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Why Does My German Shepherd Jump on Me? And How To Stop It!

It’s not an uncommon experience for owners of medium to large-sized dogs to come back home and be jumped on by their dog. Owners of German Shepherds of especially aware of this occurrence unless the jumping behavior has already been jumped out. But why are these dogs insistent on jumping on you?

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Why Does My German Shepherd Jump on Me?

German Shepherd will jump on you for a variety of reasons. Usually, it’s because they are excited or that they want attention. However, they also might jump on you or other people as a sign of dominance.

German Shepherds are extremely loving and loyal to their owners and are always excited for when they come back home. In this case, a German Shepherd may whine, bark, or even jump on you to say hello and to show that they are excited for you to come back. 

German Shepherds will also jump out of excitement when you are giving them something that they want. They might jump when you grab the leash to take them on a walk or head over to their food container to give them dinner.

However, this can get interruptive and can require training to remove the excessive behavior. 

Will My German Shepherd Jump on Me for Attention?

Along with being excited, your German Shepherd might jump on you because they want something for you. They will often jump to gain your attention and ask you for something.

If it is around dinner time, they might jump on you to ask for food. 

The jumping behavior can increase if your German Shepherd isn’t getting the proper amount of exercise.

This will leave your German Shepherd with excess amounts of energy, and they might get rid of that extra energy by jumping on you when they want something. 

German Shepherds might also jump when you walk by the door, and they want to go outside. 

The first step to removing attention-seeking jumping is to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise every day so that they don’t have the excess energy that can cause jumping. 

From there, specific training will be needed to minimize the jumping behavior. 

Do German Shepherds Jump on You Out of Fear?

While German Shepherds have a reputation for being tough and scary dogs, they can get scared just like any other creature can. German Shepherds can have fears of different stimuli like thunder, a car honking outside, or a crash on the television. 

When a German Shepherd gets scared, it might jump on you as a response. This is basically your German Shepherd running to you for comfort and jumping is a way for them to use up anxious energy or adrenaline. 

If your German Shepherd gets scared by something, make sure that you are nearby so that you can comfort them and let them know that they are okay. When it comes to being afraid, jumping might be a flight or fight response that your German Shepherd is facing. 

Will German Shepherds Jump to be Dominating

With the proper training when your German Shepherd is still a puppy, they are not at all likely to try to be dominating in their behavior. However, an adopted German Shepherd who is only just starting training might try to be dominating.

German Shepherds can try to dominate through many different actions such as circling, biting, sitting on you, or even jumping.

If your German Shepherd is trying to dominate you, training is a necessary action so that they don’t become aggressive. Call up a professional dog trainer to get their assistance for your German Shepherd. 

Why Should I Discourage Jumping with My German Shepherd?

A German Shepherd’s jumping is not inherently harmful, but there are plenty of reasons that jumping should be trained out of your German Shepherd.

The first reason is if you have kids. German Shepherds are super kind and loving around children, but they don’t really have a full concept of their size compared to kids. This is why a German Shepherd might accidentally knock a kid over while playing.

When it comes to jumping, a German Shepherd might try to jump on a kid while playing and that can be really dangerous depending on how old the kid is. 

Even if your German Shepherd is super kind around your kid and even if your kid is okay with it, it is still better to be safe when it comes to your kids. 

You will also want to train the jumping behavior out of your German Shepherd if you have guests over often. Not many people expect to be jumped on when they come over to someone else’s house for the first time. You should always warn someone who is coming to your house for the first time that you have a large dog, but you should also warn that they might jump.

People don’t really like to be jumped on as it can make them afraid, so it is better that your German Shepherd is trained to not jump on people. 

How Do I Stop My German Shepherd from Jumping on Me?

Luckily, all it takes is some training to make your German Shepherd stop jumping on you. However, you must be persistent in this training as sending mixed messages will make the training process more difficult.

To train a behavior out of any dog, you must be persistent and determined throughout the entire process. 

Ignore the Behavior

Whether we want to admit it or not, we as owners are a big reason for why our pets develop unwanted behaviors. 

Giving your German Shepherd attention, such as petting or talking to them when they jump on you, ends up rewarding the behavior. Through these rewards, the German Shepherd learns to think that jumping is an okay and wanted behavior. 

In order to stop this unwanted behavior, you must ignore it. Then, you stop rewarding this behavior and therefore reinforcing it. Yes, it can be difficult to ignore it when your German Shepherd jumps on you, but gently remove them from your body and walk away from them.

Don’t ever forcefully push your German Shepherd off of you. Causing your German Shepherd pain will hurt your relationship with your dog, and it won’t successfully train the behavior away. 

To get your German Shepherd off of you, gently lift them off of your body and set their paws back on the ground. This redirects the behavior away from you. 

Give A Different Command

When your German Shepherd jumps on you and you can’t simply walk away, give a different command to redirect their behavior. You can tell them to stay, sit, or lay down in order for them to get off of you.

Of course, make sure that your German Shepherd fully understands these commands before redirecting their behavior with them. 

When your German Shepherd successfully follows the different command that you have given them, don’t forget to give them a treat so you reward this new behavior. By rewarding the new behavior, your German Shepherd will learn that the new command is preferred and will be trained to do that behavior instead. 

Encourage Others to Not Reward the Jumping

Even when your German Shepherd gets used to not jumping with you, they still might try to jump on other people in the family or on guests. 

Again, make sure you warn any guests that jumping might happen, especially when you are still starting to train out the behavior.

However, some people might want to give your dog pets when they jump up. When you warn guests about jumping, also tell them to not encourage the jumping behavior and to ignore it or say the redirecting command you have given. 

This way your German Shepherd doesn’t get confused about who they can jump on and when they can jump. You might still need to give the redirecting command to your German Shepherd even when jumping on someone else. 

In some cases, you might need to keep your German Shepherd on a leash when guests first come over to prevent jumping. 

For family, make sure to show everyone what to do when your German Shepherd jumps. Teach them what command to give instead so they can train the German Shepherd as well.

Final Thoughts

German Shepherds are super energetic and excitable dogs which can lead to them jumping. There are more reasons than just excitement for them jumping and these reasons might be positive or negative.

No matter the reason, you can still train the behavior out of your German Shepherd. It can actually be preferred to do this training if you have children or have guests over often.

German Shepherds are amazing and loving dogs, but they can push on our boundaries at times. It is important to keep up with training so that your dog learns what they should and shouldn’t do so that everyone in the household can stay safe and keep their boundaries. 

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