Why does my dog jump up on me all the time?

This is a question I have received as a dog trainer since the very beginning of my career.  The first step with any dog related issue is to figure out why your dog is doing this issue.  Dogs nearly all the time have the same reason for jumping up simply put attention.  Attention that they have received numerous times for this exact behavior.  Not many people start out scolding dogs for jumping up mostly because as a puppy its cure and understandable that being so small they have to get attention some how right.  After the dog grows up its not as cute, with smaller dogs its mearly an anoiance but with larger breeds it is difficult to deal with to say the least and may even be dangerous if the dog is big enough to knock you over and accidentally hurt you.  So the behavior has started as a puppy needing and wanting attention and it grows from there whether it be from getting the attention or playing or even food driven to keep the behavior going.  

How do i stop this?

The steps to stop a dog from jumping up vary but all have a lot of similarities so here is my personal take on how to fix this issue.  I break this issue down into life stages of are you fixing this issue for a puppy or an adult dog?

Puppy Fix 

  1. don’t reward the jumping up no cuteness remarks and no petting same as for begging or other issues.
  2. Reinforce sit before attention is given, with puppies the easiest way to get them to sit is take a piece of food and bring it over top of the puppy’s head he will look up and sit every time.  once the sit happens then give the treat and the praise.
  3. Be consistent make sure every one in the house does this same thing every time the puppy jumps.  Have strangers do this as well to help solidify it.

Adult Dog Fix

  1. Adult dogs view jumping up differently than pups.  Adult dogs understand personal space and behavioral issues much more than people give credit for.  Jumping up for an adult is a greeting as much as it is attention even though it started as a puppy it does evolve for adult dogs.
  2. Food is still an option however for an adult dog it can be a long process and take a lot longer than it does for a puppy.  Same steps for food motivation as a puppy, see above.
  3. Bumping the dog with your knee, this method has been missused and missunderstood in a lot of ways over the year.
    1. Don’t knee your dog with force it is just a nudge enough to get him to back up a bit, however at the same time shouldn’t be so light as to not get any reaction from your dog.
    2. When you bump your dog with your knee you are stepping forward inadvertently.  Its a natural reaction to raising one knee to either lean forward or take a step forward.  This is claiming space from your dog.  Your body language is stating this is my territory not yours to your dog and your dog will understand this.
    3. Claim your area, have the mental thought in your head of this is my space and you are invading it so that your dog can get this reaction from your body language.  You are attempting to tell your dog that personal space is mine to your dog and that your dog is only able to come into your bubble with invitation.
  4. Set the limit and stick to it have friends do the same so that your dog understands this rule is for everyone not just family and not just at home.
  5. with practice and constistancy this shoudl fix the jumping up issue for puppy or adult dog in a matter of weeks.  If the issue continues i would reccomend seeing a trainer to get additional help.