How to Train Your Boxer Dog to Not Jump

Medium
2-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

Daisy is a very friendly 2-year-old Boxer--too friendly, some would say. As is characteristic of her breed, she gets very excited when people come over or her owners return home, jumping up on them to show how happy she is to see them. The problem is, Daisy is a big girl--with claws--and most people do not appreciate her jumping behavior. Her owners have got to come up with a solution before Daisy drives all their friends away and wrecks all their clothes!  

Boxers are very expressive of their emotions and can be high-energy dogs. The result is jumping behavior when they are excited. What may be cute when they are puppies will not be cute when they are bigger. Because jumping up can injure people, especially seniors or children, your Boxer will need to earn a more appropriate way to channel his emotion and excitement. Fortunately, there are several ways to teach your Boxer how to keep his or her paws on the ground.

Defining Tasks

When your Boxer jumps up on you, he is probably trying to express his excitement at seeing you and wants affection. This is a worthy goal, and you do not want to punish it, but to redirect it to more appropriate expressive and attention-seeking behavior. Boxers are pawsy dogs, which means they are more apt to use their paws to handle a toy or communicate with you then some other breeds. Keep this in mind when redirecting behavior, and try not to lose patience with your lovable Boxer, who is just trying to show his pleasure in being with you. You will want to teach your Boxer that putting his paw on you does not get attention. Instead, he will get attention for other behaviors, like sitting and looking at you or performing a trick or command.

Getting Started

When working with your Boxer, you will want to first establish that you are the leader. Work with your dog to teach him obedience commands. Take your dog for walks and participate in feeding time by making your dog wait while you prepare food and then staying with him while he eats, to establish you are the provider of all good things. A Boxer that recognizes your leadership will be much easier to work with and teach not to jump up. Make sure all members of your household and any guests to the home understand that your Boxer is undergoing training not to jump up, and understands what to do or not do when the dog jumps. You will want to establish consistency.

The Extinguish Method

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Step
1
Turn away
When your Boxer comes at you, and starts to jump up, cross your arms over your chest and turn your body away from your Boxer.
Step
2
Ignore jumping
Pay no attention to your dog if he continues to jump.
Step
3
Walk away
Walk away from your Boxer if he continues his jumping behavior.
Step
4
Reward stop jumping
As soon as your Boxer stops trying to jump at you, stop, turn around and praise your dog. Give him attention.
Step
5
Capture paws on ground
Repeat, withdrawing attention for jumping, giving it when paws are on the ground. When your Boxer approaches you and does not jump up, give him lots of attention and a treat to reinforce paws on the ground behavior.
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The Alternate Behavior Method

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Step
1
Teach alternate behavior
Teach your dog a behavior such as 'sit and look at me', or 'sit-stay'. Provide treats for performing the behavior.
Step
2
Practice when distracted
Give the command for the alternate behavior in distracting situations, such as outside in the yard, or while on walks. Reinforced with treats, attention and play for your high-energy Boxer.
Step
3
Provide command when dog jumps
When your Boxer approaches you or someone else, and starts to jump up, provide the command for the alternate behavior, 'sit-stay' or 'sit and look at me'.
Step
4
Reward obedience
When the dog complies, give a treat and lots of attention.
Step
5
Ignore jumping
If the Boxer continues to jump up, ignore and turn away. When the dog hesitates and has paws on the ground, repeat the command for the alternate behavior. Reinforce the alternate behavior.
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The Start Young Method

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Step
1
Take paws
When your pup jumps up towards you, take hold of his paws before he puts them on you.
Step
2
Hold paws
Hold the paws until your puppy becomes tired of standing on his back feet, when he show signs of this, let his paws go, and allow him to put them back on the floor.
Step
3
Reward paws on ground
When your Boxer puppy’s paws hit the floor, give your puppy praise and attention.
Step
4
Repeat
Repeat every time your Boxer puppy tries to put his paws up on you.
Step
5
Capture not jumping
When your puppy approaches you about to jump, and then second guesses and stays down, give lots of praise and treats to reinforce not jumping. Capture the moment when the Boxer puppy hesitates and decides not to jump up.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 12/22/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Tara
german shepherd and pitbull mix
6 Months
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Question
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Tara
german shepherd and pitbull mix
6 Months

Tara always jumps on us when we come in the door so we ignore her. But we say hi to our other dog because she isn't jumping and that makes Tara jump even more. And when I tell Tara to sit and she does that instead of jumping, I pet her and she just gets up and jumps on me again.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, Check out the Step Toward method from the article I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Odin
Boxer
7 Months
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Question
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Odin
Boxer
7 Months

He is obsessed with jumping up on people and especially to young children. He shows no aggression but just want to get to their face to lick or say hello. It is becoming a real problem as he sometimes makes a b-line for smaller children across the park as he just wants to say hello even though his recall is generally pretty good. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Jumping: Teach your dog that they receive no attention for jumping on you or anyone else. Teach your dog to do something that is incompatible with jumping up, such as sitting. They can't sit and jump up at the same time. If they are not sitting, they get no attention. It is important to be consistent. Everyone in your family must follow the training program all the time. You can't let your dog jump on people in some circumstances, but not others. Training techniques: When your dog… Jumps on other people: Ask a family member or friend to assist with training. Your assistant must be someone your dog likes and wants to greet. Your dog should never be forced to greet someone who scares them. Give your dog the "sit" command. (This exercise assumes your dog already knows how to "sit.") The greeter approaches you and your dog. If your dog stands up, the greeter immediately turns and walks away. Ask your dog to "sit," and have the greeter approach again. Keep repeating until your dog remains seated as the greeter approaches. If your dog does remain seated, the greeter can give your dog a treat as a reward. When you encounter someone while out walking your dog, you must manage the situation and train your dog at the same time. Stop the person from approaching by telling them you don't want your dog to jump. Hand the person a treat. Ask your dog to "sit." Tell the person they can pet your dog and give them the treat as long as your dog remains seated. Some people will tell you they don't mind if your dog jumps on them, especially if your dog is small and fluffy or a puppy. But you should mind. Remember you need to be consistent in training. If you don't want your dog to jump on people, stick to your training and don't make exceptions. Jumps on you when you come in the door: Keep greetings quiet and low-key. If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. Turn and go out the door. Try again. You may have to come in and go out dozens of times before your dog learns they only gets your attention when they keep all four feet on the floor. Jumps on you when you're sitting: If you are sitting and your dog jumps up on you, stand up. Don't talk to your dog or push them away. Just ignore them until all four feet are on the ground. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Question
Rocky
Boxer
14 Months
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Question
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Rocky
Boxer
14 Months

Rocky is always picking on Molly our 10 year old Golden. He has been neutered. If they go outside together he tries grabbing her tail then jumps all over. He will run into her. Sometimes she seems to like the attention, most of the time not. Inside he chases her. She gets annoyed and growls, but then again at times she plays with him and seems to enjoy it. Should I do anything or just let them be?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
1126 Dog owners recommended

Hello John, I would pay attention to Molly's body language and Rocky's body language. When Molly seems relaxed and happy about the attention and Rocky seems in control of himself and able to give space when she indicates she has had enough, you can let them be if things seem safe. When Molly is trying to get away or seems stressed and Rocky won't give space, or Rocky seems overly aroused and unable to calm himself back down around her, then I would intervene. Check out the article I have linked below. I recommend teaching Rocky the Out command - which means leave the area (the area where Molly is in this case), and the Leave It command, and you be the one to follow through with Rocky obeying those commands as needed. You can even keep a drag leash on Rocky while you are there to supervise to calmly be able to enforce your commands while Rocky is learning to respond to you and calm himself back down when instructed. Reward Rocky when he does willingly respond to your command and leaves her alone and doesn't try to go back to bothering her again right after. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lucy
Boxer Great Dane
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Lucy
Boxer Great Dane
4 Years

Lucy is extremely aggressive to other dogs while we are in the car. She’d jump out the window at them if she could. She’s also horribly aggressive when on a leash. Off leash she’s fine!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like she has some territorial and protective based behavior going on. Because this is such a complex issue, I am sending you an article that is packed full of information about how to help her. Please reach out if you have any additional questions. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/inter-dog-territorial-aggression/

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Waffles
Boxer
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Waffles
Boxer
2 Years

Waffles is a lab/boxer mix and he is incredibly sweet when it’s just me. However, when he sees another person especially with another dog he goes into hyperactive insane mode jumping as far into the air as possible, jumping on that person, yanking on the leash like crazy (literally he injured my shoulder and I may need surgery to repair the damage he did) . All of the recommended training about not jumping is if he is jumping on me but he never jumps on me, just on new people and I can’t figure out how to get him to stop jumping when he is hyped and to stop trying to pull my whole arm off. I really need to figure this out before he continues to injure me. He is my best friend and I want him to be healthy and happy and polite forever

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
257 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Your dog needs to learn new behaviors to quell his fear. First we reduce his fear around new dogs or people, and then we begin adding cues such as “watch me” or “sit.” The tips below can be used towards dogs, humans, or anything else he may be reactive to. Research tells us that most leash reactivity is caused by fear, not by aggression. Dogs bark and lunge at other dogs to warn, “Go away! Go away!” Dogs fear other dogs because of genetic reasons, lack of socialization, fights when they were puppies, or any scary (to the dog) interaction with other dogs. Sometimes having low thyroid levels contributes to unwanted canine behavior. During this time, avoid any punishment for reactivity. Doing so will make his concerns even bigger. Dogs learn by making associations, and you want your dog to associate other dogs with pleasant things — never punishment. The first step is to reframe what an oncoming dog means to your dog. From a safe distance — your dog determines the distance, not you — have your leashed dog view another dog. As the new dog comes into view, drop a lot of enticing meat treats just in front of your dog’s nose. Ignore any hysterics for now, but back up and create more space if your dog is unwilling to eat. This part is hard for humans — I understand. It helps to see your dog’s behavior for what it most likely is: fear vs. disobedience. The training reinforcer MUST be a great one, such as real meat. It is critical that the appearance of the new dog causes meat to fall from the sky. When the other dog is out of your dog’s view, all treats stop. We want your dog to predict that other dogs near him means that YUMMY FOOD will appear! As you are reframing your dog’s opinion of seeing other leashed dogs, be careful where you take your dog, and be protective of what she is exposed to. One fight can create a reactive dog. Consider not walking your dog for 30 days as you reprogram her opinions of other dogs. Instead, sit on your front porch or in your garage (or somewhere out of the way if those two options aren't possible) with your dog on leash, and practice treating every time another dog comes into your dog’s line of sight. During this time, engage your dog’s mind with mind puzzles, obedience work, and fun stuff like games in the house or yard. You know you have made great progress when your dog sees another dog, and he turns his head away from the once-threatening dog and looks into your eyes, expecting a treat. Once your dog is looking at her (former) trigger and then looking expectantly up at you for a treat, you can begin to put this skill on cue. Tell your dog "watch me" every time you see another dog approaching. Your end goal is for your dog to see another dog, and remain calm, looking at you for guidance. And this will be either continuing your walk, or being allowed to interact with the other dog. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

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