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Ask the Trainer: My Dog Jumps On People He Meets

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Dear Kevin,
How do I keep my dog Rocky from barking and jumping up on people?

Hi Rodney,

It sounds like Rocky is getting excited when he sees people. What I like to do is teach him an incompatible behavior. An incompatible behavior for jumping is sitting.  The cool thing is that if we focus heavily on teaching him to sit when he meets someone, he won’t jump.

It takes a little bit of work in the beginning but the overall idea is for him to realize that the reward (meeting the person) only comes if he does the correct thing. (sitting) When you do this you’ll want to use a leash. This leash will allow you to remove the reward (pull him away) if he makes the decision to jump.

The video below gives a good visual of how to do this.

In order to have success in curbing these unwanted behaviors you’ll need to get a lot of repetition in. If you only have a guest over once a month, this will be nearly impossible to curb. That is because you’ll only be getting in roughly 12 repetitions a year. The more reps you get in, the quicker you reach your goal.

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  1. Avatar Of Bk



    Here’s a simple solution: Crate your dog when you have guests. If you have a dog that sees fit to do this type of stuff, then putting him/her in a crate is not a bad idea. I can already hear the pitchforks sharpening and the torches being lit, but I don’t care. We’ve always crated our dog when we have guests and he’s never had a nervous breakdown or anything.

  2. Avatar Of Lynn



    Kevin, saw your video on training a dog to greet folks at the door. Thanks so much for sharing this as our goldendoodle Sophie always wants to jump up on folks to say hello. We’ll definitely try this technique.
    Lynn Hudson
    Annapolis, MD

  3. How do I stop my dog from trying to hump everyone who comes to visit me.

  4. Avatar Of Pam Decker

    pam decker


    my dog loves people – when they come over or we see people on our walk, she wants to jump on them, if I get her to sit, she starts barking for attention. I have tried different things on our walk and the treat does help with the jumping but when someone is in your home and she keeps at it – it’s frustrating. I try to use No without shouting – only works for a little while
    She really wants all the attention –

  5. Avatar Of Izzy



    4 yr old maltipoo male. Neutered however when guest enters he jumps and attaches himself to their thigh and will not give up. Very embarrasing and mainly applied to female guests! Help please

  6. Avatar Of Karen



    My Golden Molly will jump up on us when we have been out and come home or just sometimes in the house for no reason. We got her when she was 8 months old and we have been training her. So far she is doing well but the other thing she has recently started is picking rocks up outside and putting them in her mouth…. Your help is really welcomed.

  7. Avatar Of Sami Citron Sami Citron says:

    Please tell me how to deal with my young Aussie alpha male who chases cars, bikes, wheel chairs, and some people walking past our house. He also attacks other dogs at the park. I just bought a muzzle but there must be an intelligent way to deal with this behavior.

  8. Hi kevin,
    I have a 3 year old German shepherd he’s a great and friendly dog with alot of energy the only problem we have with him is his constant barking at everyone who comes in the door or he has to run up to people or other dogs barking in which it frightens them. It drives me nuts because people don’t see him as a friendly loving dog they see him as a 100 lb dog who is running at them barking and they think he’s going to attack them but he actually just wants to play. How can we fix this to make him more calm and inviting to others

  9. Avatar Of Simon Jesuit

    Simon Jesuit


    I actually have a question. My German Shepherd only jumps up on family members. She’s 2 and very affectionate with us and the male (who she is bonded to).
    She weighs only 60 pounds, but she scratches and bruises me a lot when she jumps. I can only keep her from jumping by letting her kiss me, after which she calms down. I have tried EVERYTHING and nothing stops her from jumping on me until I let her kiss me on the chin or cheek, then she calms down immediately. She is dominant, as is my boy, but he’s not as affectionate as she is, and is satisfied with having his behind scratched.

  10. Avatar Of Renee Schaeffer

    Renee Schaeffer


    Hi! Watched your video on jumping, and was impressed with your teaching techniques! Wish you didn’t live clear across the country! I have a near 2 yr. old Blk. Lab who is a great dog, with a couple of bad habits! One jumping on people when excited or nervous. The second, always biting. Puts your hand or arm in his mouth when greets us. Usually when I first get home, or when he gets scared by something.
    Going to try your video tips for jumping, any words of wisdom for the mouth grabbing??
    Would even be happy to pay you if I could hire you and do this via online…

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