How To Train a Golden Retriever To Stop Jumping

Updated September 17, 2023

Knowing how to train a golden retriever to stop jumping is vital for every owner wishing to raise a polite dog.

To determine how to stop a golden retriever from jumping on people, you should first understand why dogs do it.

Golden retrievers jump on people because they are excited. If you fail to teach your puppy to control its excitement, this habit may become problematic in the future.

A dog jumping on everyone can knock over a child, scratch someone, or get their clothes dirty. A golden retriever jumping up and biting people shows that the owner neglected basic training.

For your training to be successful, be consistent, don’t encourage poor behavior, and avoid mistakes in training a dog not to jump.

When To Begin The Training?

The best time to begin training a golden retriever is at eight weeks old, as soon as the puppy arrives in the new home. At this age, puppies can already memorize commands and learn what’s right and wrong.

However, “stop jumping” is unlikely to be the first command you’ll teach your puppy. Puppies can only learn as many orders simultaneously, just like kids. Everyone’s brain has a limit on the information it can process.

Avoid teaching your dog several commands at once, especially if it’s very young. You can leave the “stop jumping” command until 12 or 16 weeks old to give your puppy enough time to learn other commands, such as “sit,” “drop it,” and “come.”

In contrast, there’s no age limit for dog training. Giving up on training an adult dog with behavioral problems is a common mistake. Every dog can be taught, but the time and effort required to teach each dog differs.

Be patient if you’ve adopted an adult golden retriever accustomed to jumping at people. If your efforts show no results, consider seeking the help of a professional dog trainer.

Don’t Reward Jumping

Jumping is a golden retriever’s natural reaction to something exciting, but some puppies jump more than others because their owners unintentionally encourage such behavior.

To avoid wasting time training your golden retriever, ensure that you aren’t rewarding it for jumping. Rewards, in this case, don’t have to be toys or treats.

A reward is any positive reinforcement, including petting, speaking in a friendly voice, and even eye contact. A puppy jumping on you may be cute, but you should only interact with your dog when its paws are on the floor.

Ensure your family, friends, and other people interacting with your dog don’t encourage jumping.

If you discourage jumping, but your friend doesn’t mind it, your dog won’t learn that jumping is unacceptable – it simply will jump on other people instead of you.

Exercise Your Dog Regularly

Golden retrievers are a hunting breed, so they have naturally high stamina and energy levels. These dogs need plenty of physical and mental enrichment to prevent health conditions and mischievous behavior.

A golden retriever puppy that isn’t getting enough exercise won’t obey commands, no matter how you train it. Drain your puppy’s energy by playing with it before each training session to set it up for success.

Teach Your Dog to Sit & Stay

The easiest way to get a dog not to do something is to make it do something else. If your dog jumps, making it sit or stay is easier than commanding it “stop jumping.”

“Sit” and “stay” are some of the first commands to teach a golden retriever. Hold a treat above and slightly in front of your puppy’s head. Then, slowly move the treat back behind your dog’s head parallel to the ground.

Your puppy will try to follow the treat with its nose and fall on its bum. It won’t work every time because your puppy will try to find other ways to get the treat, but you will succeed eventually.

As soon as your puppy sits, make a verbal cue and give it a treat. After a while, you can add a hand signal to the verbal cue because puppies easily memorize visual cues.

To teach your puppy to stay seated, give it treats one after another. As soon as your puppy stands up, stop giving it treats.

After some time, your dog will learn that staying seated gives it almost unlimited rewards. However, be mindful of your dog’s calorie intake.

Teaching a puppy to stay is not much different. You need to wait until your puppy sits or lies, then make it stay by offering it a treat, giving it a verbal cue, and rewarding it.

Teach Your Dog What You Want It To Do

The best way to stop a dog from jumping on you is to command it to sit, but you can teach your dog to stop unwanted behavior by a different command. Most importantly, you should create links between the verbal command and your dog’s action.

Unfortunately, a dog won’t understand what you want from it if you say, “please, stop jumping on me.” You must show your dog what you want it to do with your actions.

The best moment to say the verbal command is before the unwanted action occurs. As soon as your puppy stands on its back legs or runs towards you aiming to jump, firmly say, “stop” or “sit,” and take a step back.

You can use a clicker to speed up the verbal cue memorization. Ignore your dog whenever it jumps on you.

Don’t interact with it apart from commanding it to stop or sit. Whenever your puppy obeys the command, give it a treat instantly.

Practice Polite Greeting

Practice is key to golden retriever training success. Since golden retrievers most often jump when they greet their favorite human, you can walk in and out of the door several times and reward your dog for a polite greeting.

Give your dog a treat whenever it wags its tail and stands still. If your dog jumps on you, ignore it, exit the room and try again.

Consistency is vital for dog training, so you can even carry some treats in your pocket to give your dog for polite greetings every time you come home.

Teaching The Puppy Not To Jump On Other People

The primary factor hindering golden retriever training is inconsistency. If your reaction is different every time, your dog will have difficulty understanding what you want from it.

Furthermore, the reaction should be consistent among all family members and house visitors. It’s one thing to teach a dog not to jump on you and another thing to teach it not to jump on people in general.

But here’s the catch. You can ask your family members to react correctly to your puppy’s jumping, but you can’t make other people act as you want.

Strangers in public parks, neighbors, and friends you haven’t seen in a while will inevitably encourage your dog for unwanted behavior. They will smile, look your dog in the eyes, and may even pet it.

When your golden retriever jumps on people, you need to control the environment. You can do it by commanding it to sit, but there’s no guarantee your puppy will obey if it’s young.

The best thing to do is to keep your dog on a leash around other people until it learns to obey your commands every time.

Keep your golden retriever a few meters away from a person, then invite the person to greet your dog but warn it not to react to the jumping. Tell them they can only pet your dog if its paws are on the floor.

If you often have guests over, set up a barrier between your dog and the guests. For instance, place a baby gate between your puppy and the entrance to avoid it jumping on everyone who opens the door.

Mistakes in Golden Retriever Training

For your efforts to show results, you should be aware of the most common mistakes in golden retriever training and avoid them by any means.

Many owners wonder why a golden retriever doesn’t obey commands, although they do everything right. Often, the problem lies in timing. Whenever your puppy jumps on you, you should communicate your disappointment with its behavior immediately.

If you tell your dog to stop jumping after it has already put its paws on the ground, your puppy may have difficulty drawing links between its actions and your command.

Puppies have a short memory. You can notice it by the way your puppy acts when you walk into the room after being away for ten minutes.

If it acts as if it sees you for the first time, that’s because it doesn’t remember that you were in the room recently. Another mistake is scolding your golden retriever for jumping.

Yes, jumping is a discouraged behavior. But golden retrievers don’t respond well to punishment. Your dog may only become hostile to you and anxious about expressing its emotions.

Lastly, don’t expect your training to be successful if you don’t provide your dog with enough exercise. A tired dog is a compliant dog.

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