How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump on the Table

Easy
1-7 Days
General

Introduction

Living with a dog has many advantages for yourself, your family and your precious canine. Dogs provide companionship, entertainment and an endless source of love and devotion. Multiple studies have even shown that people that live with dogs are happier and healthier. In short, dogs are awesome additions to our daily lives. That is…when they behave.

Few things are more annoying or embarrassing than when your dog jumps up on the table during dinner. Whether in front of guests, family or just by yourself, Fido jumping up on the table is disruptive. The good news, however, is that its relatively simple to teach your dog not to jump on the table and there are multiple methods to fit your training style, doggy household preferences, and individual pet’s personality.

Defining Tasks

It’s a bit of a misnomer to say that you’ll be training your dog not to do something, including jumping up on the table or counter. Instead, you are training your dog to perform a behavior on command or when a particular situation occurs. Dogs do not understand the word “no” or any command that asks them to stop doing something. Dogs can and will, however, perform tasks their owner requests when trained correctly in the first places. As with all training, it’s important to keep sessions short and to not move on to the next step until your dog has thoroughly mastered the previous stages of the exercise. This will set your dog up for long term success and will have you becoming a master pup trainer in no time.

Getting Started

Before beginning to train your dog to not jump on the table, you’ll need to gather a few essentials. Locate a spot in the house where you can place a bed, crate or dog mat that will be your dog’s “place.” This will be somewhere your dog returns to on command when they need to rest, relax or generally be out from underfoot. You will also need a selection of tasty treats and a treat pouch that provides easy access for training. You should have several different “values” of treats to keep your dog interested and guessing. Try things like small pieces of kibble, cookies, small cubes of cheese and cut up pieces of hot dog or steak. Once you’ve compiled your tools to dog training success, it’s time to try out one or more of our methods below!


The Down-Stay Method

Effective
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Step
1
Sit
Start off with your dog in a calm and familiar environment such as your kitchen, front room or back yard. Hold a treat in front of your dog and raise it above their head while moving it backwards, luring them into a sit position. Once your dog sits, immediately give the treat and praise your dog.
Step
2
Add command
Repeat the luring procedure until your dog is responding quickly to the treat, sitting almost immediately when you hold it above them. Once this occurs, add in the “sit” command as you move the treat back.
Step
3
Repeat
Repeat using the 'sit' command, slowly phasing out the lure of holding the treat, until they are sitting on command without the use of a treat as a lure. Repeat this command in multiple surroundings, with increasing levels of distraction to maximize the response and solidify the command.
Step
4
Down
Once you have taught 'sit', you can use your dog’s knowledge to help teach 'down'. Go back to using the lure to get your dog into a sit, without use of the command, and then lower the treat to the ground until your dog is in a down position. Repeat using the lure and providing a treat until your dog is settling into a 'down' position reliably.
Step
5
Add command
Once your dog is readily settling into a down with the treat, add in the command “down”. Repeat this multiple times over different sessions. Begin phasing out the lure and using the down command. Don’t be afraid to going back to use of the lure if your dog will not “down” with the command alone. With a little bit of patience and persistence, you’ll have a dog that is solid in two foundational behaviors for helping keep Fido off of tables, counters and more.
Recommend training method?

The Place Method

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Step
1
Make a 'place'
Identify a place in the house where your dog will go when they need to rest, relax or be away from commotion. This spot should be comfy and safe, with toys nearby. This “place” should not be considered a punishment. Instead, your dog’s spot will be similar to their own doggy room where they can entertain themselves with a treat, toy or chewy.
Step
2
Lure to the place
Start training your dog by tossing or throwing a small treat onto their place. Once your dog is on the mat or bed, give another treat and praise.
Step
3
Add command
Repeat the above step until your dog is reliably going to their place with a treat. Once this occurs, add in a command such as “bed”, “rest” or “place”. Say the command when you toss the treat and praise and reward once their feet are on the area.
Step
4
Practice
Repeat and practice with your dog, removing the initial treat throwing occasionally, then altogether, until they are going to their place on command only. Reward and praise your dog when they go to their bed. You will want to slowly lengthen the time they remain still on their bed before rewarding with a treat. If your dog knows 'stay' you can also use that command to have them stay in their spot.
Step
5
Stay
Using the 'stay' command, work with your dog on remaining in their spot until dinner is over. Be sure to give your dog a chewy, toy, bone, or other item to occupy themselves while they are in their spot.
Recommend training method?

The Off Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Be ready
Teaching 'off' is best done by catching your dog in the act of jumping up on the table, counter or other object. Have treats on the ready while you’re preparing or eating dinner and get ready to train.
Step
2
Lure off the counter
When your dog inevitably jumps up on the counter or table, place a treat in front of their nose, say the command “off” and then use the treat to lure your dog to putting his or her feet on the ground. Once their feet are on the ground, immediately give the treat and praise your dog.
Step
3
Practice
Repeat this step until your dog is reliably and quickly lowering back to the ground. Once this occurs, switch to using the cue on its own without a lure. Once your dog hits the ground, treat and praise effusively.
Step
4
Increase duration
Once your dog is responding reliably to 'off', begin to lengthen the time between when their feet hit the floor and you provide the treat and praise. This will keep your dog from escalating their jumping up in order to receive a treat for performing the command.
Step
5
Vary settings
Practice the “off” command in various scenarios. Use off when on walks, for greeting people politely, getting your dog off of furniture and more. Stressing this behavior in different surroundings and fact patterns will help create a strong association with your dog’s behavior rather than food, counter or tables individually.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Bentley
Sprocker Spaniel
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bentley
Sprocker Spaniel
4 Months

Good evening,

I have a 4 month old sprocker puppy called Bentley. Every time we eat dinner at the table he jumps on our lap, the other chairs, even the table at one point! We always use ‘down’ but he will completely ignore us. We’ve tried for weeks to get ‘down’ and as soon as he’s on the ground he gets a treat but he continues to jump up! We’ve crated him whilst eating and he barks, cries and moans and becomes unbearable - plus we live in terraced housing! He doesn’t do as he’s told and always does his own thing, didn’t know what else we can do? We’ve tried eating at the same time but he’s often left his food to seek ours! It’s becoming embarrassing that we can’t control him and his constant jumping up!

Thank you, Chloe

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Chloe, First, I suggest teaching Place, Out, and Down-Stay. Quiet, Leave It, and other such commands will also be helpful. Once pup clearly understands the meaning of the command, I suggest either having pup stay in their crate (I will touch on the barking), or tether pup to something secure nearby and have them stay on Place while you eat. Teach the Quiet command, linked below. When pup is quiet, calmly go over to pup and place a treat on the bed, then return to eating. When pup barks (after you told them quiet when you crated or put them on place, then calmly go over to them, tell them "Ah Ah", and spray a small puff of air from a pet convincer at their side - don't spray in the face, stay calm, and only use unscented air - Citronella is too harsh and lingers too long!. After correcting calmly, return to eating, and reward pup if they stay quiet for the next 5-10 minutes. Gradually work up to pup having to stay quiet for the entire meal and giving one reward for calmness at the end of the meal. You can give pup a chew toy on place as well - stuffed with dog food or by itself. Work on this in phases. Once pup can stay calm during the meal, then you can practice Place without the back tie leash - but expect to enforce pup staying there a lot during the meal by having to return them to it. You will want to work on Place and Out and similar commands at times other than meals to begin with, before using those to enforce rules at meal times also - starting with easier expectations first, then gradually working up to the harder things (like the distraction of food) as pup improves. Out - which means leave the area: 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 Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Place command: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Crate manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Crate introduction - if needed: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Csllie
German Shepherd
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Csllie
German Shepherd
4 Months

counter surfing and chasing the cat while barking incessantly

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
709 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sonya, First, check out the videos linked below. Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Work on impulse control in general with pup, by teaching things that increase impulse control and calmness - such as a long, Place command around lots of distractions. Practicing the command until you get to the point where pup will stay on Place while you are working with the kitty in the same room. You can also back tie pup while they are on place - connecting a long leash attached to pup to something near the Place just in case pup were to try to get off Place before you could intervene. This keeps kitty safe while practicing and reinforces to pup that they can't get off the Place. The leash should be long enough that pup doesn't feel the leash while they are obediently staying on the Place because it has some slack in the leash. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Below are some other commands in general you can practice to help pup develop better impulse skill/self-control - impulse control takes practice for a dog to gain the ability to control herself. Thresholds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-w28C2g68M Heel article - The turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - which means leave the room: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Work on Out and Leave It especially, for the cat and for counter surfing. Practice Leave It with food while present, but also booby trap the counter to help pup learn it's off limits when you are out of the room. You can do that a few different ways. Set up a camera to spy on pup in the kitchen, such as a tablet or phone with Skype on mute. You can place some safe food on the counter and use something like a Scat mat or Snap Traps with napkins gently over them to hide them. The Snap Traps are like mouse traps, that snap and jump when triggered but they won't actually close on pup so shouldn't be dangerous. You can also stack some metal pot lids and pans and tie a string through those, with the other end tied to a piece of safe food like a bagel, and the entire thing back tied to something secure so that they will crash onto each other making noise, but won't actually fall all the way off the counter onto pup due to the back tie. Set up your booby trap, add a temptation like a bagel, and watch pup from the camera in another room. When pup sets off the trap, return and remove the food before pup goes back to try again, or grabs it off the floor if it fell - you don't want pup to get the food or they may decide it's worth the risk. Set the trap several times over the course of the month until pup will no longer attempt to jump up. Use different foods to tempt pup so that pup avoids everything on the counter. When you aren't training, keep everything off the counter, and confine pup in another room or crate when you aren't around. Allowing pup to steal food successfully at other times will undo the training, so management in the meantime is important too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
cockapoo
15 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
cockapoo
15 Weeks

Hi
My gorgeous wee cockapoo is adorable apart from the fact she constantly jumps up on myself and my sons at the dinner table ? We have tried to put her in her bed with her toys but she won’t stay there and runs round our ankles and jumps up ! It’s very frustrating and is ruining meal times - I know she is very young and we haven’t started our puppy classes yet as the vet is wanting to restart her vaccinations as the brand locally was different from the breeder but she will be vaccinated in the next couple of weeks . Any advice ? Thanks

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

Hello! Here is information on jumping. 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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