I am often asked how to stop dogs from jumping on guests or family members as they enter the house as this is seen as bad manners, particularly for a large dog.
Why do dogs jump on people?
- Often this starts when they cute little puppies and it’s encouraged by family members but it’s not cute when the puppy is grown
- Dogs crave attention from people- even pushing a dog off or you shouting at the dog is given the dog attention
- People coming into the home excite dogs, especially guests
How you can retrain your dog
- Stop pushing your dog off or shouting to get down/off and try folding your arms and turning away from the dog (no words are required)
- Ask guests to ignore the dog on entering. No eye contact, no verbal comments, arms folded and to turn away from the dog if necessary
- Keep your dog on a leash or behind a gate until family/guests have entered the house and the dog is calm
- Reward good behavior (4 feet on the floor or even better a sit) with ‘good dog’ and/or a tasty treat so that the dog knows what behavior you want
- Do no let anyone make physical contact with your dog unless he has 4 feet on floor or is sitting calmly
- Spray water at your dog; this doesn't work that well and makes a mess in the house!
- Use a shock collar; this is cruel
If your dog has been jumping on you and your guests for a long time then the behavior has been strongly reinforced and changing it will take patience and time. You should train at every opportunity. CONSISTENCY is the number one rule when retraining.
Make sure your dog gets plenty of excercise and if they love ot jump consider taking up dog agaility- your dog will enjoy the joy of jumping under controlled conditions.
......And if your dog is reacting to the doorbell with excited or anxious barking this is a different training issue.
Call an expert if the jumping involves nipping or growling as you may need extra help to retrain this behavior.
Elaine Rinicker ABC- certified dog trainer
Happy Urban Dog LLC
813 817 9891