4 Ways to Get Your Aussie to Stop Jumping on You - Aussie University

4 Ways to Get Your Aussie to Stop Jumping on You

When your Australian Shepherd was a puppy, you didn’t mind it so much when they used to jump on you. You even found it kind of cute. Now that your Aussie is a full-grown, large dog, you want to curtail their jumping, but how?

Here are some methods you can use to get your Aussie to stop jumping on you:

  • Train your Australian Shepherd to sit instead of jump
  • Use a leash to prevent jumping
  • Try the step toward method
  • Ignore your Aussie until they’re calm

Like with any unwanted dog behavior, it won’t go away until you put in the work. That means spending hours with your Australian Shepherd training them into modifying their behavior. The results will be worth it, so make sure you keep reading for more information on how to control your Aussie’s jumping!

Tired of Your Aussie Jumping? Try These 4 Ways to Stop It

Sit Training

Instead of taking away the bad behavior, some dog owners prefer to replace that behavior with something better. For example, rather than your Aussie jumping, what if they could sit and stay? It’s possible to exchange the rambunctious behavior with a quieter one.

It should go without saying that if your Australian Shepherd doesn’t already know basic commands such as sit and stay that you’ll want to start there. Then follow these steps.

Step 1: Simulate Being Gone for a While (or Do It for Real)

You can’t expect your Aussie to sit calmly when you get home if all your training involves you having never left the house. The first part of this training is to leave.

Whether you decide to step out for an hour or wait for a workday to do this training is up to you. In the former situation, you need to be gone long enough for your Aussie to miss you so that you get the full reaction when you return.

Before you leave, take out some doggy treats. Hide them but maybe leave the treats somewhere that tantalizes your Aussie’s senses with their smell. Make sure your Aussie can’t get to the treats before they’re supposed to!

Step 2: Test out Sitting in a Greeting Scenario

Come home as you usually do. Before your Aussie can run up to you and nearly knock you over with their big jump to say hello, instruct your dog to sit.

One of two things will happen. Either your Aussie will listen–which is the best-case scenario–or they’ll pretend you never commanded them and jump on you anyway. Depending on how long the jumping has been an issue, the latter might be more likely to happen.

Step 3: Step Away and Repeat the Command

If your Aussie doesn’t listen, you have several things you can do from here. You might cross your arms over your chest so your dog can’t jump easily. You could look away from your

Australian Shepherd or you could even take a step back from the dog, creating physical distance between you two.

When your Aussies notices that you’re upset and calms down a little, tell them a second time to sit. Hopefully now they’re more receptive to your command.

What if your Aussie still doesn’t listen and does something like walk out of the room instead? Let your dog go, but their training is not over for the day. The next time you and your Aussie cross paths, repeat the command to sit. If they still ignore you, continue doing this each time you see your dog. Eventually, they’ll do as you ask.

Step 4: Give Your Aussie a Treat

Even if it took all day and you’re really frustrated with your Aussie, you need to give them a treat for a job well done. Besides feeding your dog, you should also pat them and verbally praise them.

You may toss in an extra treat if your Australian Shepherd sits for a while. This encourages them to sit even longer.

Step 5: Keep It Up

The first day of training was rough, but ideally from here, every day will get a little easier. Whenever you come home from work or the gym or the grocery store, tell your Aussie to sit before they jump on you. Give them a treat when they comply.

After a few weeks or even months, your Aussie will learn and begin sitting rather than jumping after you get in the door.

Leash Training

Your Aussie’s trajectory is always straight towards you when you get home, and they have nearly boundless energy to burn. If you suspect your active Aussie may be too animated to listen to commands of sit, then try training them with their leash on instead.

This method does involve you stepping on your Australian Shepherd’s leash, but do not get it confused. We do not advise choking or hurting your dog. If you feel uncertain about this method, you have several more options.

For those who’d like to proceed, here’s what you should do.

Step 1: Buy a Long Leash

The usual leash you use to walk your Aussie is not recommended for this training. If you try to step on a leash that short, you will absolutely choke and potentially injure your dog. You need a leash that’s at least six feet long, even eight feet, so if you don’t already own one, head to your nearest pet shop and by a long leash.

Step 2: Enlist the Help of a Second Person

This is one training method that you can’t do by yourself, as you cannot both walk through the front door and then already be in the living room to step on your Australian Shepherd’s leash. We always recommend using another adult as the second participant, never a child.

Step 3: Hold the Leash as You Come In

The next part of the process is to go about the day as you usually do, then come back home. If

you’d rather expedite the training process, then leave the house for an hour. In the time while you’re gone, the second person should leash up your Aussie and be ready in the doorway.

When you walk through the front door, your Australian Shepherd’s first inclination will be to run to you. With the other person stepping on the leash, your Aussie can only get so far. They can’t reach you and jump, so already that behavior is being limited.

Step 4: Greet Your Aussie but Prevent Jumping by Stepping on the Leash

Walk over to your Aussie and say hello to them as you usually do when you get home. If your Shepherd tries to jump, which they very likely will, have your friend or partner step on the leash so it’s even shorter. The goal is for the leash distance to be short enough that your Aussie can’t comfortably jump. Remember though that you’re not trying to choke or hurt the dog.

Step 5: Give Rewards for Good Behavior

That’s right, just as you did before, reward your Australian Shepherd for being a good boy or girl. The reward should be a combination of verbal praise, head pats, and treats.

Step 6: Repeat the Process

None of these methods are single-day processes, so be ready to keep up the leash training for a while. With enough time put towards the training, you can unleash your Australian Shepherd and they still shouldn’t jump!

The Step Toward Method

Our third suggestion to get your Aussie to stop jumping is to utilize what’s known as the step toward method. There’s no need for a second person with this training method nor do you need to leash up your dog, so it might be appealing to you for those reasons. Here’s what you do.

Step 1: Have Treats Ready

Make sure you filled your pockets with a couple of treats, but don’t reveal them to your Australian Shepherd before you begin. Your dog will likely be able to smell the treats, which is fine.

Step 2: Step Forward to Your Aussie

After you get home from work or a day of being out, with the treats concealed but at the ready, you want to step forward once you see your Australian Shepherd at the threshold. Your Aussie will be in jumping mode, so going toward them might seem like it will only serve to accelerate the process, right?

No, because you’re not walking right into your dog’s embrace, so to speak, but rather, just taking a step or two forward. You can continue stepping if your Aussie seems poised to jump and be ready to keep going if your dog doesn’t want to back down.

Step 3: Stop and Give Your Aussie Treats

When your Australian Shepherd stops trying to jump on you, then you can cease moving forward as well. Pull out your hidden treats and reward your Aussie with a few. Give them verbal praise too and greet your dog while they’re feeling calm.

Step 4: Be Ready to Keep Stepping

Some dogs might get excited by the treats and become inclined to restart the jumping behavior. If

your Australian Shepherd does this, then resume taking a step or two towards them. When your Aussie gets the picture and stops jumping, reward them a second time, although maybe more with verbal praise than treats.

Step 5: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

Each day, follow this same routine until it becomes just that, a routine for your Australian Shepherd. You might wish to train other family members in doing the same thing so your Aussie doesn’t start jumping on them instead of you. If you have friends or relatives who come by often, you can invite them over to participate in the training as well.

Ignore Them

We have but one more method to share with you to get your Australian Shepherd’s jumping under control: ignore them. It’s one of the easiest options if you’re good at tuning out your dog. You really need to be as firm as possible here or it won’t work, so be ready for that. Then follow these steps.

Step 1: Come Home Like Normal

After a few hours at the grocery store or a whole day at work, arrive home where you’re sure your Australian Shepherd will be waiting for you. Have treats ready, but you don’t need a leash or even a second person.

Step 2: Turn Away from Your Aussie When They Jump

Your Australian Shepherd is going to try to jump. When they go for it, turn away from them. This will confuse them for a moment, but they will likely still jump. If that’s the case, then we recommend putting your arms over your chest and averting your gaze. Look to the left, the right, even up at the ceiling, but not where your Aussie is.

Step 3: Wait Until They’re Calm, Then Greet Your Aussie

Your Aussie will stop after they realize they’re not getting a reaction out of you. We’re sure you normally yell at your dog to quit jumping, correct? Dogs are smart animals, Australian Shepherds especially, but canines don’t understand what yelling means.

To you, you yell at someone if you’re angry at them to express that you’re mad. To a dog, your raising your voice can incite excitement and/or stress, neither of which will stop your Aussie’s jumping problem.

By doing nothing, that indicates to your Australian Shepherd that what they’re trying isn’t working. They’ll soon stop. At that point, you can say hello to your Aussie, which is all they wanted in the first place.

Step 4: Reward with Treats and Praise

Since your dog behaved as you wish, heap praise on your Australian Shepherd and give them a few treats too. Like we described above, your Aussie might get excited during treat time and try jumping on you again. Turn your back to them and don’t react, then reward them when they stop jumping.

Step 5: Keep Doing It

Make this training a regular part of the routine, as dogs need repetition for the command to sink in. Your Aussie will soon react more calmly when you get home. Should they ever slip up and

jump, don’t yell or give in to the behavior. Just ignore it until they quit.


Aussies tend to jump when they’re excited or happy, but you don’t appreciate being greeted that way. Now that you have four methods you can use to stop your Australian Shepherd’s jumping, getting this behavior under control is very much doable. Best of luck!

Ryan Wood

Over 20 years ago I got my first Australian Shepherd. Ever since then, my family and I have been constantly learning and immersing myself with these wonderful and intriguing dogs. Now with 6 Aussie's and a couple Australian Cattle Dogs (aka Blue Heelers) in the family tree, We've learned from on-the-ground experience what makes the Australian breeds different than "regular dogs" and what doesn't. This is the site where we share everything we've learned.

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