How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump on the Table

How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump on the Table
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon1-7 Days
General training category iconGeneral

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.

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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.

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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!


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The Down-Stay Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Place Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Off Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Kimberly Maciejewski

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

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Orla

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cockapoo

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14 Weeks

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we have a slightly older golden doodle called Marlee who is 2 years old but mature for his age and she won’t stop play fighting with him, especially going for his bits. i would love to know if this is normal or what i can do to stop her doing this??

Dec. 1, 2021

Orla's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Milly, This behavior is normal for some more outgoing pups. Almost all puppies are fascinated by older dogs to some degree. Pup still needs to be taught to respect your older dog's boundaries even though its normal though. First, I highly suggest crate training the puppy if you haven't already. Almost all puppies will cry the first two weeks of crate training - it is new to them and they have to be given the opportunity to learn to self-sooth and self-entertain to prepare them for environments they will have to be in later and prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits that happen without confinement. Use the Surprise method from the article linked below to gradually help her learn to be calm in the crate and to relax by using rewards for being Quiet. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crating makes life with pup a lot less stressful for your older dog, and a lot safer for puppy during times when you can't supervise her. Crate pup at night and when you leave, and you can use an exercise pen with some toys in it also. When you cannot directly supervise the dogs together, puppy should be crated or in the pen. When you are supervising, teach both dogs the Out command (which means leave the area) and make whoever is causing issues leave the area as needed. Once you teach pup Out using the section on How to Teach Out, be sure to also pay attention to the section on How to Use Out to Deal with Pushiness. That section is something I recommend for teaching pup to give your older dog space when he doesn't want to play. Let your older dog be the one to initiate play and pup be taught to give him space when he isn't initiating it. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ I also recommend teaching Leave It. Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Decide what your house rules are for both dogs and you be the one to enforce the rules instead of the dogs. No aggression, no pushiness, no stealing toys, no stealing food, no being possessive of people or things, or any other unwanted behavior - if one dog is causing a problem you be the one to enforce the rules so that the dogs are NOT working it out themselves. For example, if pup comes over to your older dog when he is trying to sleep, tell pup Out. If she obeys, praise and reward her. If she disobeys, stand in front of your older dog, blocking the pup from getting to him, and walk toward pup calmly but firmly until pup leaves the area and stops trying to go back to your older dog. If your older dog growls at your pup, make him leave the room while also disciplining pup by having her leave the area too if she antagonized him. Be vigilant and take the pressure off of your older dog - you want him to learn to look to you when there is a problem, and for puppy to learn respect for your older dog because you have taught it to her and not because your older dog has had to resort to aggression or he has to hide all the time. If you want pup to be free but don't want to chase after her while you are home, you can also clip her to yourself using a six-foot leash, so that she has to stay near you and not wander near your other dog. Whenever puppy enters the room, give your older dog a treat while pup is not looking. Whenever he is calm, relaxed or tolerant of puppy also give him a treat. Try not to let her see you rewarding him though so that she doesn’t run over and overwhelm him. If you can teach boundaries this first year, often the dogs will become friends once the puppy calms down later, but it's normal for that to take up to a year for some dogs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Dec. 2, 2021

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Gidget

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Bichon Yorkie

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5 Months

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1. She steals everything and hides with it 2. Getting on the table 3. Growling (more like complaining ?)

Nov. 12, 2021

Gidget's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Robin, I would start by keeping a drag leash on pup while you are home (only while home so you can make sure it doesn't get caught on things). The drag leash can make enforcing commands and rules easier, more consistent, and prevent you from having to chase down pup or drag pup out from under somewhere when they are hiding with an object. Drop It – Exchange method: https://wagwalking.com/training/drop-it Off- section on The Off command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-train-dog-stay-off-couch/ 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 Pup might also benefit from working on things like socialization and desensitizing to touch and handling. If so check out this free PDF e-book, which can be downloaded at the link below. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Pup might also need to work on building some respect and trust for you calmly. If so, check out this article below, especially the Consistency and Obedience methods - obedience training daily for even just 10-15 minutes can not only help pup learn a lot of commands and tricks, but can also provide pup mental simulation which helps with calmness and to release frustration, and help your relationship with pup overall. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you What specific circumstances does pup growl in? What's going on right then, and what is pup's body language? There might be additional training needed to address pup's attitude and behavior there, but I would need to know more details to be of much help, or you could have a trainer who specializes in behavior issues like aggression with puppy experience evaluate pup in person, to determine what's going on. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Nov. 12, 2021


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