Why does your dog jump?

It may be due to the excitement of you coming home from a long day away and they figured out jumping gets them attention. Or maybe they want to meet and greet the visitors and they have learned that also gets them attention. Or maybe you as the owner allow them to jump on you and expect they know not to jump on the visitors.

Teaching the dog an incompatible behavior is going to help the human and the dog. (sit, down, place, four on the floor) 

Dogs are great learners, however, dogs need consistency! 

If you don’t want your dog to jump, what would you rather your dog do? Greet with four on the floor, go to place, get a toy, or sit while the visitors enter? Once you know what you want from your dog and stay consistent with training then your dog will learn.


Attention to Handler

Reward attention to the handler, value in looking at the handler. Treat low, prevent jumping up. When ready, handler can move team forward and *mark and treat for attention back to the handler.

Desensitizing to people

Teach dog that people coming up to the handler isn’t that exciting, and NOT all people are going to say “hi” to the dog.

*mark and treat often at the beginning when your dog hangs out with you and gives their attention to the handler.

Have a conversation with a person, while marking and treating with check ins and attention.


Ask for a sit and reinforce when the hind end is on the floor. As long as the dog is in a sit, the dog gets treats. Release before the dog gets up.


Find It

Before your dog gets a chance to race to the door or to jump up on someone, you’ll be able to ask for “Find it”.  Attention will be immediately focused on the floor rather than on the person who just walked through the door.  Sniffing is hard work, and it’s tiring.  When done finding and eating the bits of food from the ground, they’ll be in a better state of mind to learn how to properly greet someone with all four paws on the floor or in a sit position (we’ll visit both of those behaviors later). 

Zen hand

Wait for dog to sit or ask for sit

Hold treat at shoulder height, lowering treat *mark and hand treat

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Keep lowering and working on as your dog can handle the treat coming closer 

Release and repeat


Four on the Floor 

This is a game for the whole family and will help your dog learn other behaviors. You want to reward your dog when their four feet on the floor than for behaviors such as sit or lay down. 

Make sure to reward with treats low to the ground or place the treat on the floor. Remember a dog with their head down won’t be able to jump. 

If your dog does jump up during any interactions, immediately withdraw all your attention. Do not say anything to your dog or look at your dog, just turn your head away. 

When your dog has all four feet back on the floor, return your attention back to your dog. But don’t start treating right away. Reset and start again. Simply step back and treat the dog’s feet staying on the floor. To ensure the dog doesn’t jump, be quick with this treat.


Start the door greeting when it is quiet, no distractions and no visitors.

Stand at the door with your dog, give your dog a cue. “go to your place”, “safe place” (make this what you want it to be.)

Come up with this for the whole house to use each time. What is the cue going to be?

Happily walk with your dog away from the door to a safe room, with the dog’s bed or crate.

Throw a few treats on the floor and shut the door, just for a few seconds.

Let your dog out.

Repeat. Extending the time your dog is in the “safe place”.

Extend the time long enough to be able to open the door and come back to let your dog out.

Add a knock at the door, yourself.

After, your dog is comfortable and knows this trained cue, take turns between the family members in the house, going  outside and becoming the “visitor” Make sure to stay at the entry of the door until your dog is in the “safe place”.

Follow up after your dog is comfortable and knows this trained cue ask friends to come over and help. Make sure to ask them to stay at the entry of the door until your dog is in the “safe place”.

Adding doorbell cue

Once your dog has a good cued behavior to their base or (whatever the cue you have is) in this example we will call it ” place”.

The next step is to add the sound of the doorbell, say your cue, when your dog goes to their place treat and ask for a behavior, such as a sit or down. Once your dog is calm, release your dog to go say “hi”.

The goal: Your dog know the sound of the doorbell means go the place and wait to be released.

For the purpose of the instructions the person ringing the bell and coming into the house will be called the “visitor” the person in the house  with the dog will be called the “owner”.

Family member in the house (that the dog knows and likes) should take turns being the visitor, ringing the door bell or knocking  and enter the house. And the owner working with the dog, start on leash and progress to working off the leash.

It will start by the visitor arriving at the door, ringing or knocking.

The owner will start tossing the treats just after the sound, keep tossing as the door opens and now let the visitor toss the treats as they enter the house.

The visitor will stay at the entry and toss treats away getting closer to them as they toss. Until the treats land at the visitors feet.

* Don’t hand the treat to the dog, at this point.*

The visitor will toss a few treats at their feet and then leave.

Make sure to switch who is being the visitor.

After a few days of the visitor visiting from the front door, invite the visitor to come in. Keep the dog on leash and have the visitor follow the owner and dog. Put the dog in the safe place.

The goal: Is for the dog to start associating what could  be scary to something they know and what is already good.

IF this goes well, after a week or more of practice, ask a friend to come over and have them help with the training.

Go slow and if your dog starts returning to the previous reaction, go back. It is all from the learners point of view, and if they don’t feel comfortable don’t push them.