Collies jump up to greet people they know or to acquaint themselves with a new stranger. This is their way of saying hello, although it is unwanted behavior from a human perspective. Thankfully, with some basic training you can teach your collie to respect the “down” or “no” commands and keep their feet firmly on the floor.
In this article, we’re going to explore in detail the reasons why collies jump up at people and to other places like on the sofa or to the window, and also look at how to train them not to jump up at strangers.
Why do collies jump up at people?
Collies jump up at people for a number of reasons, which can vary depending on if you are on your own, or if your collie knows the person they are jumping up at.
Some of the possible reasons for collies jumping or pouncing at people include:
1: Collies jump at people to say hello
Collies generally jump at people as their way of saying hello. Some collies will even launch all four paws off the ground to boop noses with their favorite humans. Collies greet other dogs face to face so when their favorite humans are around they want to treat them with the same enthusiastic doggy welcome.
2: Collies may jump up as a sign of fear or aggression
Jumping up at people is usually a friendly greeting, however it may be a sign of aggression from your collie. You will be able to tell quickly and easily from their body language if this is the case.
If their hackle is up and their teeth are bared the likelihood is your collie feels threatened and is using jumping as a defense tactic.
3: Herding Instincts
Collies are known for their herding instincts and will often round their humans up by jumping up at them. This is especially common behavior when out walking as collies like to ensure their human pack are all present and accounted for.
A collie jumping up at each person with them at random intervals and for seemingly no obvious reason is actually their way of ensuring that no one gets left behind.
Why does my collie jump up at me?
Collies leaping and lunging at you has a number of different root causes, including your collie just wanting affection or attention, or due to boredom, and you may even have been unwittingly reinforcing the behavior.
Let’s look at some of these reasons below:
1: Your collie jumps at you to show Affection
When your collie jumps at you its their way of showing they consider you part of their pack. A collie will only jump at you if they completely trust you and have a strong bond with you.
Jumping at you (especially near your face) is one of the most natural things your collie can do to show affection. In fact, owners who are greeted by a cavorting collie should feel comforted by the fact they are held in such high regard by their canine companion.
2: Collies sometimes jump up if they want Attention
As a working breed, collies require a lot of attention. If a collie is not adequately mentally stimulated then you may find your collie jumping at you in a bid to elicit some kind of attention or reaction from you.
Collies are a very emotional breed, as they were originally bred to work as one mobile unit with their masters to herd livestock, so if they are feeling left out or neglected they may use jumping as a tactic to get some extra cuddles or play time.
Collies are super smart and if they receive attention (good or bad) from jumping at you they will deploy this as one of their main strategies for extra attention.
3: Collies may jump up at you due to Boredom
Collies require at least two hours of off-leash exercise every single day as well as lots of mental stimulation to keep their minds occupied. If you are not providing these basic needs for your collie and are noticing they are jumping at you, they may be bored and are jumping at you to communicate their feelings.
Remember, all dog behavior is communication and collies will always let you know in their own way if they are feeling bored or upset.
4: Due to Lack of training, your collie doesn’t know not to jump up
Collies are one of the smartest dog breeds however they also have a mind of their own.
When it comes to jumping at you, if you have not trained your collie not to jump up at you then they will just continue this behavior as they do not know what is expected from them.
The way your collie wants to behave is probably very far removed from your vision of a perfectly obedient pooch, so it’s always best to train your collie not to jump at you from an early age.
5: Your collie may be jumping up if they want food
Although collies are generally not known for being greedy, if you have a tasty treat then your collie may begin to jump up to try and grab a bite.
Many collies just cant help themselves and when there is delicious human food on offer even the best kibbles just can’t compare and your collie may jump up to try to get some.
Why does my collie jump up at my guests?
If you have people over to your home regularly, your collie will grow to trust these people as they show affection and kindness towards them. The more affection your collie receives from regular guests, the more love and trust your collie feels towards them and the more likely they are to jump up and greet them.
Eventually, they will feel excited for guests arrivals as they begin to associate their arrival with attention, affection and admiration.
All this excitement of guests arriving and the anticipation of having more play buddies can sometimes be too much for your collie to process and they end up running toward your guests and jumping up at them to say hello.
How to stop your collie jumping up at people:
Not everyone appreciates a crazy collie pouncing at them and some guests may even be fearful or become injured from such behavior so its important to know how to stop your collie from jumping up at people.
Never use punitive approaches towards your collie for jumping up at people. Collies are highly emotional and sensitive dogs so using punitive training methods will create a sense of anxiety for your collie and may even lead to them developing aggressive behaviors around people.
There are a few ways you can train your collie not to jump at people. These are explored in more detail below.
1: ignore your dog until they are calm
When your collie begins to jump at at you or other people completely ignore this behavior. Turn your back on your collie, don’t say anything and try not to make eye contact. If your collie jumps at guests, tell them to follow this advice also.
When your collie’s paws are firmly on the ground, reward them with attention or a treat. Your collie will learn quickly that they will only receive attention when they are calm and their jumping up will soon be a thing of the past.
2: Keep them on a lead around guests
If your collie is leaping at your unsuspecting guests a quick and easy fix is to keep them on the leash until they are calm.
When your guests arrive keep your collie in a separate room, then clip them onto their leash while you allow your collie to greet your guests. Ensure your guests are seated and remember to reward your collie for appropriate behavior.
3: reward your collie for sitting
Collies are people pleasers. They love nothing more than to perform a task for their owners and so harnessing this enthusiasm is an excellent opportunity to prevent unwanted jumping up.
Reward your collie for sitting or lying down when someone enters a room. This reward could be a high value treat or it could be extra playtime (tug of war anyone?). Use whichever reward your collie prefers most.
4: don’t make a big deal about coming home or going out
Some collies will jump at you when you are about to leave the house or indeed when you arrive home after being out.
One way to prevent your collie from jumping up at you is by not making a massive deal about leaving the house or coming home. Collies are emotionally connected to their owners on such a level that they will be able to pick up on how you are feeling. So, leave and enter the house in a calm fashion and this will rub off on your collie.
They will soon learn you will always return and any pouncing in a bid to get you to stay is unnecessary.
What does it mean when your collie jumps up?
Collies jump up to greet you or say hello. All collies behavior is communication, but generally they jump up to greet you, to get attention, and because they haven’t been trained not to.
It is up to you as the owner to teach them acceptable behavior. If you don’t want your collie to jump up at you, you need to teach them not to!
Why does my collie jump up on the sofa?
Like many dogs, collies love to sit next to you on the sofa. Let’s find out why…
1: It’s comfy
Collies crave comfort and where better to sprawl out and relax than the sofa? Sofas are super comfy and your collie is very well aware of this! Quite simply, the sofa offers a higher comfort level for your collie and they are smart enough to realize this.
Try getting your collie a comfy dog bed!
2: It smells like you
Collies also bond more strongly to their owners than other dog breeds and will jump on the sofa because it smells like you. It helps your collie feel close to you even when you are aware and they get the double benefit of a super comfy sofa and also sniffing in their owners scent.
3: Collies like to be high up off the ground
Sofas are generally higher off the ground than your collies dog bed. Collies like to survey their surroundings and most view your home as their kingdom. Being on the sofa gives them a birds eye view of all the happenings in the home.
This desire for height relates to their lupine ancestors where wolves would seek out elevated positions to scope out any potential predators.
4: They want to be next to you
If you’re sitting on the sofa and your collie jumps up next to you, they just want to be next to you! Collies are very loving and affectionate and tend to follow their owners around like a shadow.
If you’re exasperated by your collies constant sofa surfing read our ‘How To Keep Collies Off The Furniture‘ article for helpful and effective training methods.
Why does my collie jump up at the window?
Collies are always on high alert and are known for being excellent watch dogs.
Collies will jump up at the window to check out any suspicious situations they might need to alert their owners to.
Read more about their watch dog traits in the Are Collies Protective article.
You may notice your collie jumps up to the window when they hear a loud or unusual noise coming from outside. They are simply being nosy neighbors and surveying over their kingdom. Your collie may even opt to sleep at the window so they can constantly observe the outside world.