Four on the Floor: 5 Tips for Teaching Your Dog to Stop Jumping

August 26, 2023

Do you often struggle to get your dog to stop jumping when you walk through the door? While it’s natural for dogs to be excited and want to greet you enthusiastically, jumping can quickly become a nuisance. Fortunately, with the right training and techniques, you can teach your pup to keep all four paws firmly planted on the floor. This blog post will explore five practical strategies to end your dog’s jumping habits.


Understanding the Jumping Behavior


Before diving into training methods, it’s essential to understand why dogs jump in the first place. Jumping is often a way for dogs to seek attention, express excitement, or even attempt to establish dominance. By grasping the underlying reasons, you’ll be better equipped to address the behavior.



1. Reducing Arousal


When your dog is over-aroused, it will lead to more jumping. If you can decrease that arousal level, it will be easier for your dog to control themselves. One of the easiest ways to reduce arousal is by using food. When your dog searches for food, licks, and chews, chemicals are released in the brain that help calm your dog down. If you keep some food in your car or by your door, you can scatter that as soon as you walk in. Usually, by the time the dog eats the food, you can cue a sit, and they will be ready to listen.


If you want more practical tips to help reduce arousal, check out my blog Calm Down! How Food Reduces Arousal for Excited Dogs.


2. Ignoring and Rewarding Calmness


Teach your dog that calm behavior gets rewarded while jumping leads to no attention. When you enter your home and your dog starts jumping, turn around and ignore them. Only give attention once they’ve settled down. Over time, your dog will learn that staying calm is the best way to receive your attention. In addition, utilize tips from step one to reduce arousal.


3. Redirecting to an Alternate Behavior to Stop Jumping


Redirect your dog’s energy and excitement into an alternate, more desirable behavior, such as sitting. Encourage your dog to sit and reward them for doing so. This provides an alternative outlet for their enthusiasm and reinforces a more controlled behavior.



4. Training Aids and Tools to Stop Jumping


Utilize training aids like leashes or harnesses to provide better control when you have visitors. These tools can help prevent jumping and give you the ability to guide your dog’s behavior. Always remember to use these aids positively and gently.


5. Professional Training


If your dog’s jumping behavior is persistent and challenging to manage, seeking assistance from a professional dog trainer can be immensely beneficial. Teaching your dog not to jump is a large part of our training classes at Golden Paws Dog Training. If you need extra help with four on the floor, please check out our private training packages or group classes!


Remember, teaching your dog to stop jumping requires patience, persistence, and positive reinforcement. Every dog is unique, so be prepared to adjust your training methods to suit your dog’s personality and tendencies. With consistent effort, you’ll soon enjoy a well-mannered companion who greets you with all four paws on the ground.


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