HOW TO CURE JUMPING UP Part II: Your Dog Jumping on Guests

by Camilla Gray-Nelson

dog jumping on guests or ownersIn my preceding post, I explained how to stop your dog from jumping on you.  Now, I’ll give you my favorite tip for solving another jumping problem:  Your dog jumping on guests.

To prevent this embarrassing situation, my favorite “cure” is teaching the dog to go to a special bed or mat, whenever the doorbell rings, and stay there until his owner gives him permission to leave. Think Pavlov.

1. Start by placing a nice dog bed or mat about 10 feet from your front door. Pick a spot next to something that can serve as an “anchor” for a leash, which you will attach there as your “back-up.”

2. Elicit the help of your family or friends. Have them ring your doorbell, and before you open the door, take your dog to his bed, give him a tasty treat, and attach the waiting leash to his collar.

3. Tell him to STAY in his bed, while you answer the door. If he gets up, the leash will prevent him from reaching and jumping on your “guest,” enabling you to quickly put him back on his bed.

4. Before you leave him a second time, SNAP his leash, and softly repeat the STAY on your bed command.  Sometimes this correction works with a flat collar, sometimes a more formal training collar is needed. In any case, you are making it clear that your dog’s only and best option is to remain on his bed while company enters. Do this many times and praise him softly for his compliance.

5. Require that he stay on his bed until the excitement of your guest’s arrival has calmed. By then, the dog will be calmer, too, and far less likely to jump. Allow him off his bed and supervise his greetings. Keep a leash on your dog if necessary.  Softly and calmly praise his good manners.

Soon, through these repetitions and the help of your friends, your dog will have learned a new habit (conditioned response) and a new, more acceptable way of greeting your guests when they enter your home. Then you will be ready for real guests and unexpected arrivals.  Now, you’re ready for the Holidays!


Click Here to See Part I of “How to Cure Jumping Up”

About Camilla Gray-Nelson

When I started training dogs professionally, it was women who sought out my help. Responsibility for the family dog typically falls to them, after all. Their homes were in chaos; they were yelling at their dogs – and their kids – and couldn’t control either one. The life skills of personal power that I learned as a child (and assumed everyone else had, too), turned out to be rare among my clients. Since that time, it has been my personal goal to share Nature’s message of quiet power with women (and men) everywhere to help them become more effective not only with their dogs, but in their greater lives as well.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Noelle November 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm

What age (puppy), can you start training with this clever behavior?

Camilla November 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm


You can start training this behavior at ANY age. Go for it!

If you are in my area, I am also holding a 2-hour Holiday manners demonstration at Dairydell in Petaluma on Sunday 12/12, from 1-3pm. this is one of the behaviors I will be demonstrating. You are invited to come observe!

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