Why Do Dogs Jump?

Last Updated on February 2, 2021 by Woody Pet

Why do dogs jump? They are not like cats!

Excitement is the kind of emotion humans and some animal feel when, for instance, see someone that have not been seen for quite a while. Remember the last time you saw your family, especially in these times? Imagine for a moment how you would feel if you see them again.

Well, for dogs, multiply that feeling by a thousand! Dogs are particularly fond of their owners. And when said owners come home, you would see them jumping and going completely crazy until they settle down (or not, if the behavior is rewarded)

But why though? Why do dogs jump? Is it really dangerous or can even be tamed for safety concerns, especially with older, pregnant, disabled people, children or people that do not live at your home? Let’s see what is it really and what can be done if you do not like this behavior at all.

So why do dogs jump up?

There are a number of theories about why do dogs jump up on people; popular among these are dominance and greeting behaviors. The truth is, though, that your dog is probably jumping up to say, “Look at me!” That is probably why dogs do jump.

You might inadvertently be rewarding your dog for jumping up on you by giving it what it wants. As is often true of kids, negative attention may be better than no attention. Your dog doesn’t necessarily realize that when you push it off or yell at it to get down that you’re attempting to punish it. Instead, your pup may view your behavior as exactly what it’s seeking: treasured attention from you.

In this case, any type of attention that the dog gets from you or others may be perceived as a reward. It makes sense then that instead of rewarding your dog for jumping up, you make it more rewarding for it to keep all four paws on the floor.

How to stop the jumping up in dogs?

So, we already established why do dogs jump in the first place: They are seeking attention from you, even if you give them negative attention… It is attention after all! But how to stop the jumping up in dogs?

Training your dog not to jump up on people takes patience and persistence on your part. Be aware that there are actions that you should take and others that you should avoid. Be consistent when you’re training your dog, and you’ll be rewarded with a best friend who keeps its front paws to itself.

Why Do Dogs Jump

First action to do: Withhold attention. That is what they are seeking after all. The first part of teaching a dog not to jump up involves withholding your attention. Ignoring your dog while they are jumping like crazy may tell them that it is not a good thing to do. 

Giving all your attention and affect when they stop doing so would be so rewarding for you and your dog. That is the next step: Rewarding the good behavior.

Adding a sit command would help a lot. Once your dog is able to keep four paws on the floor for a few seconds or more, start asking it to sit. Walk into a room or through the front door and give the command “sit.” As soon as the dog sits, offer a treat. Practice this over several training sessions. With plenty of repetitions, your dog will start sitting as soon as you walk through the door or enter the room.

Why the dogs spin in circles?

Having answered why do dogs jump, let’s find out another strange yet cute behavior. Why the dogs spins in circles?

Circling before squatting down was a smart way to survey the surroundings for safety. It allowed dogs to sniff for possible predators and avoid any surprise attacks while in a vulnerable posture. The second reasonable explanation, is that your dog needs to kick start the bowel movement. It’s possible that circling helps accomplish this.

Dog’s ancestors living in the wild would circle and paw at twigs and leaves to create the perfect sleeping area and the right bowl shape to fit their bodies. This also made it more difficult for potential predators to see them. Your dog is cleverly circling to release her scent that serves as an aromatic alert to other dogs. It serves as a signal that this bed belongs to her, and her alone.

Why Do Dogs Jump

Finally, let’s “crack” the happy spin. For some love-their-people dogs, the sight of their favorite person walking in the door after being at work or returning from a vacation, puts them in tail spins, literally. They display their excitement by spinning quickly, prancing up and down, and some even let out happy, greeting yelps. Being the recipient of this happy circle can make one feel like a rock star.

And as a warning, you should put an eye on dogs that are spinning way too much. Some dogs may circle constantly to the point of ignoring food or sleeping. In these cases, a thorough veterinary examination is required and anti-anxiety medications, coupled with behavior modification, may be warranted.

Why Do Dogs Jump Conclusion

Finally, in a nutshell, why do dogs jump? This is their way to saying to you “Hi! It is so good to have you back” or “Look at me! Give me some love!”

Sometimes, it is a cute behavior that would make us aww! But for some instances, may be dangerous like when old people, children, visitors and disabled people are around. If you want to cut down on that “super explosive” show of emotion, you could try to not give it so much attention and reward the dog when it is calm and ready to actually salute you in a polite way.

And when it comes to spinning, it is also the same when emotion is involved. Sometimes though, it may mean they are about to “take care of business”, taking a nap in a nice place they scented or just showing happiness. However, take a look if your dog is spinning way too much. As many things in life, too much is always bad.


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