Why Does My Dog Jump on My Back? (7 Common Reasons)

Dogs experiment with new behavior from time to time, and it can be disturbing if its newfound behavior is something you don’t want to allow to continue. If your dog jumps on your back frequently or occasionally or ‘why does my dog jump on my back’ is a question you’ve been asking, there has to be a reason for it.

Why Does My Dog Jump on My Back? 

A dog jumps on your back because it needs attention, lacks appropriate training, must have been taught to do so, and is trying to show its dominance.

These are the possible reasons, as it’s hard to tell because dogs use the same language for different things.

Without a better description of the situation surrounding the jumping, the answer to your question could become complicated. Still, not to confuse you, this post will analyze common situations and proffer solutions while answering your question, “why does my dog jump on my back?”.

An Attention-Seeking Behavior

The reason your dog could be jumping on you from behind could be its need for your attention. Most dogs jump on people from their front while others do it from the back, probably because they have been trained not to jump from your front.

To know if this is the reason, take your time to answer the following questions:

  • Does your dog wag its tail as he jumps on you from behind? If yes, then it’s him being playful and seeking attention. 
  • Is he panting happily? If yes, then he wants to play with you. It’s up to you to respond to him.
  • Is he being gentle with how he puts his paws on you? If yes, then he wants to switch to play mode.

If you answered “YES” to the above questions, then your dog’s behavior of jumping on you could be its way of saying, “I would like your recognition of my existence.” If not, then read on for other likely causes and solutions.

Lack Of Proper Training

When not given proper training, dogs tend to pick up unusual behavior as they grow up. Their unfamiliarity with “what’s bad” and “what’s not bad” would show behaviors that you wouldn’t want to be continued.

Why do I say this? 

Its habit of jumping on your back occasionally or frequently could be it not knowing how improper the behavior is. Feeding positive reinforcement training to your dog will naturally cause it to stop this behavior.

Instincts/ Was Taught So

As you wonder “why your dog jumps on your back,” many dog owners teach their dogs how to jump on backs.

So, one thing to take note of is that you could have unconsciously taught him or must have given him the idea that you want to be jumped on from the back.

This answer is only a likely reason, but to know if this is the answer to your problem, take your time to answer these questions carefully.

  • Has your dog been undergoing exercises recently? Do any of the activities involve jumping?
  • Have you been swatting your back in front of him frequently?
  • Do you have kids or anyone who has been hopping on your back frequently? Your dog could just be imitating the action.
  • Have you been patting your back lately in his presence? He could think it’s a go-ahead signal to hop.
  • Are there any family members that may have performed the actions above?

Your Dog Wants to Play

A big black dog attempting to jump on person to play

Dogs can be spirited and playful animals. They do not like to be bored or idle.

Some breeds are more active than others. But dogs generally do not want to be left idle.

They derive excitement when they run around the house, go on a walk, play with their dog mates in the park and play with humans, especially children.

Dogs love children. When your dog claws at you from the back, he may be signaling to you that it’s time to play. He may be bored and want to play with you. So, play with your furry mate.

A Show of Dominance

Besides jumping on you from the back, your dog could have been displaying other behaviors that have gone unnoticed by you.

When analyzed together with jumping on you, these behaviors could point to the fact that your dog only expresses dominance with you. 

This likelihood is true if your answer to the below questions ranges between “YES” or “I Guess So.”

  • Can you describe your dog as pushy, headstrong, willful, and demanding? 
  • Is your dog protective of you in nature?
  • Has your dog been refusing to walk on a leash? Does it nip or bite you?
  • Has it recently shown signs of trying to steal attention from others? Has it been licking you constantly? And is it constantly refusing to walk from behind you?

If you ticked YES to most, if not all, the questions, you’ve got your answers to why your dog jumps on your back. Your dog is only showing signs of dominance.

Your Dog is in Heat

Does your dog hump your back when he jumps on it? If so, he may be trying to mate with you and it’s a valid reason why he keeps jumping on your back.

Sounds silly? It’s not.

It would help if you got him snipped. And if she is a girl dog, you should get her spayed. Your dog humping your back is not a good sign.

He may go on to hump other people, other dogs and even things. It might be a growing behavior, and you should endeavor to nip it in the bud.

You Don’t Let Your Dog Jump on You From the Front

Dogs greet themselves by sniffing at their faces. So, they often jump on you from the front to greet you, maybe because you’re just back from work and they have missed you all day.

They want to get a good whiff of your scent, the scent of their best friend, to welcome you home. However, if you refuse your dog to jump in front, he may do it from behind you.

Perhaps you have unknowingly ignored his plot to greet you in the front, say you just had a rough day at work, or you’re tired, and the last thing you want is your canine pal on your body.

Then you decide to shove him off. He may want to force his way on you by jumping on your rear.

Maybe next time, you let him jump at you from the front. He is only greeting and welcoming you home!

How to react when your dog jumps up on your back

Hugs and Shakes

When your dog hops on your back, the best thing to do is to discourage him from continuing the act.

He may be trying to greet you, and as such, you could gradually introduce him to “hugs” and “shakes”.

Gently pull him to your front and teach him to claw at you from the front in a hug or shake style. And when he successfully does this, reward him with praise and treats.

Dog Training

Training your dog when you notice awkward and annoying behavior like jumping on your back is also encouraged.

Positive reinforcement training, this time not to encourage your doggy to keep going at it, but to gently and professionally (as the case may be) dissuade him from the behavior.

If you’re finding it difficult to train your dog not to jump on your back, perhaps because he was allowed to do as he pleased in his former home and is highly untrained, ensure you contact a professional trainer

How Can I Get My Dog to Stop Jumping on My Back?

Fun as it may seem, this behavior of back jumping isn’t appropriate. Get it to stop by following these tips and methods.


woman giving her dog training instruction command

Whenever it repeats the behavior, turn around and say “NO” in a commanding and firm tone. Don’t laugh, smile, or show signs of unseriousness when doing this.

Then, ignore it for a few minutes if it tries playing with you. Be consistent until he learns that you are dissatisfied with the act.

Use the dancing technique

You could also grab your doggy from behind and dance him in circles for some minutes each time he jumps on your rear.

He will be a bit dazed after turning him around and will quickly learn not to jump on you from behind again.

Give your dog attention

One of the reasons your furry companion jumps on your back is for want of attention, your attention. Maybe he has been feeling left out or abandoned by you.

You are too busy all the time. Give your dog more of your time. Play with him; give him a pat on the back, a gentle stroking or a scratch. He wants you.

Reshape Its Habits

Another solution lies in reshaping its behavior of jumping on you. You could turn around and give it a high-five whenever it attempts to sneak a jump from behind.

Avoid Related Acts

Avoid carrying out behaviors that could give him the idea to jump on you. If you piggyback your relative in front of him, then stop doing at least in his presence. Tell other members of your family to stop.

Get It To Do Some Exercise

To reduce the energy your dog has to jump around, give it some exercise to do it. Keep the exercise activity at a proper level, and don’t overdo it.

Why does my dog jump on my back while walking?

If you always reward or encourage your canid friend for jumping on you, he may want to jump on your back while you’re walking to get you to give him a treat (or reward).

Other reasons for jumping at you while you walk are when your dog is anxious (perhaps separation anxiety from not seeing you in a long while), when your dog is high-energy (this wave of energy always inside of him), or when your doggy wants to play.

He may simply want your attention if he keeps jumping at you while you walk.

And if you try to scold or raise your voice at him, which is strongly discouraged, he may become persistent with his jumping.

Gently calm him down by stroking his fur or playing with him, and get him to do something like an exercise.

Final Words

Dogs are amazing creatures; if you have one, you would know this. Please treat them with care however they treat you. They are like your child, and no amount of “jumping on your back” should make you turn to violence as some tend to.

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