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When a golden retriever jumps as a puppy it’s quite cute and not much of an issue. However, it starts to become a big problem as they themselves get bigger.
And many people unintentionally encourage their golden retriever’s jumping.
So how exactly do you stop your golden retriever from jumping? Put simply, you have to ignore their jumping behavior and reward an alternative behavior. The major challenge with stopping jumping behavior (whether it’s on people or furniture) is getting everyone in the family on the same page. Without this it creates confusion making it impossible to stop.
In this post you’ll discover:
- Why golden retrievers jump on people
- Why golden retrievers jump on furniture (couches, sofas, beds, etc.)
- The dangers of frequent jumping for golden retrievers
- Simple steps to stop your golden retriever from continuing to jump on people and/or furniture
- And much more
Let’s jump right in.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Jump Up On People?
Golden retrievers jump on people because of excitement and never learning that their jumping behavior is bad.
Many people accidentally reward their golden retriever’s jumping by talking to them, petting them or picking them up (if they’re young).
What they don’t realize is this is actually encouraging them to continue doing it.
Even if they’re telling them not to do it.
Any sort of engagement or interaction they get when jumping on you or other people is teaching them this behavior gets them attention.
Which of course then makes jumping up on people something they want to keep doing so they can continue getting attention.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Jump On Your Couch, Sofa Or Bed?
There are a few reasons for this, the first being that they’re simply excited and want to be up high where they can see everything going on.
This is especially true if you often sit on the couch or bed with them so they see this as a way of getting closer to you.
Another reason may be that they’re trying to get your attention.
Golden retrievers are very people oriented dogs and love nothing more than being around their favorite humans.
So if they think jumping up on the couch or bed will get them more of your attention then that’s likely what they’ll do.
The last reason is that they could be doing it out of boredom or for exercise.
If your golden retriever isn’t getting enough mental or physical stimulation they may start acting out in undesirable ways, such as jumping on furniture, to release their pent up energy.
Why Is It Bad For Golden Retrievers To Jump Up?
Jumping on people is bad for obvious reasons that are undesirable for any dog breed.
They can accidentally scratch the person they’re jumping on, get their clothes dirty if their paws aren’t clean or scare people who aren’t dog-friendly.
However, jumping is particularly bad for golden retrievers because large breeds are more at risk of developing hip or elbow dysplasia.
The more they jump and put added strain on two of their legs, the more likely these physical conditions are to develop.
Which means frequent jumping isn’t only bad for the person they’re jumping on or the condition of the furniture they’re jumping on.
It’s also not great for your golden’s overall wellbeing if done too often.
How To Stop Your Golden Retriever From Jumping On People
In order to successfully get your golden retriever to stop jumping on people, everyone has to be on the same page.
No one can be okay with them jumping otherwise it’ll be too confusing for them to learn what’s okay and what isn’t.
Even with guests you have to be firm with what you’re trying to teach your pup.
Let’s jump into the first step to getting your golden to stop jumping on people.
1) Ignore – Don’t Reward
When your pup jumps on you or someone else, the best thing to do is ignore them.
Don’t push them off of you, don’t yell at them, and don’t give them any attention whatsoever. Simply turn away to get them off you and go about what you’re doing.
While you might think telling them no, or telling them what they’re doing is bad is the right thing to do, it’s unfortunately only teaching them jumping up gets attention.
Which is why the best thing to do is ignore them.
Ignoring clearly shows your golden retriever that jumping gets them absolutely no attention (which is the opposite of what they want).
The second they stop jumping and all four paws are on the floor, that’s when you give them the attention they’re looking for.
Say “good boy/girl” in a happy voice, give them a treat, and give them some pets.
Doing this will let them know that being calm with all four paws on the ground is what gets them the attention they want.
While jumping up and putting their paws on you is what gets them ignored.
What To Do If Your Golden Retriever Gets Uncontrollably Excited:
If your golden retriever has a really hard time calming themselves down when people come into your home you’ll want to find a place to tether them to.
Tie their leash to something sturdy in your home and attach them to the other end before opening the door.
They’ll likely go crazy with excitement no different than they normally would.
Except now they can’t interact with what’s exciting them.
Which will likely make them behave overly excited for longer than usual.
But it’s important not to give in and to wait until they’ve calmed down to let your guest go see them.
*Side note: It’s best to first do this a few times with people who know what you’re trying to do so they’re on the same page and expect your pup to have troubles settling down.
Once they’ve settled you both can go over and give your pup praise and treats for being calm.
2) Train New Greeting Behaviors
You also want to train your golden retriever some new greeting behaviors so they have something else to do when someone comes over instead of jumping.
Have everyone in your house (or whoever your dog is around most often) practice these behaviors with your pup so they get used to doing them.
Some examples of new greeting behaviors are:
- Laying down
- Giving paw
- Four on the floor (could be standing or sitting, as long as their paws stay on the floor)
Choose whichever one(s) you want to teach your pup.
Then whenever someone enters your home, have them do the behavior before they say hi or give them any attention.
When they do it successfully, have treats on hand to give to them while praising their new greeting behavior.
Doing this will show your golden retriever that the only way they’re going to get attention is if they do the behavior you’ve asked of them.
Not by jumping up.
It might take some time for your pup to catch on but eventually, with enough practice, they’ll start doing the behaviors without even being asked.
3) Make Sure Everyone Is On The Same Page
One of the more difficult aspects of this (and any training) is ensuring that everyone’s on the same page.
You can’t train a certain behavior one day and have someone not reinforce it the next day.
Or worse, teach them the behavior you’re trying to train out of your golden retriever is okay or good.
Which means whether it’s other family members or when you have guests over to your home, they need to understand what you’re trying to accomplish with your pup.
While some people might be perfectly okay with your golden jumping on them, they need to follow these steps as well.
Ignore, give the new greeting command and wait for your pup to listen to give them attention.
Ensuring everyone is on the same page with what you’re trying to accomplish with your golden retriever is key to successfully getting them to stop jumping.
4) Other Things To Help
There are a few other things you can do to help your golden retriever stop jumping that don’t necessarily fall into the “stop jumping training” category.
And that’s ensuring they’re getting enough physical and mental stimulation throughout the day.
A tired doggo is a well-behaved doggo.
If they have too much energy they’ll be more likely to act out in ways you don’t want them to, like jumping.
Make sure they’re getting plenty of exercise whether that’s through walks, runs, playing fetch, trips to the dog park or whatever else they enjoy that gets their energy out.
In addition to more physical activity, giving them more training in general and puzzle dog toys can help give them the mental stimulation they need.
This is especially important for golden retrievers since they’re a notoriously smart breed.
If your golden is bored they’ll find ways to entertain themselves, and more often than not that means acting out in ways you’d wish they wouldn’t.
How To Stop Your Golden Retriever From Jumping On Furniture
Same as with jumping on people, if you want to create a new rule that dogs aren’t allowed on the furniture anymore, everyone in your family needs to agree to enforce this new rule.
If they’re allowed up when some people are home, but not when others are, it’ll only confuse them and they won’t learn to stop.
The solution is simple but it takes time and as I already mentioned, requires everyone in your family be on the same page.
Any furniture your golden is currently jumping on that you’d like them to stop needs to be blocked off until they learn to stop.
For example, if it’s the couch you want to stop them from jumping on and your couch has 2 cushions, you’ll need 2 large objects to put on your couch when no one is sitting on it.
Like 2 chairs or big cardboard boxes.
Anything that’ll prevent your pup from being able to jump up.
When you want to use the couch, simply move one of the objects and leave the other in place.
While this can be inconvenient, it’s the best way to get your golden retriever to stop jumping on furniture.
If they’re able to jump up when you’re not home they won’t learn that being on the couch or other furniture is ‘bad’ behavior.
After several days to a week or 2 you can get rid of one of the objects to see if they stay off.
If they don’t simply put it back to block them for a longer period of time.
Eventually they’ll learn that being on the furniture is a no-no.
*The same goes for your bed or other furniture your pup has been jumping up on*
What To Avoid When Training Your Golden Retriever To Stop Jumping
Now that you know how to get your golden retriever to stop jumping, there are a couple things you want to avoid as well.
First, don’t ever punish your dog for jumping.
This includes scolding them or pushing them away when they jump on you.
Remember, you’re trying to train them that jumping equals no attention.
If you punish them for jumping they’ll only associate the punishment with being around you, not the jumping itself.
Second, avoid kneeing or kicking them when they jump on you.
Not only is this ineffective, but it can also lead to your dog becoming scared or aggressive around you.
You’re better off simply turning away (while not paying attention to them) to get them off you.
By following the steps above you’ll eventually get your golden retriever to stop jumping on people & furniture.
Remember to be patient, consistent, and make sure everyone’s on the same page as you to help them learn as quickly as possible.
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