How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping On People… - Brandon McMillan's Canine Minded
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How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping On People…

How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping On People…

Jumping dogs can often be a total embarrassment especially when they’re a larger breed that literally knocks over your house guests when they walk in. A dog with a bad jumping habit can not only be embarrassing but also a safety hazard as a large dog can accidentally injure an elderly person over. I actually worked with a family recently who’s dog actually knocked over a little girl and gave her a couple stitches in her head. Thankfully she’s ok but that’s when the family called me I started working on the dog to eliminate this problem for good. Now there’s a big difference between training your dog not to jump on you and training them not to jump on others. Training them not to jump on you is simple but to teach them to not jump on others is often a challenge because your dog learns to take you seriously but tends to look at everyone else as a pushover. It never helps when people think it’s so cute when your dog is jumping on them and the person is smiling and petting your dog. After all, this bad habit most likely formed when they were a puppy when everyone really did think it was cute when they jumped up…yourself included. (don’t lie) So putting a stop to an old habit is often tricky but I have a simple plan that I’ve executed on many dogs over the years and it seems to work on most. Of course there are many ways to break this habit but today we’re just gonna go over one that I find gets is very effective. Let’s break this down…

First thing’s first, let’s get geared up. The only tool we’re actually gonna be using to perform this technique is one of my favorite and cheapest tools there is. It’s so cheap you can’t even find it in stores. See that water bottle your drinking out of? Go ahead and finish it, put 20 pennies in there and put the cap back on. That’s right, behold the infamous penny bottle! A cheap but effective tool that’s been proven to solve countless dog problems. But proper use of the penny bottle is key. Timing is everything which is exactly what we’re going to go over today. So let’s do this…

The only realistic way to train this is by using other people. Again it’s easy to train them not to jump on you but breaking them of jumping on others is where the challenge lies. So call up a couple friends to help you out for a few minutes, it won’t take long. If you’re having a dinner party it’s even better. The more people you can do this with the better as your dog will quickly start to grasp the concept that it’s not acceptable behavior with anyone. As the doorbell rings most likely your dog will get excited and run to the door eagerly awaiting the houseguest they’re about to jump on. With the penny bottle in your hand simply open the front door and wait. Most likely your dog will jump on the guest right away. When this happens we’re gonna say “Off” with a stern voice followed by a firm shaking of the penny bottle followed by another “Off” command just as you said it the first time. The piercing sound of the penny bottle will startle your dog for a split second effectively taking them off their game for a moment. Of course if they don’t jump praise and reward. Once again we’re gonna wait for the next guest to arrive, penny bottle in hand and ready. When the doorbell rings, open up and get ready for your dog to jump. When they do simply repeat the process. Give a stern “Off”,  followed by a firm shake of the penny bottle followed by another stern “Off.” Praise and reward for no jumping. After a few days of this your dog will really grasp the technique. From there we’ll start phasing out the penny bottle as they’re now conditioned to the verbal command only. Everyday shake the bottle a little lighter and a little less till eventually eliminating it all together. But when the bottle is finally eliminated all together be sure to say the “Off” command right as you see those paws even remotely close to leaving the ground. Beating them to the punch is the key to eventually beating them at their game. And that’s it. It doesn’t get much simpler than that folks. Of course there are a few details we need to go over…

Let’s point out a few things here. First thing’s first, Timing is EVERYTHING when it comes to training. I cant stress this enough so anticipation is key. You know your dog has a bad habit so having the penny bottle armed and ready is so important. If you shake it a few seconds after your dog has been on that person is far less effective than if you can literally shake it as their front legs leave the ground to jump up. The better you time it the quicker they’ll learn so be on guard like a soccer goalie. Also shaking the penny bottle a foot or two away from them is ideal. Shaking it 10 feet away is often pointless as it’s not as startling as it being shaken right near them. It’s important not to scream the “Off” command as that’s just conditioning them to yelling every time you want something done. A slightly elevated very stern voice is all that’s needed. I find that a convincing voice is usually more powerful than a loud voice. And very important, as I stated above be sure that when you eliminate the bottle all together that you say your “Off” command right as you see their front paws leaving the ground. Even if you say it before they jump it’s just as well because you’ll heavily praise if they don’t jump. Also be sure to heavily praise when they don’t jump. It’s always important to let them know what they’re doing right especially when we’re training them on a disciplinary command. And that’s about it. It’s very simple and extremely effective on most. Remember training is all about conditioning. Teaching them something one day and never enforcing it is teaching them basically nothing so make it a daily routine and it’ll become muscle memory to them.

Try this out for yourself and let me know how it goes. Ruff.

– Brandon

  • Marina
    Posted at 15:39h, 09 March Reply

    we’re using Brandon’s penny bottle technique (though we’re in Canada so we had to find some old ones in a bottle) to break our havanese of his habit of barking at passing dogs and indoor machines (mixer, paper shredded etc.) it’s a great technique and working well. Can I use the penny bottle to correct jumping as well or would that be confusing?

  • Crystal Wilson
    Posted at 15:42h, 09 March Reply

    Thanks for all the tips you give us in training our pets. I have a problem with my 1 year black lab. When my husband and I leave the house for any length of time she u makes my bed and drags my pillows to the living area. She also takes all the pillows off the sofas and chairs. She is very well trained as I have used many of your techniques in training her from a puppy. She is very sweet but I have tried everything and I hate the idea of penning her. She has never been penned before. Could you offer any advise with this issue? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Crystal Wilson

  • Christie
    Posted at 22:00h, 09 March Reply

    Crystal, We had a lab/retriever that did that with our clothes. They want to be next to something that smells like you, and they are bored. Do you have a pillow you can give your dog that smells like you. Maybe that would help. You could also put something on your furniture that would fall and make a loud noise when she tries to do her thing. Good luck.

  • angie
    Posted at 16:26h, 30 May Reply

    I have 4 very energetic boston terriers. The two males have begun fighting for top dog position. The older one Buster is blind and 5. Chopper is 2 1/2 and much stronger and bigger. The two females often join in . Very jealous dogs. We would be willing to give up chopper but really don’t know anyone who could handle him. He is much smarter than we are. Help.

  • Pingback:Training Management and Leadership! - Page 2 - Boxer Forum : Boxer Breed Dog Forums
    Posted at 01:42h, 20 June Reply

    […] It's from "Lucky Dog" he's pretty impressive! Soooo is how he handles jumping. How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping On People… – Brandon McMillan Dog Trainer | Canine MindedBrandon… __________________ Gunther Mastiff/Pit Mix […]

  • Jennifer
    Posted at 13:43h, 17 July Reply

    I wonder if this penny bottle would work on a dog that already has a tendency to get startled by sounds? I am worried I will scare her too much. She’s a little dog.

  • Andree Naegeli
    Posted at 17:43h, 31 July Reply

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  • Jerry Sodemann
    Posted at 15:52h, 01 December Reply

    Crystal, there’s a product out there called the “Snappy Trainer.” It’s basically a mouse trap, but instead of the metal piece that comes down to kill a mouse, it has a big soft plastic flap that snaps down on the counter, couch, bed, etc. It works well because it startles the dog while you’re not there. There is a video on Youtube that shows a Lab that enjoys getting in the trash. They placed the “Snappy Trainer” on top of the trash. The dog pokes its nose in the trash and is startled when the flap smacks the trash. The dog leaves the room and later comes back, but walks wide around the trash can.

  • Matt
    Posted at 20:15h, 01 December Reply

    Thanks Brandon, will let you know how our two boys aka dogs do. Happy Holidays my friend. Cheers.

  • Sue Bode
    Posted at 22:44h, 01 December Reply

    I watch your show ever Saturday. I just rescued a 12 WK old lab/retriever. I am going to do the pennies in the bottle. I would really like to know the best way to teach him to stop nipping on everyone. I know he is puppy. Can you help me out? I wish you were in Florida that’s were I live. I named him Jersey he a great puppy. I just lost my lab/collie mix 6 months ago she was 12yrs. Anything you can tell me I would really appreciate it. Sue Bode

  • Lisa
    Posted at 01:38h, 06 January Reply

    Crystal, have you tried putting the pillows in your room and closing the door?

  • Mary
    Posted at 17:07h, 12 March Reply


    I board dogs and one of my clients has a Mallinois mix that was kept in an enclosed area when he was a puppy. He’s about 2 years old and when he goes in the yard all he does is walk in circles. This just breaks my and his parent hearts. Can you offer any suggestions to correct this?

    Thank you,


  • Jenniffer Jude Slachtovsky
    Posted at 17:41h, 02 December Reply

    Brandon, do you recommend the 1 second, 2 second, 3, 4…. treat and praise with this objective or is it instant reward and praise for no jumping?

  • Bettina Stemmler
    Posted at 15:17h, 01 January Reply

    why not train the dog from the beginning not to jump and that it’s rewarding for him not to jump? So I have treats and feed my dog next to me. Then I move a big my foot and reward him right away for not moving or jumping. Then I slowly increasy the moving until the dog understands that it’s a fun an rewarding game to stay with all four paws on the ground while his human is jumping around and excited. Next step is to train this at the door. When you come home you have to be faster than your dog, come in, and reward the dog right away while is his standing there and say hello. If he jumps, ignore it and turn away – be faster next time. Then you can start training it with other people. The advantage of this training compared to the bottle is that the dog is not threatened and the dog really wants to stay off and does not only not do it because he is afraid of the bottle. See for example in YT the video of kikopop “how to stop your puppy jumping up”

  • David Doggers
    Posted at 02:06h, 04 October Reply

    Just what I needed. My dog is to wild when people come over. I was thinking of getting him obedience training.

  • Andy Ramos
    Posted at 00:23h, 28 November Reply

    The penny or the pebbles in the plastic bottle seem to work on my 17 month old Carin Terrier. His other bad habit is scratching at the door right before we go for a walk and pulling me down our block before he settles down. He also does this when he sees other dogs from afar. He is not aggressive at all he just wants to get to the dog or person to say hello. Any advice?

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