Let's talk about one of the biggest complaints most dog owners have about their beloved pets--unwanted jumping on people. Many dogs love to jump on their owners or visitors. They do this because they are extremely social animmals and it is their way of greeting and being acknowledged.
Sometimes we actually encourage the behavior, especially with puppies, by inviting them to jump up. Everyone is like, "Ohhh, look at the cute puppy... Come here, puppy!" The next thing you know, the puppy jumps up and the person starts to pet and praise the puppy. This teaches your dog that humans want dogs to jump on them and they are eager for the attention.
What you have to do at this point is teach the dog that greeting has to be done with all four paws on the ground. In order for any jumping training to be effective, you have to make sure everybody that comes into contact with your dog is being consitent with the training. You can't have dad inviting the dog up to jump, and then mom trying to prevent the dog from jumping. All this does is confuse the dog and will never correct the jumping problem. Half of the people want the dog to jump and the other half don't want the dog to jump. It would confuse you too!!
Training Your Dog to Not Jump
To effectively train your dog not to jump on people, follow these simple tips and your dog will get the idea in no time:
1. First of all, you need to institute a no jump policy as the first priority in all situations. Don't allow others to encourage your dog to jump up on them at all.
2. Start training your dog by using your hands to invite the dog to jump up on you (I know, sounds contradictary to what we just said, but stay with me here). When the dog puts its front paws on you, simply grab the paws and hold on to them. Most dogs are very sensitive about their paws being touched. Hold on to the paws until the dog starts to struggle (important!)
3. As soon as the dog starts struggling to get its paws out of your grip, use the command "Off" (Don't use "Down" because that should be used to train your pooch when to lay down) and push the dogs paws down and off of you.
4. Immediately follow the action with praise and affection to reinforce the behavior. The dog needs to associate the reward to not jumping.
One thing to keep in mind about jumping--it usually happens within the first few minutes of seeing the dog. You can train for this by having someone come over and knock on the door. The dog's excitment level will go way up making it difficult for it to think at that point. Then, try to wait a few seconds until the dog calms a bit and then allow the person to enter. If the dog jumps up, have the person grab the front paws firmly and hold on until the dog begins to struggle to get loose. Have them push the dog's legs down while simultaneously giving the command "Off".
After a couple of weeks of consistently training your dog not to jump, you should be able to invite friends and family over without having to worry about your pet causing a scene.
Here is a great instructional video on teaching your dog to not jump on people: