Dear Miss Behavin’:

How do I stop my dog from jumping on people when we are out walking?  He knows not to jump on us at home, so I don’t know why he jumps on people when we are out walking.

This is a very common problem for a lot of dogs.  The most common reason is that your pup hasn’t practiced with strangers to learn that the no jumping rules that apply at home also apply to all people.    You will need to practice with strangers since our dogs don’t generalize their training done in one area, such as your home to another like outside with distractions.

You will want to start by teaching your pup a way to say hi to strangers without jumping on them.  I would recommend that you teach them an incompatible behavior, something that if they are doing it they can’t also be jumping up.  I like to use the sit cue since most dogs know it and it is fairly simple to get.  You will want to set your dog up for success with the encounter by telling the stranger that your dog needs to be in a Sit to say Hi.  I would also suggest that you have them give your dog chest and chin scratches which most dogs love, besides being polite behavior on our part.  If your pup gets up, ask for the Sit again.  If they are having a really hard time holding their sit, end the interaction and move on.  If you allow them to jump you are putting your training at risk.  Behavior that is paid attention to tends to repeat itself.  Keep in mind that dogs don’t waste energy on something unless it benefits them.

If you are still having problems with your dog’s jumping I suggest that you schedule a 1:1 Consultation with one of our behaviorists to work on the problem with you and your dog or call our Behavior Hotline.

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