There are a number of reasons why your dog jumps on you.  Here’s a lineup of the most likely reasons.

 

He’s trying to get closer to your face

 

It is natural for dogs to sniff the muzzles of other dogs that they meet.  The dogs are learning about what the other dog has eaten and may even be looking to have some of the meal shared. When dogs jump on humans, they are trying to get a sniff of your ‘muzzle’.

 

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He is trying to lick your face

 

Licking is instinctive in dogs.  The behavior is calming for them and is often exchanged between dogs in a pack, especially between dogs of lower ranks towards the alpha dog of the group.  If your dog is jumping on you, he may be trying to reach your ‘muzzle’ to give your face a lick and to show his obedience.  Interesting fact:  when the alpha dog returns to the pack, subordinate dogs lick his face, but the alpha dose not return the gesture.  He will typically turn his face from one side to the other, a lot like the way that we do when our dogs lick our faces.  Our habit of turning away may be similar enough to what other dogs do that it encourages the licking (and jumping!) behavior.

 

He is trying to get food from you

 

In pack settings, a puppy will lick the face of his mother to induce her to regurgitate food and to give him a partially digested meal.  As gross as it sounds, your dog may be instinctively anticipating that you are returning home to feed him and jumps on you to lick your face so that you will vomit up his next meal.

 

You’ve unknowingly trained the behavior into him

 

Lavishing praise on a dog when you see him may overstimulate him and encourage him to jump.  Jumping is just part of the way your dog is returning the enthusiasm that you are putting into the greeting.  This is the same reason why your dog may want to jump on your car as you pull into the driveway.

 

How to stop a dog from jumping on you

 

Animal Medical encourages all dog owners to review a list of common dog behavioral issues before acquiring a dog and learning what you can do to minimize the development of a bad habit. Depending on the breed of dog you get, he will be living with you and your family for 8-17 years or more!  Habits like jumping on you or the furniture, begging, or jumping on guests can quickly wear thin.  Training your dog to behave politely with your or with guests not only ensures that your dog will fit nicely into your home, but will give him the chance to show off his smarts and demonstrate that he is a worthy companion.

 

Okay, here are a number of solutions that you can try to stop your dog from jumping on you.

Monitor your behavior when you greet your dog

Don’t vocalize your excitement to see your dog when you return home. A high pitched voice, slapping your legs or your chest when you return, and animated behavior will excite your dog and encourage him to return your enthusiasm.

Use this command when greeting your pet

When returning home, get in the habit of giving your dog the sit command when he comes to you.  Have a treat ready to reward your pet when he does this.  Give him the treat and then give him quiet, calm affection and attention. Stop immediately if he tries to jump.

Use this tactic to keep your pet from jumping on others

Before you allow someone into your home, leash your pet.  After the visitor enters, ask the visitor to take a dog treat and then leash walk your dog towards the visitor.  Have the visitor give your dog the sit command and then reward the dog with the treat when he executes the command.

Enlist the help of visitors and people you meet on the street

Many strangers encourage jumping.  Politely explain that you are trying to stop this behavior.  Have a supply of treats on hand, ask the stranger to engage in some positive reinforcement, like the sit command, and have him or her reward your dog with the treat once he executes the command. The same holds true for those that visit you in your home.

Here's how to react when your pet jumps on you.

If your tries to jump on you, turn your shoulder into the jump, give your dog a strong ‘no’ command, and then ignore him.  If you have just entered the room, leave it without giving your dog the attention he seeks, and then reenter after a few moments.  When you return, reward the appropriate behavior with gentle praise and/or a treat.

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