Any suggestions on how to break my 80lb lab/pit from jumping on people?

He is a sweet boy but also big and somewhat overwhelming. He gets so excited when people come over that he ends up throwing himself on them. I need to break this habit ASAP.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Asked by Samson on Dec 7th 2012 in Behavior & Training
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Candy 4/13/99 - 2/8/09

Labradors are such loving and attention seeking dogs that this can be a common problem.
I have a two fold suggestion:
1 - control. Leash him, let him drag it, step on it to prevent jumping. pulling back on a leash is less effective than preventing the dog from jumping up. This also 'auto-corrects' the bad behavior. If it takes a long time to calm down, put up a baby gate.

2 - the right attention at the right time. Yelling "off", pushing the dog, grabbing his collar, kneeing him don't work. It's attention! It encourages the jumping!
Train him to sit for pets and food. Jumping will mean people walk away and ignore him. Practice with family, ring door bells till he ignores them, have him sit for attention.

Be prepared to spend a lot of time stepping on the leash.
Once he has 4 on the floor, reward with attention!
Withdraw attention the moment he goes airborne again.

Practice! It takes a lot of work to un-learn a bad habit.

Candy 4/13/99 - 2/8/09 answered on 12/8/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Good advice from Candy.
You can also use a clicker for this and not step on the leash. I find it easier to teach a dog what TO DO than to teach what NOT TO DO. When guests come, have the dog do a behavior incompatible with jumping. Sit is good. Doorbell sits..gets treat. Door opens, dog sits, gets treat. Guest comes in, dog sits, gets treat. Guest greets dog..guest gives treat if dog stays off.
Make sure guests know to ignore him when he is jumping. No contact until the dog is sitting.
Practice with family & friends.
A good book if you're unfamiliar with clicker training is "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller.

Member 904338 answered on 12/9/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The most amazing free resource on dog training is at

Patricia is an animal behaviorist who teaches at the university level and has a blog dedicated to animal behavior. Chances are jumping up is not the only issue - bet you would benefit from obedience classes. The time spent training preferred behaviors in the first few months lasts a lifetime!

Merlyn answered on 12/9/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer