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Cesar Millan's Secret Way to Stop Your Dog From Jumping on People

The dog whisperer says there's a way to fix this behavior.

As any dog owner will tell you, training your pup to become a well-mannered member of the canine community can be tough. It requires disciplined owner behavior and proper schooling, ideally from a young age, which isn't always possible with shelter dogs. When your dog isn't well trained, all sorts of mischief can occur, ranging from the frustrating, like barking and leash pulling, to the downright dangerous, like biting and nipping. But perhaps one of the most common dog misbehaviors is jumping on people when greeting them.

This habit might be cute to you, especially if you've been gone from home and want to be met with exuberance. However, in the case of small children, seniors, and anyone fragile, it's an accident waiting to happen. Fortunately, Cesar Millan, professional dog trainer and host of the former television series Dog Whisperer With Cesar Millan, has a few tips for eliminating this behavior.

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In a video on TikTok, the trainer says one of the biggest mistakes dog owners make that reinforces jumping is petting, baby-talking, and otherwise fussing over their dogs when they walk into the house. This, in turn, riles up the dog and causes jumping, licking, and barking—they're just matching your energy!

He says that when you do this energizing behavior and then suddenly ask your dog to calm down, "you're contradicting the ritual."

Your pup will take the behavior it learns from you and apply it to everyone—so you want to make sure you're modeling good habits.

"If your dog learns to greet you like that, they're going to greet all humans like that, including little humans," says Millan. "And then they're gonna say, 'Well, we do this with humans, I'm going to do this with dogs, and with cats, and with chickens."

He says that those animals, including the other dogs, won't welcome the rambunctious greeting. "It becomes really difficult for a dog to socialize with other species or with their own kind because, in their world, that kind of approach is disrespectful," says Millan.

Just think about how you'd feel if a stranger approached you with a crazy amount of energy!

RELATED: Cesar Millan Says You Should Never Walk Behind Your Dog—Here's Why.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has similar, and super simple advice for nixing jumping behavior. "The only way to stop jumping is to stop rewarding it," they write. "If your dog jumps on you, quickly take away what they want—your attention. Try turning your back or calmly walking away so your dog realizes jumping has the opposite effect to what they intended."

Or, as Millan advises: "No touch, no talk, no eye contact."

Once your dog returns all four of its feet to the floor, you can—and should—turn around and praise them. "You might be irritated, particularly if you just tolerated five solid minutes of jumping, but don't let that impact your response," writes the AKC. "It will confuse your dog if the rule isn't consistently reinforced."

The next time your dog jumps, give it a try—and stay consistent. You might find this behavior issue is way easier to fix than you thought it'd be.

Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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