Common Dog Behavior Problems – The Positive Solutions
Why Dogs Do This: The dog is looking for human attention when he jumps up to greet. The dog is so excited and ready to play with the human that it feels good to release his energy by jumping up.
How to Fix It: Remove the human reward whenever the dog jumps up. DON’T say anything – this is rewarding to a dog! DON’T shove the dog off – this is a play gesture for a dog! Cross your arms across your chest (so the dog can’t “pet” himself or lick your hand) and turn your back on the dog (so he can’t meet your face) until he puts all four of his paws on the floor. Once he does this, immediately (but calmly!) turn around and move to greet him. If he jumps up again, withdraw yourself, and repeat until you can face the dog and pet him while he’s got all four paws on the floor.
What Your Dog Can Do Instead: Teach him an alternate behavior for him to use when he wants to greet people. Sitting is a great alternate behavior to teach, since it’s impossible for a dog to sit and jump up on someone at the same time.
Training Tips: Make sure that the dog is CALM and under your control (on a leash) when you ask him to sit before greeting people. This may mean starting out with the dog in the backyard when the doorbell rings, instead of already bounding towards the door. The distance your dog can be away from the door without racing up to the visitor to jump is your starting point. After several successful trials at the starting distance, gradually move closer – this may mean taking it 1 ft. at a time! Don’t worry – your patience will be rewarded!