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Ask the Trainer: How Can I Stop My Dog From Jumping on People?

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Dear Kevin,
I cant stop my 9 month old Baby from jumping on people when they come over. And, sometimes when she sees new people she will pee. Help me please I have MS and it kills me when she jumps up on me – she is 83 pounds of force!

Hi Wanda,

I would definitely look into getting something that helps you have a little more strength with her. I would recommend a head halter. A couple brands are Gentle Leader, and Halti. What I recommend doing is really focusing on what you want her to do and practice it a lot. I like to teach dogs to sit when someone enters the house. If we can teach her to sit and stay there then she can’t jump. I am going to attach a video at the bottom of this that will give you a visual of what I am talking about.

What I want you to practice is knocking on the door, putting her in a sit, and then opening the door. The goal is for her to sit there the entire time. (There will be no visitor for this part of the exercise.)  If at any point she gets up before you ask step back toward her and ask her to sit again. (If the door was open shut the door.) I highly recommend letting her know when she is doing the right thing. For example if you have her sit, and you go to reach for the door knob and she does not get up, tell her good girl and reward her with a piece of food. Practice this often so that you can go through the motions without her getting up. With all this practice you will be ready to add in visitors.

Put a note on your door giving the visitors a heads up as to what is going on. Tell them in the note to ignore her when they come in. This is important because giving her attention while she is excited could result in her urinating. When she calms down a bit they should be able to give her attention without her letting her bladder go.

When she is a little calmer you can invite her to meet the visitor. If she jumps on the guest, use the leash and remove her for a short period of time. (30 seconds or so). When that time is up allow her to try again. Keep repeating until you get your desired outcome. The more you practice without visitors the quicker you should start to see some results.

Here is a video of what it should look like. This can definitely be frustrating but it is fixable.

If you need help teaching her how to sit and stay check out those videos on my YouTube channel as well.

Just remember to practice a lot.

Thank you for the question!
Kevin Duggan CPDT-KA

Kevin is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT.org)  and is a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator through the American Kennel Club. He currently resides in Ohio with his dog, V, a six-year-old Shepherd/Lab mix, where he operates All Dogs Go To Kevin, LLC, specializing in helping build positive relationships between humans and their canine companions using clear communication, not pain and fear. For more training tips and tricks, and to meet his amazing dog, V,  follow him on Facebook by clicking here.

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