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Looking around, you see other dog owners and their fur babies taking a stroll around the park. They make it look easy, just casually walking side by side, but then you look at your own dog. They’re walking with you but then they sometimes jump on you.
You don’t normally see other dogs and their owners struggling with their dog jumping on them on walks, but you can’t help but wonder, “Why does my dog jump on me while walking?”
There are various reasons as to why your dog might jump on you while on a walk. Some of those reasons include being excited or wanting to play. Other reasons can be a little worrisome such as your dog being jealous or anxious. Overall, this behavior is usually not something to worry about in terms of health.
While it may not always seem like it, jumping while walking is not as uncommon as it seems. Let’s take a dive into the reasons mentioned above along with some other reasons as to why your dog jumps on you while walking.
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Looking For Attention
Many dog owners consider their dogs their own children. Sometimes, our dogs act like it!
Human kids like to play just as many dogs like to play. Similarly, dogs like attention just as many human kids like attention!
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they want your attention.
Dogs are always looking to us for attention, especially when they feel like you haven’t spent a lot of time with them. Being busy is a normal part of our lives, but it’s also very important to leave some time for our pups.
Depending on your dog’s breed, they may have a lot of energy like most bully breeds and you can help them burn it off by spending some time with them. If your dog has a lot of energy to burn, you can try different toys like puzzle toys and snuffle mats.
Being there to motivate and give them something to do gives them an outlet to release that energy that they might have used to be destructive!
Reason 2: Your Dog Is Overstimulated
Taking a walk exposes your dog to so many different sights, sounds, and smells! Especially if you have a puppy that still doesn’t know what a bunch of things are, taking a walk can be overwhelming.
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they are overstimulated. Different things and situations can be the cause of your dog feeling overwhelmed.
Stimulating all the different senses can sometimes overwhelm your little pup and overstimulate them. Because of this, they may look to you for comfort since you are someone that they are familiar with.
Going for a walk is also a great way to meet other dogs. However, meeting new dogs can also overstimulate your dog.
Your dog may become a little stressed by the overwhelming situation, but PetMD has a great article that can help you get a better grip on canine introductions.
Reason 3: Your Dog Has The Habit From Puppyhood
As mentioned previously, walking a puppy can be an amazing experience. It may be their first walk and seeing all the different sights and hearing the different sounds can rile them up, causing them to jump on you.
Your dog might jump on you while walking because it became a habit when they were a puppy.
Many new puppy owners let some of the behaviors slide because puppies are still small and jumping isn’t considered as serious as if it were a fully grown dog. However, the training puppies do when they’re young can stick with them as they get older.
If you realize that your dog used to jump a lot when they were a puppy, they may jump on your during walks because they never broke that habit.
Reason 4: Your Dog Has A Lack Of Training
While it is important to train your dog as a puppy, it is also important to continue that training as they get older.
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they have a lack of training.
Some dogs learn how to walk on a leash when they were puppies, but other dogs might not have been able to until they are adopted.
Leash training can be considered one the most important lessons for dogs, especially bigger and stronger ones that have the potential to push people over.
Jumping is a common behavior in many dogs, but training can help you and your dog conquer it! Seeking a trainer to train your pup or even just to get a few pieces of advice can make a difference.
You can also check out this link to help you get started on stopping your dog from jumping while on walks!
Reason 5: Your Dog Is Just Too Excited To Not Jump On You!
While walking around the block might not be the most exciting thing for us to do, it might be for our fur babies! All the different stimulants can excite your dog as if they are going on another adventure.
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they are excited!
Dogs often associate walks with things that can make them happy. Things your dog might get excited by can be seeing other dogs (especially their furry friends!), people if your dog is a social butterfly, or other animals like squirrels and rabbits.
Sometimes your dog can recognize places that they like such as the park or their friends’ houses. If they can recognize the place, they can also recognize the way to that place which can excite your pup.
Dogs have other ways to show their excitement like wagging their tail, spinning, and barking. One other way could be going between your legs.
Check out this dog who can’t contain their excitement as their owner returns home:
Reason 6: You Might Be Encouraging The Behavior
Dogs can learn a lot from us just based on what they get in return for doing something.
Without knowing it, your dog could be jumping on you while walking because you’re encouraging the behavior.
Positive reinforcement is the method of giving a reward in exchange for a certain behavior. This method is often used when training a dog. For example, when training a pup to sit, you or a trainer says the command, “sit,” and then give a treat when your dog sits. In this scenario, the sitting is the wanted behavior and the treat is the reward.
The reward does not always have to be a treat or any type of food. It can also be a toy, pats on the head, excited tones such as when we say “Good boy” or “good girl,” or even just attention.
If you notice that you give your dog some sort of reward after they jump, you could be using positive reinforcement to encourage the jumping while walking.
If you don’t want your dog to jump while on walks, try not to give them attention or a reward when they do jump. They might begin to realize that you don’t really care for their jumping after a few more attempts.
Reason 7: Your Dog Is Not Used to Walking On a Leash
As mentioned before, walking can be an entirely new experience for a puppy or a dog that has never had someone to walk them before.
Your dog or puppy might jump on you while walking because they are not used to walking on a leash or they have not had any experience with a leash before.
A leash and collar can feel uncomfortable if your dog is wearing one for the first time. They might try to take it off themselves or jump at you because they want you to help them.
Your dog might just need a little more time to adjust to walking on a leash so spending some time to get them more comfortable and trusting of you can benefit your walks in the future.
However, if you notice that even after multiple attempts of walking and a lot of time spent trying to stop your dog from jumping on walks, your pup might just need some training.
Using positive reinforcement like mentioned in the previous reason or contacting a trainer can help you get your dog more comfortable walking on a leash with you.
Reason 8: Your Dog Wants To Play
Sometimes your dog just wants to spend some time with their favorite person in the world… you!
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they want to play.
Some dogs are very playful and show that through jumping at your face, trying to lick it. If your dog likes to jump on you and give you some licks before or while they play at home, they might be bringing that behavior while on a walk.
They might also want to play with another dog they saw and jump at you to try to get you to go over to that other dog.
Some other signs that can show if your dog wants to play is having their head down and bum up, tail wags with their ears relaxed, and maybe some rolling around as well.
Reason 9: Your Dog Is Jealous
Besides wanting attention, there are other ways your dog can be compared human kids. They can also get jealous of each other!
Your dog might jump on you while on a walk because they are jealous!
When we go on walks with our fur babies, we often see other people doing the same. If a few come close, you might even chat for a few minutes, getting to know the owners and the dogs. That’s when the other dog comes up to you and since they’re so cute, you give them a little attention and some pets.
That’s also when your own pup might get jealous! They see you patting another dog’s head or rubbing another dogs tummy. Of course they’re going to get jealous! So what can they do to remind you who your real dog is? They jump on you!
How can you tell if your dog is jealous?
Take note of when exactly they jump on you when you’re out for a walk. Is it random? Is it when no one is around? Or is it exactly at the moment you give another dog attention? If it’s the latter, your dog is most likely the jealous type!
Reason 10: Your Dog Is Anxious
There are some things that can stress a dog out just like people. While those things may be different that what cause people to be anxious, that does not mean it’s less scary for them.
Your dog might jump on you while walking because they are anxious.
What could cause your dog to be anxious?
Our dogs have an incredible sense of hearing. They can hear so many things that we can’t hear! Because of this, loud and sudden sounds, like fireworks, can be leave your pup terrified and nervous. Even the sound of cars driving by or honking can make some dogs anxious and will jump on you to comfort them.
Your dog might be anxious because they heard something loud or something that they are unsure about. Other things that may be unfamiliar to your dog can also be reasons why your dog is feeling anxious and will jump on you.
If you think your dog is anxious, they might jump on you to feel safe next to you. You’re the one that they rely on and associate with safety. If possible, try to identify what could be making your pup anxious and then removing them from that stressful environment to make them feel comfortable again.
Reason 11: Your Dog Has Excess Energy
While some dogs love laying on the couch and watch some TV with you, others can seem to have unlimited energy and can play for hours!
Your dog might jump on you while on a walk because they have some excess energy.
Walking is a great way for you and your furry buddy to get some exercise. However, that might not be enough exercise for them.
Depending on the breed, your dog might need more than just one walk per day. Bully breeds have a lot of energy so they might need some extra time to run around or play in the backyard.
Doing some quick research on your dog’s breed can help you determine what activities or how much time to spend exercising them. If you have a high energy dog, taking them out for jogs or if you have two dogs, take both of them out for a run at the same time!
Should I Be Worried About The Jumping?
Jumping can be a problem because some dogs are strong or big enough to push someone over. All it takes is one little push for someone unaware and they could fall and hurt themselves.
As for your dog, jumping while on walks is generally not something to worry about. It is often associated with being excited or wanting to play. However, if you suspect that your dog is jumping because of excess energy, anxiousness, or not knowing how to walk on a leash, it is best to address the issue before your dog feels stressed out on walks. If the jumping behavior is happening all of a sudden, then there could be slightly different reasons at play and it’s exploring those as well.
Contacting your veterinarian or a trainer about these issues can help your dog feel more confident on walks and give back the control to you.
Understanding why our dogs do what they do strengthens our bond with them.
Learning can lead to an easier time for you as the owner while also keeping a pup happy! The better we communicate with our dogs through body language and research, the better we can help meet their needs.
Even though having your dog jump on your legs isn’t very fun, it’s still another behavior that we can learn about. It’s also one reason why some folks may prefer a smaller dog!