How do I get my dog to stop jumping on me?

HUMANS FOR DOGS: I have a lab called Max. If you go outside and pet and play with him, he jumps on you growling and biting really hard. I’ve tried everything to stop him:

  • Putting him on a lead for a few minutes
  • Hitting him
  • Spraying him
  • Not giving him dinner

Nothing will work. He will keep jumping and biting you until you’re inside, away from him.

What do I do ???

– Max’s Mom

Photo by Jan Truter.

Photo byJan Truter.

Max’s Mom, it sounds like you need to spend more time with Max.

Is Max getting enough company? Dogs like to hang out in packs. In the house, they will usually follow you around in order to be close to you. If your dog is spending lots of time outside alone, not only is he lonely, but he’s not learning how to behave around people.

Dogs play by jumping on each other and mounting each other, especially when they are young. So, if he’s not drawing blood, he might just be trying to play.

I would not hit him or deny him food. Neither one will keep him from jumping on you. To keep him from jumping up, you can keep a leash on him and stand on it when he’s about to jump. When he bites, try yelling loudly to let him know that’s too hard for human skin. If he continues to jump and bite, just cross your arms and turn your back. Ignore him until he calms down. Every time he gets over excited, stop playing and turn around.

Next, I’d find some games to play with him. Try teaching him how to play fetch. Take two tennis balls, throw one. When he goes and gets it, if he won’t give it back to you, show him the second one and throw that one. Then pick up the first one.

With patience and time, Max will learn how to play in a way that’s comfortable for you because he really wants to play with you.

– Humans for Dogs

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