Learn 3 Methods To Stop Your Boston Terrier From Jumping

Even with smaller dogs like the Boston Terrier, jumping can be a significant issue that can disrupt your day. 

Things can get even worse if you invite a guest over, and your dog decides to try and jump on them the whole time they are there. 

Why Do Boston Terriers Jump Up And How To Stop It
Bella and Me (Donnie) Going On A Car Ride

To understand why dogs jump, we are going to be taking a look at the underlying causes. And some of the ways you can teach your Boston Terrier that jumping is not ok. 

Here is why your Boston Terrier jumps and how you can stop it…

Why Do Boston Terriers Jump Up And How To Stop It

Do Boston Terriers Jump Up?

Yes, without proper training your Boston Terrier will jump up on you as well as your guests.

Bella, my Boston, is still a jumper. Lately, we have been following Cesar Millan’s approach to eliminating the jumping.

Here is what the Boston Terrier Society Twitter community says about their Boston Terriers and jumping.

Why Do Boston Terriers Jump?

Boston Terriers jump on you and your guests for a few different reasons. Here are the main reasons your Boston may be jumping on you:

  • Excitement – Your Boston could simply be excited, and a way for them to express this energy is through jumping.
  • Wants To Say Hello – If you have just arrived home, your Boston probably really misses you and wants to say hello mixed with excitement.
  • Hungry – I’ve noticed this with Bella. We feed here first thing in the morning and at 5:00 pm. Bella will start jumping and whining for dinner around 4:50 pm.
  • Wants To Go Outside – Check to see if your Boston Terrier needs to go potty. Your dog might be trying to tell you they need to go to the bathroom when they are jumping and or whining.
  • Attention Seeking – Your Boston Terrier may want some attention from you, and jumping is a way to get that attention.
  • Habitual – If you pet your Boston or give them a treat when they jump, they REMEMBER. Positive reinforcement leads to your dog doing the same behavior over and over again. If you want to stop your Boston from jumping, you must eliminate the habit by removing the positive reinforcement.
  • Socialization – Poor socialization with other dogs could cause jumping in your Boston. This again can be tricky, your Boston could be jumping for play or as a way to show its dominance. It is best to socialize your Boston with other dogs early to build their confidence around other dogs. Here is how to socialize your Boston, Guide To Socializing Your Boston Terrier.
  • Lack Of Exercise – Your Boston may need to be walked more or have a more strenuous exercise plan to expel some extra energy. Scroll down to learn more.

Could Boston Terrier Jumping Be Evolutionary?


Jumping to get a better smell…

Dogs have amazing noses that can pick up on a number of scents. According to a trainer from Cesar Milan’s Dog Psychology Center one reason your Boston could be jumping up is to get a better smell.

The jumping up happens because the areas of our body that produce the most scent is in our groin area and mouth.

Jumping to get milk…

Jumping can start when a puppy is old enough to move around freely. In the wild, dogs don’t have the same luxuries as our pampered pets, and a lazy puppy won’t be the one who gets a good meal. 

One way puppies can get ahead of their littermates is by using their tiny hops to push their way onto their mother to feed. 

A puppy who has a bit more hop may have a chance to get more food and beat out their less nimble siblings.

Jumping to get attention from mom…

Another reason for jumping at a young age is that puppies will jump up to get their mother’s attention.

This attention-seeking from mom could be for several reasons.

  • Affection
  • Hunger
  • Play

How To Stop Your Boston Terrier From Jumping

The first step to stopping your Boston Terrier from jumping is to figure out why they are doing it in the first place.

To determine why your Boston is jumping, look at when and how often they do it. 

If they only jump on new dogs but never jump on you, then it is likely a confidence or play issue. Be sure to refer to how to socialize your Boston.

On the other hand, if they jump on you anytime you’re doing something else, they are likely bothering you because they want attention. 

If the jumping only happens around dinner time, then it’s likely they are just responding to ingrained behavior to ask for their food.

How To Train Your Boston Terrier Not To Jump For Attention

Since most dogs jump for attention, you will need to work with them to stop this habit. If your dog jumps on you, ignore them. This will generally work for more mild cases of jumping where the Boston Terrier will give up after a few minutes. 

If you have a more determined dog, then you are going to need to step up your game. If your dog jumps on you, then turn the other direction. 

Here Is A Video On How To Turn Your Back To Them

Me (Donnie) Explaining How I Turn My Back To Stop The Jumping

Turning your back to your Boston will send the signal to them that you’re not interested in taking part in their game. 

If you’re standing up, you can even turn around to look in the opposite direction of your dog.

What If The Turning Your Back To Your Boston Does Not Work?

If you have a severe case of jumping, then walk away when your dog jumps on you. 

You may even need to go into another room and shut the door. 

This will teach your dog that jumping causes you to have a negative reaction to their behavior. 

If you have others living in your home, make sure to explain this process to them. A guest or child allowing your dog to still jump for attention will make them think that the action has a chance of success. 

A dog that is only disciplined part of the time will never display correct behaviors.

How To Train Your Boston Terrier Not To Jump For Food

If you think that food is the primary trigger for jumping, then you can teach your dog to wait patiently. 

For this type of training, you don’t want to lock your Boston Terrier out of the room. You will want to have them in the kitchen with you as you’re filling their bowl with food. 

The trick to getting your Boston Terrier to stop jumping for food is to tell them to sit when they start to get hyper. 

If they don’t calm down, then wait until they sit to start getting their food. Once you have the bowl, continue to instruct your Boston to sit until the dish is on the ground, and you are confident they won’t jump on you.

Does Your Boston Terrier Need More Training Regarding Feeding Jumping? 

If you want to provide a bit more training to your dog, then use treats to teach them to sit. 

Get a box of treats that your Boston Terrier responds strongly to. Here are the treats we give Bella, Bella’s Must-Have Treats.

Step 1) Instruction

Pull out one treat at a time and instruct your dog to sit until you lower the treat down to their mouth. 

Step 2) Wait

Once, they have patiently sat for a few seconds allowing them to take the treat. 

Step 3) Repeat

Repeat this a few times a day while keeping the treats serving amount in mind to train your dog out of jumping for food quickly. 

For this exercise, you will want to get visitors, and the rest of your family involved to ensure your dog won’t jump when you’re not around.

Teaching Your Boston Terrier To Sit For A Treat Is So Easy

Here is a video of my little Sofia having Bella sit for treats. Sofia is only 19 months old in this video.

Sofia having Bella sit for treats

How To Stop Your Boston Terrier From Jumping In Nearly All Cases

I know there are a number of people who are against Cesar Milan’s training methods, but they do work. Like I have said before there are a number of different training methods out there in the world.

You need to find the training method that works for you and do it.

Below a trainer from Cesar Milan’s Dog Psychology Center explains how to stop a puppy from jumping. The steps he explains in this video are outlined below.

A Trainer From The Dog Psychology Center Teaches Us How To Stop The Jumping

How To Train Your Puppy To Stop Jumping

Step 1) Ignore The Jumping Behavior

In the first step, you will simply ignore your Boston Terrier when they start jumping. This includes having your guests ignore the behavior.

  • No Touching
  • No Eye Contact
  • No Talking

Only pet or talk with your Boston once they stop jumping. This will reinforce the behavior you want them to do, not jump.

Step 2) Place A Leash On Your Dog

You will only proceed to step two if your Boston is not responding to you ignoring them and they continue to jump.

In step two you place a leash on your Boston. Anytime your Boston Terrier jumps you will give a quick sideways tug on the leash to stop.

This tug will let them know that jumping is not desirable and serve as a form of discipline.

Step 3) You Need To Show Your Dominance

No, I’m not saying to be aggressive. Cesar Milan often talks about being the leader of the pack.

In step three showing your dominance simply means eliminating the space between you and your Boston.

You eliminate the space between you and your Boston Terrier by moving closer to them. With you taking the action of moving towards your Boston it communicates to your dog you are the one in control of this situation.

Step three is to be used only after steps one through two has not worked. And follow the steps.

NOTE: You must have your guests follow these steps as well as family members in order to stop the jumping.

Exercise Could Be The Answer To Your Boston Terriers Jumping Behavior

If your dog tends to jump no matter what you do, then they might just have too much energy stored up. 

In this case, you will need to provide your dog with an outlet to release their energy throughout the day. 

How To Expel Extra Energy While You’re At Work

One of the best ways to have your Boston Terrier burn energy while you’re at work is by leaving new toys every few weeks for them to play with. 

This can help your dog to calm down throughout the day so that you aren’t ambushed when you get through the door. 

You can even leave treats around the house to play, hide & seek.

Check out this in-depth article I wrote for more ideas on what to do when you’re at work; 15 Ways To Keep Your Boston Terrier Busy When You’re At Work.

If you don’t work, think about setting up an outdoor playtime daily with your dog, this can be a 15-minute session where you simply play fetch with a favorite ball.

Exercise Is The Key To Nearly All Animal Behavior (Including Us Humans)

Another idea for wearing down your Boston Terrier is going on longer walks. On average, this breed should be walked for around thirty minutes to an hour each day. 

You should break up this time into several walking sessions to ensure your pet is getting the proper amount of exercise throughout the day. 

If it is winter, there are still some great ideas as to what you can do for your Boston Terrier’s exercise needs. Check out this article I wrote; 20 Winter Exercises You Can Do With Your Boston Terrier.

If these things aren’t possible, then consider taking your dog to daycare a few times a week or even enlisting the help of a dog walker.

Boston Terrier exercising

If You Can Not Stop Your Boston Terrier From Jumping Talk To A Trainer

If the jumping is severe and you can’t seem to get your dog to stop, then it may be time to see a trainer. 

Jumping is a common issue that many trainers deal with, and most will be able to narrow down the reasons for the behavior rather quickly. 

During the training session, you will be instructed on methods you can use to deter your Boston Terrier from jumping on you at home. 

They will even be able to provide information to the rest of your family to help get your pet on the right path.

What Can Trainers Work On?

Trainers can work on many issues with your dog to include confidence issues caused by feeling nervous around other dogs. 

You need to communicate with your trainer exactly what you would like to work on with your Boston Terrier.

What Type Of Training Programs Are Out There?

Most trainers will schedule these training sessions in a group environment where they can adequately observe how your dog reacts when around others. 

The trainer will slowly be able to work on your dog’s confidence level. 

Also, trainers can be an excellent choice for deep-rooted jumping issues. Especially in the case of adopted animals that have had some trouble adjusting to their new home.

There are also one-on-one training sessions you could do as well as online versions. If you would like to do online training, I recommend the K9 Virtual Academy. Here is the podcast I did with the owner and founder, K9 Virtual Academy Podcast Episode

Final thoughts…

Your Boston Terrier could be jumping up for any number of reasons. Before you start trying to correct this behavior, make sure you understand why they are jumping in the first place. 

Like I said before, Bella will jump up sometimes when she needs to go outside. While this is not ideal, it can not be ignored, take your dog out! 

But if you Boston is jumping for food or attention, there are things you can do to help eliminate this behavioral issue.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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