How to Stop Dog Jumping Up When Out Walking

Walking our dogs is one of the best things about having them as a part of our family, but it can also be one the most challenging. Sometimes they can get overly excited and jump on us or other people, especially when we first start out on our walk. But the good news is that you can quickly fix this issue both in the short and long term.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about how to stop your dog jumping up when out walking!

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Jumping on People Outside?

How to Stop Dog Jumping Up When Out Walking

To get your dog to stop jumping on people outside, you must first understand why your dog has learned that jumping on people is something that’s acceptable.

Remember that dogs love to run and jump (being cursorial mammals), and will repeat behaviors for which they are rewarded. Now think of what generally happens when your dog greets someone. They probably get lots of excited praise and pets, maybe even some treats. And while this is especially true for family members and other known people, they can also get these positive reactions from many, many strangers.

Your first step to stop your dog from jumping on people outside whether they are known or strangers is to quit rewarding the behavior. Don’t be angry or punish them when they jump on you or others, just end the praising and pets and gently push them back to the ground, and then ignore them until they calm.

Why Does My Dog Jump at Me When Walking?

Your dog jumps at you when you’re walking because they’re looking for your attention, and you’ve unintentionally taught them that is they way to accomplish that. Walks are particularly exciting so jumping on you might be even more frequent than if it were simply a trip out to the backyard.

You should handle it that same way you would if they were actually jumping on you — and not just at you — which is to quit rewarding the behavior. Remember that there’s no need to punish or yell, just quit encouraging it and they will learn to stop just like they learned to jump.

Why Does My Dog Jump on New People?

Dogs who jump on new people are doing so to get attention or to greet them. Since they’ve learned from you and others that they’ll be rewarded by this behavior, they’ve decided this is absolutely the thing to do when they meet someone new. And why wouldn’t they when it’s met with positive reactions so often?

Handle your dog in these situations just as you would when they are jumping up on you or on walks, which is to quit encouraging the behavior. The only new thing you’ll want to know here is to also politely ask any new people meeting your dog to not pet, give attention, or praise your dog unless they have calmed and are not jumping.

If you’d like your dog to not engage new people at all, check out our article on training your dog to ignore strangers.

How to Stop a Dog Jumping Up When Walking

To stop your dog from jumping up when walking, we’ve discussed what you should be doing in the immediate moments. Just to remind you: stop giving attention, pets, and praise while your dog is engaging in their jumping behavior, and encourage others to do so as well. At its core, however, there is a larger behavioral issue which needs to be addressed.

Your dog has learned that they can get away with things, particularly on walks, because they’ve been rewarded for doing so which leads them to think that they’re in charge. After all, they do what they want and then they get rewarded for it — so why wouldn’t they?

Fortunately, this is a problem that’s relatively easy to address. All you need to do is establish yourself as pack leader in your dog’s eyes. Remember that dogs are pack animals, and because of this will always seek out a pack leader in their life.

When they don’t see someone who has taken that role, they will assume it on their own. This leads to more than just jumping up on people on walks. Other misbehaviors like aggression, leash pulling, and barking are all ultimately rooted in pack leader issues within your home.

So how, exactly, do you go about making yourself leader of the pack then? I would check out an excellent free video series on just that subject by a renowned dog trainer named Dan. He’ll teach you everything you need to know, and he of course only teaches in a 100% loving and humane manner — so no worries about being mean to your pup!

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. His videos are short and to the point, and designed for people with no experience with this sort of thing, so you should have no problem seeing quick, noticeable results with your dog.

Soon you’ll be able to go on walks free of the worry of your dog jumping up on your or strangers, and you’ll also get a handle on other behavioral issues you’re likely having as well. All that’s left to do is to start watching, so I’ll let you get to that.

Use these simple tips to stop a dog from jumping up on people while walking and you’ll know exactly how to put a stop to this annoying habit both in the short and long-term. Enjoy your new peace of mind, and be sure to pin or share this in case you need some reminders later on!

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge on dog training and behavior, while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.