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How to Teach Your Dog to Jump into Your Arms

Learn how to teach your dog to jump into your arms with this Howcast dog training video featuring professional dog trainer Andrea Arden.


Teaching your dog to jump into your arms is a super cute and flashy trick. But it's also a trick that requires your dog to have really good physical ability. So you want to make sure that you talk to your veterinarian first to make sure that this trick is suitable for your dog.

So I'm going to show you first what the end result of the trick is going to be, and then I'm going to walk you through step-by-step. So this is what the trick looks like. Nora, OK. Come on. Good girl! Very, very cute and flashy.

The way you're going to start with this trick is you're going to start by either being on the ground, depending on how big or small your dog is. If you have a very tiny dog, start on the ground, or if you have a dog who is a medium-sized or a bigger dog, start in a chair. You are going to start by encouraging the dog to simply jump into your lap. Come here, Nora. Good girl!

It's as simple as that. Give your dog lots and lots of praise. Let them know how great it is that they jumped up. And you can also give a dog a treat, if you want. Nora, come on up. Good girl!

The next step is that you're going to get rid of the chair. So mimic the position that your body made when you were in the chair, just raising yourself a little bit off the ground. Make sure that you keep, at least, one knee out in front of you so you give your dog something to brace on when they're jumping up. So it's going to look like this. Nora, come her. Come here. Ready? Can you sit? Good girl, Nora. Ready? Come on up. Good girl!

So notice how Nora targeted right to my knee, because it's almost like a plank that she can climb up. Teaching this behavior is an example of what's called shaping, which means that I'm not at the beginning going for the full behavior. I'm going for successive approximations, or otherwise known as tiny steps in the right direction towards what I want to ultimately teach. Come here, Nora. Come over here. Ready? Can you sit? Good girl!

The next step is to raise yourself up just a little bit. The last part I did was about this high. I'm going to raise myself up a little bit higher. And this time, I'm going to tilt myself back a little bit so it gives my dog a way to be able to have essentially a plank to climb up. Nora. Ready? OK. Come on. Good girl!

So the last part of this trick is that you're going to stand almost completely upright, but still keep your leg out a little bit to give your dog a brace. And you're going to encourage her very enthusiastically to run towards you and jump into your arms. Ready? OK. Come on, Nora. Good girl. Good job!

And that is how you teach your dog to jump into your arms.

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