Frenchies are loveable and attention seeking dogs. Most of the time this is great fun, but it can manifest itself in some very frustrating behaviour; jumping up on people.
It’s not just annoying though; it can be dangerous with small children and can also result in unwanted situations when your French Bulldog jumps up on strangers or people who are scared of dogs.
When Claude was younger, I had both these scenarios happen. We were at the park one day and he jumped up at a toddler and knocked the small kid onto his back. Thankfully the child was fine, but I had a very angry grandparent to deal with.
Claude also jumped up onto a stranger when we out, leaving muddy paw prints all over the guy’s trousers. The guy was fine, but it was embarrassing and something I wanted to get stopped.
How to stop a French Bulldog jumping up on people
I have managed to train our French Bulldog to stop jumping up on people, but it did take a couple of weeks of hard work to get it cracked. You can read below how to stop a Frenchie from jumping up with the method I used successfully when Claude was around 12 months old.
Handy Hint: Jumping can be very bad for Frenchie’s health, not just due to behavioural issues. Read my guide to why jumping is bad and what problems it can lead to.
Here are the different ways we stopped our French Bulldog from jumping up on people both in our home and when out and about on a walk.
1. Turn your back and use a firm “off” command
In our home we started off by turning our back to our Frenchie the moment he started to jump up. As you turn around, say “off” in a firm and direct manner.
When you first start doing this, your Frenchie will keep trying, and will follow you around the room. Continue to turn away from him and keep using the “off” command until the dog stops jumping up.
After a while the French Bulldog should stop jumping up, so when he does, give him a reward and praise him.
We did this consistently with Claude for a few weeks until he stopped jumping up, and also told visitors to our house to do this with him as well.
2. Don’t shout and get excited
Always keep calm. As soon as you start to raise your voice or even shout, that will excite the Frenchie and could make them jump up even more.
Be in control, use the “off” command, and use positive re-enforcement when he stops.
Also, please don’t hit or scold your puppy if he jumps up at you. If you do this it could encourage a defensive and fearful reaction – and that could mean aggressive reactions from the Frenchie.
3. Reward sitting and not jumping
Once your Frenchie starts to learn that jumping up gives him no attention, he should start to stop. If you have been using sit commands as well (here’s how to teach them to sit), then he should learn that sitting leads to a reward and praise.
If your Frenchie walks up and sits down next you instead of jumping up, give him lots of praise and attention to re-enforce the good behaviour.
Did You Know? French Bulldogs can jump up quite high. We videoed an experiment with Claude and you can see the results of how high he managed to reach in this blog post.
4. Train to sit or stay when people come in the house
One of the major flashpoints for Frenchie’s jumping up will be when a visitor comes into your home. We had this a lot with Claude when he was younger.
It was really annoying. He would not leave our visitors alone and would jump up for 10 minutes before calming down.
Aside from turning your back, you can also train them to sit when a person comes into the home. Other methods are training them to stay where they are or go and sit in a particular place in the room – like a bed or blanket.
5. Use a toy as a distraction
If all else fails, try using a toy as a distraction. Have it in your hand when your Frenchie is approaching you or when someone is coming into your home.
By doing so you can take your Frenchie’s attention away from jumping up, instead being focussed on the toy.
What not to do
There are some very brutal methods for stopping dogs from jumping up which I’ve read online and seen in YouTube videos. I don’t agree with these methods as they seem unusually cruel and little bit aggressive.
Here’s what some dog owners might tell you to do, but I prefer my preventative method listed above, rather than these old-fashioned methods seen below.
- Mean: Use a spray bottle and spray them with water when they jump up.
- Cruel: Step on the French Bulldog’s paws when they jump up.
- Cruel: Push your knee into your dog’s chest to stop them jumping.
Why Frenchies jump up on you
Jumping up isn’t a behavioural problem that only afflicts Frenchies. All dog breeds do it, but most can be trained to stop it.
The reason dogs jump up is entirely natural. It’s a trait they develop as puppies as dogs will greet each other by sniffing faces and noses – by jumping up on people they are simply trying to do the same greeting that they do with other dogs.
All it means is that they are very happy to see you!
Is Your Frenchie Happy? Find out what to look for if you think your Frenchie isn’t happy with this guide to French Bulldog happiness.
They want to get close to our faces, and most us actually encourage this when our French Bulldog is a loveable puppy. Who doesn’t love a little Frenchie puppy getting all excited and wanting to lick and sniff at our faces… but that’s where the problem will start.
Of course, nobody wants to discourage the jumping up behaviour in a very small French Bulldog puppy. We used to love Claude jumping up on us when he was younger.
However, the best time to curb jumping up is to do with with the puppy from as young an age as possible. As your dog gets heavier and larger, it can become a problem, particularly once you’re out with them in the big wide world.
As with any training method, repetition is key to success.
You will need to repeat the training a few times a day to get your French Bulldog used to not jumping up. But don’t overdo it. As with any training, you and the dog will get bored of heavy repetition.
It will take time as by training your French Bulldog to stop jumping up, you’re getting them to go against their instinctive behaviour.