How to stop mouthing and jumping up

How can we really stop dogs mouthing and jumping up? Does our natural behaviour actually encourage it?

31st January 2024

Welcome to another instalment in our wonder-fur-l Dog Training series!

A common complaint among pet parents is the seemingly relentless ‘mouthing and jumping up’, which is a common phase of puppyhood but can continue at any age.

Both mouthing and jumping up can be considered attention-seeking behaviours. Whether they’re trying to get physical touch, eye contact, or verbal communication, your pup may be mouthing or jumping up to receive any form of attention.

Additionally, when your dog is a puppy, they learn about this exciting world they’re going to play a part in, by exploring with every sense available to them, including their mouth. Puppies also experience teething, which is one of the reasons they seem so keen to chew everything – and everyone! – in sight; they don’t always mean to nip you. 

However, puppies will frequently test boundaries to find out what’s acceptable and what isn’t, so, it’s essential that you nip mouthing and jumping behaviours in the bud by choosing a suitable ‘high value reward’ to reinforce the good behaviour you want to keep. To find out more, check out our article on finding the right reward for your dog.

So, get ready to put your best paw forward, as we help you and your dog navigate two of the biggest challenges encountered when a puppy joins your family!

Stop mouthing and jumping up by ignoring your dog

Here’s how to stop your dog mouthing and jumping up:

Step 1 – The second your pooch mouths or jumps up at you, remove all attention; no touching, talking to, or looking at them (as difficult as that may be, considering their cuteness!).

Step 2 – Once your dog stops mouthing or has returned all four paws firmly to the floor for three seconds, mark and reward.

Step 3 – Repeat these actions every time your canine companion mouths or jumps up at you, since consistency is vital for success in dog training.

Remember: Ask anyone who interacts with your dog to use this training techniques when teaching your pooch not to mouth or jump up!

It’s highly recommended that you master marker word training with your pup, prior to training them not to mouth or jump up, because it’ll help your sessions run smoothly.

This video aims to show you how to effectively manage unwanted behaviours, like mouthing and jumping up, through positive training techniques shown here by Halle the golden Lab and Will, and Mable the pup with Lauren…

Top tip: If you pull away and your puppy’s mouthing persists, leave the room for five seconds to let them quieten down, then mark and reward calm behaviour upon your return! The same applies for jumping up, give them a few seconds of space and then try again.