Dogs jumping on me when my back is to them

by Denice Hove
(New york)

Gretchen and Gunnar

Gretchen and Gunnar

We are very fortunate to have two sibling Berner pups.
They are 6 months old and quite powerful. My problem is jumping on me and everyone else. The worst is when my back is turned and they are on their hind legs and claw me down my back. I get they are excited and want attention, but it is painful. When I am facing them, I can better control it with "off". I ignore when I come in until they have all four paws on the ground then reward them with a training treat. They are so exuberant, they are going to knock someone down. They just don't know their own strength. We love them dearly.
Thank you.
Loving Berner Mom


Those are 2 gorgeous dogs!

  • To help you solve your problem, I will need to you think about what your reaction is after they jump while you are giving them your back. Do you “scream”, turn around and talk to them? All of those things can be interpreted as attention, so you need to COMPLETELY ignore them.

  • I also like to gently push them with my butt, to make them understand that they are invading your personal space and you don’t like it. I understand they are pretty big, but try to push them with your butt and keep turning around but instead of walking away from them, walking towards them (with your back still to them).

  • Finally, use a 30 sec-1 min time out after they surprise you this way. Ignore them for a full minute after they jump on your back and then, if they are with their 4 paws on the ground (after the minute elapsed) then give them some attention.

How this helps!

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May 13, 2015
"Sneak attack" from behind my back
by: Anonymous

Thank you! I say one word when they jump up "off".
I will try the suggestions you have made and I appreciate your expert opinion. They are so happy and exuberant. We think they are beautiful too. We have had Newfoundlands and Berners before, butbtraining two at the same timebis a new experience. Thanks again!
Berner Mom

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