Why Does My Dog Jump On Me?
[A Complete Guide]

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Dog owners often ask dog trainers, “Why does my dog jump on me?” This is a common issue caused by many different factors related to a dog’s breed, personality, or past training experiences.

Everyone with a dog has struggled at one point with them exhibiting this often unwanted behavior. You are not alone! Many dog owners need to learn how to stop their dogs from jumping on them and their families. If your puppy or your mature dog is showing jumping behavior when you do not want it, there are some reasons why your dog might be jumping on you to get attention.

Why Does my Dog Jump on me While Walking?

The root of this kind of dog behavior is related to getting attention from their mothers. Puppies use jumping behavior to interact face-to-face with their mothers and to have their needs met. 

Older dogs will remember this interaction from when they were a pup and try to apply it to humans. This is because they think of the humans in their life as part of their pack.

While the sentiment behind this interaction is sweet, owners should be aware that dogs also use this behavior to express fear or aggression.

Puppies will also use jumping as a greeting behavior. Older dogs can think that meeting a new person is still a reason to put their paws on the humans around them. No one likes this, but your dog will not know unless you teach them.

If your dog only jumps on strangers, this might be a sign that they are nervous around new people and are seeking comfort from you. Dog training is often about redirecting energy, and this type of agitated jumping needs to be handled correctly.

Dog paws can hurt you or other people, and a big dog could even knock you down!

Why Does my Dog Jump on Me and Bite Me?

Other reasons for jumping up that are not related to early life experiences are often signs of insecurity or aggressive behavior.

Dogs jump on each other to assert their pecking order, and you do not want them to apply this idea to you or members of your family.

An aggressive or fearful greeting behavior can usually lead to biting, which is a big problem for any size dog. A dog jumps up and bites another to assert dominance.
If your dog is jumping up on you and then biting, you need to seek the help of a dog trainer right away.

This type of behavior can escalate and become a real danger to you and those around your dog. Normal jumping behavior should not be accompanied by putting their mouth on you.

Why Does my Dog Jump on Me When I Get Home?

The chances are that it is because they missed you! But the real reasons for this kind of behavior can still be rooted in fearful anxiety or an excess of energy.

The reasons for this kind of greeting are usually related to your dog feeling excited. Misplaced high energy can lead to a dog jumping up on a person when they see them after they have been gone.

While it might be sweet for your dog to be happy to see you, dogs cannot be allowed to jump in your face just because you came home again.
Some breeds of dogs are more prone to this kind of behavior than others, but you should always stop your dog from jumping. Natural excitement is not an excuse for your pet to treat you like an animal lower on the totem pole than them.

If your dog jumps on you as a greeting or puts their paws on strangers, you will need some training to teach them better ways to cope with stress or fear. This response can be a nuisance at best and could easily harm children.

How do I Teach my Dog not to Jump?

Any pet training method is about consistency. Tricks or skills that you want to teach your dog will need to be worked on every day.

If you are not consistent in your expectations, your canine friend will not learn how to behave correctly.

To teach a dog a new thing, you must make sure you can get their attention. You will want to use a leash and collar for this training practice. You should also have pet treats on hand to reward positive choices.
Some exercises to stop your dog from jumping are:Make your dog sit down before meeting new people. Dog trainers will tell you that most dogs need to learn patience from sitting and laying down. These skills can also help with a dog that jumps up out of excitement.

  • Ignore your dog until they stop jumping up. Do not make eye contact, and ignore your dog any way until they stop leaping in your face. When your pet starts to calm down, you can quietly pet them and reward them with a treat.

  • Make your dog sit down before meeting new people. Dog trainers will tell you that most dogs need to learn patience from sitting and laying down. These skills can also help with a dog that jumps up out of excitement. 



Train your dog to sit or lay down reliably. You can then use this trick to help them be calm when they meet new people or other dogs. Reward patient sit or patient lay down behaviors with treats.

  • Consider buying a crate and confine your dog when it is too exciting for them to listen to you. Dogs naturally calm down when in a small, quiet space, so a crate can do half your training work for you. Make sure that your dog is not confined there for too much of each day.

  • Send your dog outside to burn off some excess energy. If your dog commonly jumps up on you to see you eye to eye when you get home or they like to jump on guests, sending them outside into the back yard can be a great way to diffuse this way of seeking attention.

  • If your dog is allowed to jump on furniture, it would be wise to forbid this behavior as well. Jumping on the furniture is a lot like jumping up at humans and can confuse your dog. It is also easier for them to use the same naughty actions on the furniture when they are right there beside you.

  • Install a baby gate to keep your dog on the other side of the room. This might not have to be permanent, but it can be part of teaching your dog boundaries and help them make a habit of staying down and being calm.

  • Put your dog outside the door and walk out to greet them. If they put their feet on you or jump, go back inside. Use a sit or lay down command each time you go outside after this. Look into their eyes and say their name firmly if you need to. 

When your dog calms down enough to greet you properly at the door, you can reward them with a treat. This is a way to train your dog to behave through repetition.

What We Have Learned

Dogs jump up on their mother as pups to get attention. This means that they might think it’s okay to jump on people to be noticed.

All dog jumping up behavior is not acceptable and can lead to other aggressive or fearful actions towards humans.

Stop your dog jumping on you by being consistent in your training and showing them other ways to react to their excitement.

A well-trained dog will be able to make new friends everywhere they go in the world, and they will not have to jump up on anyone to do so!