Fear and Jumping

Maureen Schooley on 11/19/2012

A dog that jumps on you is most likely a fearful dog. 

Today, my dog who has gone through traumatic surgery in the past weeks, jumped up on me in the waiting room. She is 12 years old. I've had her for 4 years and she's never jumped on me or anyone else. A sudden onset of a behavior...jumping in this case = fear.

In some dog training circles, jumping on an owner is a punishable offense. If jumping, in this case is communicating - fear, then why would we punish it. I think about all of the fearful dogs that once graced the obedience classes, all jumping on their owners and other people that were punished with a knee to the chest, a pop with the leash, or an alpha roll. Why? Because in the eyes of the trainer, the dog is being dominant. 

It is absolutely our job to keep our dogs from jumping on anyone. Teach them to sit, then they can't jump on them. As for you, the owner, teach them to sit. If it happens out of the blue, say if someone enters your house and your dog jumps on you, then there is fear, or in an "out of context - he's never done that before" take heed. If your dog jumps on you for the first time at a dog park, this is fear.