a walk, which can trigger his anxiety. To make himself feel comfortable with his environment, your dog might jump up or try to knock you down so that you can give him some protection. 

It can also mean that your dog wants to get out of that particular situation. What you can do is change your walking route and try other parks. See how your dog reacts and, based on that, decide where to go for your next walk. 

Dogs do not have the same communication methods as humans. If you notice that your dog only jumps in specific situations, try to think about what he is trying to tell you. 

Frustration

Dogs can feel frustrated, and that frustration can happen even when going for a walk. Some dogs, especially those that are adopted, do not like leashes or collars. That can trigger their frustration whenever you guys go for a walk. 

Additionally, your dog might feel frustrated when interacting with other dogs or humans. Maybe he wants more time to smell them than the time you provide, and that will make him jump and pull. If that’s the case, allowing your dog to have his time to sniff around could quickly solve the problem. 

Overstimulation

Overstimulation is a common thing for dogs, especially for those with a lot of unburned energy. If your dog is overstimulated, he will try to jump and nibble you because that’s the way he copes with all the stimulation. 

Suppose you notice your dog running through the house non-stop for seconds or even minutes without an apparent reason. In that case, your dog might be overstimulated. This can also happen outside the home, and it can translate to your dog jumping up when walking. 

Encouragement

If your dog jumps up when walking and you do nothing to stop the behavior, then the behavior might disappear on its own. However, suppose you have encouraged the behavior by giving your dog the attention he wants or maybe a treat. In that case, the behavior may continue even if you stop enabling it.

Any type of attention, it doesn’t matter if it is positive or negative, will encourage your dog to keep jumping up. Pushing him away when he jumps is the same as giving him some pats. 

Habit

Once your dog believes that jumping will get him what he wants, he will do it whenever possible. If you do nothing for it to stop, then it will become a habit for him. Patterns are tough to correct, and it is even more difficult for dogs. 

Breaking habits from dogs is tricky and requires a lot of patience. You need to set a proper routine so that they can understand what’s going on. 

How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up?

Small dog walks with owner on a leash in a dog park

Once you know why your dog jumps up when walking, it is time to correct that behavior. All you need to do is be patient and firm and follow these tips until you notice the results. 

Here’s what you can do to stop your dog from jumping up when walking:

Ignore Your Dog

When your dog jumps up, it could mean he wants attention. The best thing if your dog wants attention and misbehaves to get it is to ignore him. The more you react to what he is doing, the more he’ll keep doing it. Petting your dog could make him think it is an acceptable behavior.

Here’s what you can do: 

  1. The moment your dog starts jumping, turn your back to him, be quiet, and cross your arms. 
  2. When he tries to go around you and jump again, do the same and turn away.  
  3. Repeat the process for as long as necessary. 
  4. Remember to ignore him and avoid eye contact as much as possible. 
  5. Do not give in even if your dog tries to bark or nibble at you. He is testing you to see if you’ll react to other behaviors. What you must do is keep ignoring him. 
  6. Eventually, your dog will settle.
  7. Once your dog’s jumping has calmed down, you can turn to see him and reward him with a treat or clicker.

This method is called negative punishment. It corrects the dog by taking away the thing he wants the most: your attention. So, if he wants you to play with him or give him a pat or a scratch, he’ll need to be calm and quiet. 

Tip: If you live with your family or partner, you need to get them involved to correct this behavior. They have to ignore the dog the same way you do, or it will never work. 

Redirect The Behavior

One more thing you can do to stop your dog from jumping up when walking is redirecting the behavior. You’ll need something that your dog wants so that you can grab his attention. For example, you can keep treats in your pockets when you go for a walk and use them to stop the behavior by just showing them to your dog. 

Additionally, you can also stop the behavior by showing a favorite toy or by using commands, dog treats or clicker training. The toy will work similarly to the treats, but you need to teach the order for it to work. 

Redirecting your dog’s attention to modify his behavior is one of the best methods when it comes to intelligent breeds like German Shepherds or Border Collies. However, it is not impossible to make it work with other breeds. You’ll just need repetition and patience to get your puppy to give a polite greeting.

Do More Exercise

Too much energy can cause your dog to jump up just so that he can get that energy out of him. If your dog seems manic and playful, try to increase the amount of exercise he does a day. Some dogs need at the very least one or two hours of exercise, but that’s just the minimum.

Play some tug-of-war inside the house for 5 or 10 minutes before going out. Your dog will be a bit tired by then, and he won’t want to pull or jump up. You can also give him a bone to chew for 30 minutes before going out. Chewing uses a lot of energy and can quickly tire your dog enough to have a nice walk through the park. 

Giving the right amount of exercise to your dog can also do wonders for their health and mental state. Additionally, dogs that get the necessary exercise time tend to be more obedient during training. 

Training Your Dog to Stop Jumping Up

Training your dog means setting routines, treats, and punishments. It is essential to train your dog, even if it is a Chihuahua or another small breed. That’s how you can prevent any sort of unwanted behavior. 

When it comes to jumping up when walking, you should try all the options mentioned above. Check which ones work for you and your dog and which ones don’t. Then, start training him using the ones that work. 

Remember that the key to training is repetition and patience. The more you train your dog, the easier it will be for him to understand what you want and what will get him treats and attention. 

Tip: When training your dog not to jump up when walking, start small. First, try in an environment that is under your control, and that has few distractions. Once your dog has learned in that environment, you can try in a park full of other dogs, pigeons, and humans. 

Try to make your family and friends part of the training. By doing this, your dog won’t just behave when you are around, but he will act well even when you are out. This training can also help you control the jumping when someone arrives home. 

Steps You Can Take to Train Your Dog

The most important training you can do with your dog is teaching him to sit on command. It is not a complex command to teach, and you can use it to moderate his behavior in various situations. 

If your dog jumps up when walking, you can use the sit command to get him to stop without giving him the attention he wants. 

You can also involve a family member or a friend during the training. One of you can walk with the dog while the other approaches to greet the dog. If your dog starts jumping up, the one greeting will take a step back. If the dog is calm, your friend or family member can approach to pat the dog. 

Repeat this process for as long as necessary. Eventually, your dog will realize that sitting and being quiet will get him the attention he wants. 

Additionally, you’ll also be teaching your dog to control his needs, which can lead to many benefits for you both. For instance, this training can help you if your dog jumps up when you are sitting or when someone comes to visit. 

You can recruit your friends to help your dog learn how to politely greet visitors to your home. Have them ring the doorbell and tell them to turn around to leave if your pup starts jumping when you open the door. Redirect his behavior by using a “sit” command. Once he does this, your friend can come back in to greet him and give him a treat reward.

Dr. Megan Teiber DVM

Be Patient

Finally, the one thing you need to understand is that it doesn’t matter what you do. The problem won’t disappear overnight. You’ll need to practice constantly and repeat the process daily for it to work. It can take a week, a month, or even a year, depending on your dog. 

You also need to be constant. Repetition is how dogs learn new tricks, and you cannot stop the training for a couple of days and resume it when you have more time. 

Do not lose your temper when training your dog. Remember that he doesn’t understand what you want yet. The only time he’ll know what you want him to do is when he understands the command. For that to happen, you need to finish the training. 

If you need more tips to stop your dog from jumping up, you should check out this video.

What To Avoid?

Dogs do not possess the same attention levels as us. If you are going to correct them, do it right after the bad behavior. That will help them comprehend why you are doing it. 

Here’s why we don’t recommend using physical punishment when training your dog not to jump up:

  • Using physical punishments when training your dog can severely hurt them. This is also true if you use leash training and you pull the leash as punishment. 
  • When using your strength to hold your dog down, he could interpret it as initiating the play, and he could get more energetic. If that happens, your dog will want to keep jumping and nibbling. 
  • Additionally, if you are using a leash, your dog may learn not to jump up but only when he is on a leash. So, it wouldn’t be a solution if your dog likes jumping up on people whenever someone new arrives at the house. 

Punishment rarely has the desired effect to get rid of unwanted behavior. It contributes to overstimulation and may even lead to aggression, fear, or anxiety in your pup. Instead, I recommend positive reinforcement, which is a reward for desired behavior. For example, teaching your dog a preferred behavior like “sit” and then providing a treat reward will be much more effective than knocking him down with your knee when he wants to jump.

Dr. Megan Teiber DVM

Conclusion

Jumping up on you is typical behavior for many dogs. It means they want your attention or are trying to communicate with you. The first thing you need to do is understand why your dog is jumping. Then you can correct it. 

Once you know what your dog needs or wants, you can start the training. You can train him to sit on command or ignore him until he settles. You can also involve a friend or a family member to make the training a lot more effective. Just remember to be patient and don’t give up!

All content has been reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Megan Teiber, DVM.


Kate Beveridge

Kate is an Australian writer and dog enthusiast. She can be found patting street dogs and caring for her mischievous Golden Retriever called Nala.



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