Jumping on people is a natural dog behavior. While this may not seem an issue when your dog is still a puppy, it could become embarrassing and even dangerous as he or she grows older.
Imagine the impact of your 100 pound lab jumping on a visitor in your home or stranger on the street!
Stopping this behavior is imperative and the earlier in the life of your dog you curb it, the better.
Just like little children, dogs learn to understand right from wrong behavior by observing your reaction to situations. Unlike children, however, they can’t talk. Therefore, you teach them acceptable behavior through consistent and repetitive actions.
One of the reasons your dog jumps on you is because it naturally wants to assert its authority over you and that is not healthy dog behavior. You must be in charge.
You need to let your pet know who the boss is. This does not, however, mean being hostile or punishing your dog.
Sometimes, it’s just to say ‘hello’, or to say ‘I’m excited’ with the expectation of being petted or cuddled. If this behavior is not nipped in the bud, it could become an issue much later, as earlier stated.
One of the easiest ways to stop a habit is to replace it with another. This applies as much to humans as it does to dogs. You make your dog know you don’t want that behavior by helping him or her with an alternative.
If you walk in through the door and get jumped on, there are a few methods you can use. You can ignore the jumping entirely, you can turn your side so your pet has a harder time finding a place to put his or her paws, or you could just try to avoid the move. When your pet settles to fours, you should go ahead and give him or her a nice cuddle or a treat or both.
When you reach down to do this, she may want to jump on you again. If this happens, simply withdraw from her, stand up straight, and do one of the above methods until she settles down on her paws anain. Reinforce this with another stroking or cuddling.
Always make sure to reinforce the good behavior by reaching out to pet or reward your dog when he or she’s settled down. This positive reinforcement must always be carried out.
This is not a one off thing nor will it change the dog’s behavior quickly. You will need to do this repetitively and consistently in reaction to the jumps until your dog understands that sitting when you walk in is more rewarding than jumping on you.
If you have a hyperactive dog who may not like to sit, you may use a toy or some other objects to distract your pet when he or she tries to jump on you.
Always try to stay calm and don’t get angry and shout or scold your dog; don’t push him or her away.
You can fast track the training by walking out the back door and coming in through the front door again several times during the day and repeat the sequence.
To extend the training to visitors, you can get some of your friends or neighbors to help out. Let them repeat the above process with your dog at different times.
When the door bell rings, tell your dog to sit, if your dog jumps, your visitor should ignore him or her and then move but if your dog remains sitting, give him or her a nice warm cuddle to reinforce that behavior.
If you stick to the routine and are patient, your dog’s behavior will be eventually be transformed.