How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump and Bite

How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump and Bite
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon2-4 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Jumping is a natural behavior for dogs. Dogs will typically jump when they want your attention or if they want something you have, like a toy or a treat. If your dog thinks you have something he must have, he may jump on you and bite to get what he wants. Dogs will also jump out of excitement when meeting somebody new. Having a dog who jumps and nips at you can be scary and also dangerous. Puppies typically bite because they use their mouths to taste and feel the world around them. They do not know how much biting hurts; it is just a natural reaction for them. If you have an adult dog who is jumping and biting, it is possibly because her behavior was not corrected as she aged, leaving her with a bad habit.

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Defining Tasks

Teaching your dog not to jump and bite is imperative if you plan on taking your dog anywhere or if you plan on having company at your house. A dog who has bitten someone could potentially be in trouble with the law. So, you are going to want to have a dog who is well-trained, under your control, and not jumping and biting anyone around. For a puppy, teaching him not to jump and bite could potentially require several training sessions and reminders through repetition. However, for an older dog, you are changing habits they have built up over time. Either way, you are going to require some patience. Expect to spend several minutes a day, every time your dog is tempted to jump and bite, teaching her to forget this kind of behavior.

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Getting Started

Along with patience, time, and commitment to your dog's obedience training, expect to have treats, toys to offer, and the idea of the habits you would like to see your dog have such as sitting when a guest comes to visit instead of jumping and nipping at your guests. 

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The On His Level Method

Most Recommended

6 Votes

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Most Recommended

6 Votes

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1

Attention

If your dog jumps and bites you when he is excited, it's because he wants attention from you. One trick is to get down on his level instead of having him jump up to yours.

2

Consistent

With consistency, every time your dog jumps up and bites you, squat down to his level to give him affection and a treat to bite instead of you.

3

No touching

Without touching him while you are standing, only show affection once you are at his level.

4

Command

With this method, you can use a command such as 'down' if your dog knows it. If your dog needs to learn 'down', this is a good opportunity to teach him so he knows to lie down and wait for you to come to his level when he wants attention.

5

Tell friends

Teach anyone around your dog if they would like to pet your dog, he needs to be calm sitting or lying down and not jumping up before they are allowed to touch him.

The Expectations Method

Effective

1 Vote

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Effective

1 Vote

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1

Tempt

To tempt your dog, hold treats in your hands and stand in front of your dog.

2

Jump and nip

When he jumps up and nips at your hands, cross your arms, hiding the treats.

3

Key phrase

Use a command word or a key word such as "ah ah” or a command such as 'sit'.

4

Treat

When your dog sits, offer him a treat.

5

Step away

Stepping away, try the process again with treats in your hands that your dog can see.

6

Repeat keyword

When he jumps up and bites, use your keyword, “ah ah” and “sit.”

7

Attention

When your dog diverts his attention away from your hands and sits for you, offer him a treat and verbal praise.

8

Guests

Your dog will need to associate this with guests coming into your home as well as greeting you. When guests come over, use the same process holding the treats and the verbiage, so your dog associates the jumping, no matter the occasion, with the need to sit and be still followed by the reward of a treat.

9

Practice

Practice several times a day for several weeks before you expect your dog to be able to sit calmly and quietly without jumping and biting.

The Teach Early Method

Least Recommended

1 Vote

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1 Vote

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1

Ouch

Letting your dog know that jumping is uncomfortable and biting hurts is a crucial part of training your dog not to jump and bite.

2

Jump and bite

When your dog jumps and bites, turn your back to your dog and use the key word such as “ouch” or “ah ah.”

3

No attention

Don't give your dog attention to your dog until he calms

4

Follows

If your dog follows you around when you turn away from him, turn around again.

5

Commands

Using a command such as “no,” “ouch,” or “ah ah,” keep your arms crossed and your back to your dog.

6

Calm praise

Once your dog calms, reach down to pet him and praise him.

7

Guests arrive

If your dog jumps at bites when guests arrive in your home, consider leaving a treat bowl near the door and offer your dog a treat each time he sits before opening the door and once your guest is inside.

8

Repeat

You will need to repeat this process every time your dog jumps up and bites to let him know jumping is not okay.

Written by Stephanie Plummer

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/30/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Ghost

Dog breed icon

Pit Bull boxer mix

Dog age icon

Ten Months

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Question

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0 found this helpful

Ghost jumps but I notice he like to nip. He gets very pushy with me he loves to jump and nip my hair which is long to my waist. When I am cleaning up the yard he gets very jumpy loves to run on me from behind jump at my hair or the back of my arm. Tried lots of thing, ignoring, turning away, knee up, walking forward, commands, treats ( which he takes and then jumps some more). he wants something I have picked up like laundry to play tug of war or he wants my attention. He does not jump on my hubby but he uses negative reinforcement like hitting. I do not. He understands commands. I just crate

Oct. 16, 2023

Ghost's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I highly recommend hiring a professional trainer who has experience with building impulse control and dogs who struggle with arousal and over-excitement. I recommend desensitizing him to wearing a basket muzzle first, using treats gradually so it isn't more invasive than a harness or gentle leader would be. With the muzzle on during your interactions with him, I highly recommend practicing regular obedience commands with him, especially commands that help with self-control, such as Place, Leave It, Down, Stay, Sit, Quiet. With regular obedience commands, you also need a way to enforce those commands once taught when he gets in a situation where he is too rough. A couple of ways to do that would be a drag leash you can step on the end of and reel him in to gain back control, or an interrupter. The main need here is to build his overall respect, self-control skills, and obedience during times of excitability and distraction. I highly recommend hiring a trainer to help in person with these things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqM2_vLcQ2Y Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 28, 2023

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Rowdy

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Boxer Mix

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Six Months

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Question

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0 found this helpful

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He fleas/nips me

Oct. 6, 2023

Rowdy's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I recommend hiring a professional trainer to help you in person with this behavior. For some dogs, they are trying to get your attention and think its fun to get a reaction out of you or have you chase them. Those dogs often need to be kept on a hands free tether leash or drag leash, so you can calmly enforce them stopping when they start, as well as working on Leave It, general obedience commands for respect and listening skills, and calming exercises, like gentle handling where pup is rewarded for being still and not mouthing you. Sometimes a basket muzzle needs to be introduced so you can practice calming exercises, obedience, and interactions without getting bitten in the process, while also showing pup that their mouth is no longer an effective way for them to communicate with you, and they have to learn how to control impulses better. The above is sometimes something you can learn to do with additional help, but this behavior can also be rooted in fear aggression, resource guarding, or other forms of aggression. Depending on how hard they are biting, there might also be safety concerns and additional needs for safety measures, like the muzzle but also an ability to read canine body language well - for those reasons, I recommend hiring a trainer with experience with aggression, counter conditioning, and reactivity to evaluate Rowdy in person and offer guidance for how training needs to take place. How you train will depend on what's the root of the behavior, and how to train a dog trying to play and get your attention is very different than a dog who is fear aggression of trying to keep you away from something they view as theirs. I don't recommend handling aggression on your own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 28, 2023


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