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

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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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Effective
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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

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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?
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Written by Kimberly Maciejewski

Published: 01/19/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Toby
Irish Setter
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Toby
Irish Setter
12 Weeks

He doesnt always come when called and sits and looks at me, he only comes when he knows i have chicken treats. He has also started jumping a lot on people and nipping

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Grace, Check out the articles I have linked below. Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Come - more info: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ Jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Alfie
Australian Shepherd
5 Months
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Alfie
Australian Shepherd
5 Months

He doesnt settle indoors, constantly paces and whines to be let outside, but as soon as he gets outside he just lies down and relaxes. Occurs when there is lots of stimulation inside or no stimulation (just me).

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
946 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emma, For the begging, I recommend teaching an Out and Place command, and working on pup going to their Place when they are begging to go out but you know they don't need to go potty. You can also give pup a dog food stuffed chew toy to chew on while on their Place bed when they are bored. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ For the whining, I would teach Quiet for barking initially, then begin using it when pup is whining too, catching pup when they stop whining for a second and rewarding the quietness with a treat to help them generalize the Quiet command to whining also. If pup is whining while fixated on something like the door to go out, I would also work on Leave It to help pup disengage from what they are fixated on, and provide something else for them to do instead, like stuffing kongs with part of their dog food and feeding portions of their meals to them that way as an activity to help with boredom or nervous energy. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When pup may need to go potty outside, I would take them on a leash right now, walk them around slowly and keep the trip calm, so that potty trips are simply potty trips and not play time outside. I would use a different command for asking if they need to go "Potty" vs. "Play Outside". Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Lulu
Black Lab
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Lulu
Black Lab
5 Months

Jump on the table

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

Hello! Your best bet is to have the "punishment" come from the table if that makes sense. If she receives a negative response from whatever she is getting to in general, she will likely not repeat that behavior. I have had luck with customers leaving a puddle of vinegar on the table. When the dogs jumps up, they splash in the vinegar. Dogs have huge aversions to anything bitter. This is a safe and effective way to stop this problem. Just do a test spot somewhere as I don't know what type of tables you have!

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Question
Polly
Mini Bernedoodle
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Polly
Mini Bernedoodle
9 Weeks

Biting (I am bleeding nonstop), chewing furniture/my socks/my clothes etc, jumping on furniture (she wont stop jumping on the coffee table)

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

Hello! While this is fairly common for dogs her age, you are right in the sense that she is getting older and it sounds like this is becoming a habit, it is no longer a playful puppy phase. I am going to send you information on the nipping/biting, as well as jumping. Both of these behaviors are attention seeking/play engaging behaviors. The best you can do for both is to completely ignore. But I am sending information with much more detail than that! Nipping: Puppies may nip for a number of reasons. Nipping can be a means of energy release, getting attention, interacting and exploring their environment or it could be a habit that helps with teething. Whatever the cause, nipping can still be painful for the receiver, and it’s an action that pet parents want to curb. Some ways to stop biting before it becomes a real problem include: Using teething toys. Distracting with and redirecting your dog’s biting to safe and durable chew toys is one way to keep them from focusing their mouthy energies to an approved location and teach them what biting habits are acceptable. Making sure your dog is getting the proper amount of exercise. Exercise is huge. Different dogs have different exercise needs based on their breed and size, so check with your veterinarian to make sure that yours is getting the exercise they need. Dogs—and especially puppies—use their playtime to get out extra energy. With too much pent-up energy, your pup may resort to play biting. Having them expel their energy in positive ways - including both physical and mental exercise - will help mitigate extra nips. Being consistent. Training your dog takes patience, practice and consistency. With the right training techniques and commitment, your dog will learn what is preferred behavior. While sometimes it may be easier to let a little nipping activity go, be sure to remain consistent in your cues and redirection. That way, boundaries are clear to your dog. Using positive reinforcement. To establish preferred behaviors, use positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits the correct behavior. For instance, praise and treat your puppy when they listen to your cue to stop unwanted biting as well as when they choose an appropriate teething toy on their own. Saying “Ouch!” The next time your puppy becomes too exuberant and nips you, say “OUCH!” in a very shocked tone and immediately stop playing with them. Your puppy should learn - just as they did with their littermates - that their form of play has become unwanted. When they stop, ensure that you follow up with positive reinforcement by offering praise, treat and/or resuming play. Letting every interaction with your puppy be a learning opportunity. While there are moments of dedicated training time, every interaction with your dog can be used as a potential teaching moment. 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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Tyson
Vizsla
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tyson
Vizsla
9 Months

He won’t stop jumping up on the table how do I stop

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

Hello! Your best bet is to have the "punishment" come from the table or counter if that makes sense. If he receives a negative response from whatever he is getting to in general, he will likely not repeat that behavior. I have had luck with customers leaving a puddle of vinegar on their tables or counter tops. When the dogs jumps up, they splash in the vinegar. Dogs have huge aversions to anything bitter. This is a safe and effective way to stop this problem. Just do a test spot somewhere as I don't know what type of counters you have and I wouldn't want anything to become discolored!

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