I get it, I get it…
You probably don’t care WHY dogs jump up as much as you just want the behavior fixed. 😉
But, I can fix it for you!
All it takes is a little time and consistency.
However, sometimes understanding a behavior will actually help you to stop it.
I think it is also imperative to understand your dog, because it better ensures that you don’t become as quickly and overly frustrated.
Jumping up is a natural behavior for dogs.
Dogs jump all over each other.
This is often how they initiate play.
They learn from a young age to jump on us when they are excited or want to be picked up.
Most of us pick up our puppies and put them close to our faces; many of us kiss them.
So when a dog is excited, it seems a natural response to hurl his big enthusiastic body at you, to express his elation.
It makes sense that in order to keep your dog from jumping up on you and family and friends, you will need to teach him that jumping is always unacceptable.
You can’t expect your dog or puppy to learn that jumping is “wrong” if you allow it sometimes.
Plus, being inconsistent is unfair.
Make a pact as a family that no one will allow this behavior.
Teach an Incompatible Behavior and Greeting
Your dog can’t sit and jump on you at the same time.
Now, don’t get me wrong… he can go very quickly from a “sit” to jumping up, but, of course, he has to break the behavior/command in order to accomplish it.
He also can’t “lie down” and jump, and it is more difficult to spring up from a down command.
This is why I always taught my potential Service Dogs to “down” when greeting new people.
Even rewarding your dog for keeping all four feet on the floor is helpful!
Keep It From Happening to Guests
Whereas a dog jumping up won’t hurt most people, a jumping dog can seriously injure a geriatric individual or toddler.
I make a point of ensuring that my dogs never get the opportunity to jump on guests.
Jumping is a bad habit.
It is a bad habit that you don’t want your dog to start!
Put your dog on leash.
I am always amazed that people think they can have control over this behavior, and how their dog greets people, when their dog is off leash.
Inevitably, the dog pounces guests and then the owner is off yelling and screaming and trying to reprimand as the dog swoops in for multiple pouncings.
Unfortunately, this is fun for your dog.
So, I don’t want my dogs to figure out that this game exists.
Instead, I want them to understand that I am in control and will give them commands and keep them from jumping.
When they are calm and contained they can be petted by the guest, provided they maintain their obedience and good behavior.
I suggest you invite some friends or family over with the intention of teaching your dog!
After many visits, your dog will simply settle in and know how to act because you have given him the tools he needs to know what you want and what your expectations for him are.
Your dog isn’t a person, he doesn’t know what you want and what your expectations of him are, until you teach him what you want him to do!