Even though it can be annoying to you and your guests, dogs jump on people because they're excited to greet them.
Your first inclination is probably to yell “No – down!” at the dog and push them off you, but sometimes this can have the opposite effect of making the dog jump even harder. Even though you may be angry at this behavior, ultimately the dog is trying to be friendly, so your negative reaction may motivate them to try even harder to "get in your face" and show that they're your friend.
Also, negative attention is still attention, so when you are focusing on them – even to tell them “No,” the dogs are happy because they're still receiving a reaction.
So what to do about the problem? Here are our top tips for encouraging dogs not to jump on you when they greet you:
- Greet your dog very calmly so they don't get overly excited
- Ignore your dog when he or she jumps
- Make no eye contact with the dog, and do not speak until all four feet are on the floor
- If needed, turn your back on your dog
- At this point, turn on the charm! Calmly praise and pet your dog (positive reinforcement is key!)
Teaching your dog not to jump up on you and other people can be really tough. If you are having real problems with your dog and this type of behavior, why not check out our team of professional dog trainers from our dog training helpline talking through options for how to handle this aggravating habit on our latest training webinar.
The GoodDog! Helpline Team will cover:
Why Dogs Jump Up
How the Owner’s Reaction Can Make Jumping Worse
Teaching an Alternate Behavior to Jumping Up
The GoodDog! Helpline team is comprised of experienced dog trainers who man a seven-day a week telephone advice service for dog owners. Get the 'Why Does My Dog Jump On Me' webinar here.