How To Stop German Shorthaired Pointer From Jumping

Although a German shorthaired pointer puppy jumping for attention is cute, and it can be difficult not to do the wrong thing and encourage this behavior, you may have created a problem. An adult GSP is a large, powerful dog, and jumping on people is dangerous, especially for kids or the elderly. How can you stop your GSP from jumping?

To stop your GSP from jumping, do not reward them in any way for the behavior. Instead, ignore them when they jump. In addition, train your dog in an appropriate form of greeting people, either four on the floor or sitting, and ensure that you consistently reward the correct behavior.

A dog’s natural tendency is to jump to greet each other when they are excited. You may have unintentionally reinforced this behavior, creating a problem with a heavy body crashing into you, flying paws, scratching claws, and mud on clothes. There are ways you can undo this problematic behavior. Let’s see how to do so.

How To Encourage Your GSP Not To Jump

If your GSP is jumping on you, the reason for it is that they are excited and want to express their excitement. They may want to get to your face to give you a lick.

Encouraging this behavior by petting them when they jump up will cause your GSP to keep doing it.

Dogs learn by association. If you reward them for a particular behavior, they will repeat it.

And you may reward them without realizing it. Trying to discourage it by pushing your dog away will probably be interpreted as play and reinforce the behavior.

If you yell at your GSP or tell them not to jump, this may reinforce the behavior, as they will interpret your annoyance as excitement. Even negative attention is still attention. GSPs like plenty of interaction, so giving them attention of any sort when they jump will make them keep on doing it.

You could try ignoring them when they jump (and you should ignore them when they jump). When your GSP jumps, turn away and ignore them. If they run around to jump again, turn away once more. Wait till they stop jumping.

If your GSP still doesn’t get the message, you may have to leave the room until they have calmed down. Repeat the process until they have stopped jumping.

But ignoring your dog without doing anything else is frustrating for your dog, as you are not giving them positive reinforcement about the behavior you do want.

To encourage your GSP not to jump, you should use positive reinforcement to train them in the alternative, appropriate way of greeting that you want to see them exhibit.

Two Ways Of Training Your GSP To Greet In An Acceptable Way

When you are training your GSP not to jump, you should remember that teaching them “don’t jump” is confusing to the dog. Instead of training them on what not to do, you want to give them an alternative, appropriate way of greeting humans and provide positive reinforcement to encourage them. You could train them to keep all four paws on the floor or sit when greeting.

Training Your GSP Four On The Floor (Instead Of Jumping)

If your GSP learns that keeping four paws on the ground gets them fuss and jumping gets them nothing, they will soon stop jumping.

To train your GSP in four on the floor, follow these steps:

  1. Tether them to a doorknob or heavy piece of furniture.
  2. Have an assistant approach the dog to greet them.
  3. Before your assistant gets to your GSP, toss treats on the ground in front of the dog.
  4. While your GSP is eating the treats, your assistant makes a fuss of the dog. Doing so gets them used to being made a fuss of while keeping all four paws on the ground.
  5. Your assistant should retreat before your GSP is finished eating the treats.
  6. Repeat this process several times, and then have your assistant extend the greeting while you continue to throw treats in front of your dog.
  7. Once your GSP shows that they can keep all four paws down, have them greet your assistant before you place the first treat on the ground.
  8. Gradually reduce the number of treats you provide until the greeting is the reward.
  9. If you don’t provide treats in time and your GSP jumps, your assistant should back off, and you should stop the treats so that your dog learns that only four on the floor give them what they want.
  10. Once your dog knows how to do this with you, repeat the process with family members and friends.

Training Your GSP To Sit To Greet (Instead Of Jumping)

As an alternative to four on the floor, you may want to train your GSP that they must sit to get attention. This option is an excellent one to choose because a dog can’t jump and sit at the same time.

For this to work, you must have used obedience training with treats to teach your GSP the “Sit” command. Practice having your dog sit before they go outside or get food to get them used to sitting.

To train your GSP to sit when greeting, follow these steps:

  1. Tether them to a doorknob or a heavy piece of furniture.
  2. Stand a few feet away and tell them to sit.
  3. As soon as your dog sits, approach them calmly.
  4. If they stay sitting, greet them with calm chest rubs. Avoid pats on the head.
  5. If they stand, return to your starting point and face away from them. Doing so trains your GSP that they won’t get attention if they don’t stay sitting.
  6. Repeat your command to sit. When the dog sits, approach calmly.
  7. If they remain sitting, pet your GSP quietly and praise them calmly.
  8. Repeat this process until your dog consistently stays sitting when greeted. Gradually make your approach and greeting more excited.
  9. Once your dog knows how to do this with you, repeat the process with family members and friends.

Eliminating Opportunities For Your GSP To Jump

While your GSP is learning an appropriate way of greeting people instead of jumping, you want to eliminate opportunities for them to practice this undesirable behavior. You don’t want to undo the effects of training by reinforcing their unwanted behavior at other times.

When you come home and your GSP runs to greet you, be calm and ignore them until they calm down before greeting them. If you have a GSP that tends to jump on visitors, you will have to prevent this from happening while they are learning to behave appropriately.

Keep your dog on a leash when you expect guests, preferably one attached to a head halter or front-clip harness, to prevent your GSP from greeting them while they are jumping. Do not allow them to greet them before they have calmed down, which may take several minutes.

You can distract your GSP with treats or a toy when your guests arrive. You can also enlist your visitors’ help to train your GSP by getting them to reward the dog with treats or toys in exchange for greeting appropriately. Once your dog is used to greeting calmly and appropriately, stop using treats, and let the greeting be the reward.

Alternatively, if you have trained your GSP to have a “Go To Your Place” cue, you can send them to their crate or bed when visitors arrive. Remember to reward desirable behavior to reinforce it.

Walking your GSP, you will encounter strangers who do not know your rules. Avoid greeting strangers while walking till your dog is well used to not jumping. Keep your dog’s attention on you. Once your GSP is used to greeting appropriately, tell people what the dog is supposed to do, and ask them to ignore the dog if they jump.

Be consistent in your training. Ensure that your GSP learns that it is never appropriate to jump.


Your GSP exhibits jumping because they are excited to greet you or a visitor. Ensure that you are not rewarding this behavior. Instead, provide them with training in an appropriate way of greeting people, and ensure that you consistently reinforce this desirable behavior.

Soon, your GSP will learn not to jump, and you will have a better-behaved dog.


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