You walk in the door from a long day of work. Excited to be home and relax and BAM you are pounced on by your fur kid. We’ve all seen or experienced this (me probably more than the average person). I can almost hear their voice in my head “OH MY GOSH! I’M SO GLAD YOU’RE HERE!” haha. I am so glad to be here too, sweet dog, but let’s figure out a less intense and safer way to say hello.
So, there first place to start is what does the ideal greeting look like? What behavior do we want instead of jumping? For most dogs, especially large dogs, I teach a sit. You walk in, say hello, your dog walks up and sits in front of you. Better, right?
So, now that we decided we want a sit instead of a jump, we will teach that!
Grab your clicker and treats. As you walk up to your dog (calmly!) to say hello, ask for a sit. When your dog responds, click and treat. If your dog offers a sit on their own, be sure to click and treat! Repeat this slowly adding more excitement in your voice and movement as your dog is successful.
The other important component of eliminating jumping is making sure that jumping up does not get rewarded! So, how do we do this? If your dog jumps up on you, be sure to completely ignore him/her. This means you should not look at, talk to, or touch your dog. When other people come over or when you greet them on the streets, be sure to use management to prevent jumping (ie baby gate barrier, leash, crate, etc). This way your guest can walk in and ignore your dog easily. You can ask your dog for a sit for which they can earn a click and treat. Once they can remain seated and quiet then the guests can say hello.
So, how long will all this take to see results? Like all good things, learning takes time. However, there are a couple good questions you can ask yourself. How long has your dog been jumping and getting attention for it? Has your dog had years of jumping up to say hello? And how consistent are you with ignoring the jumping and rewarding a calm sit? You often do ignore but allow him to jump for other people? Answering those questions will give you some insight. However, with just a little work you will start seeing some change!
Teach your dog to sit.
Ask your dog to sit before greetings and reward them with a click and treat and attention.
Slowly add distractions and excitement.
Practice often and get the help of your guests and people on the streets to help your dog generalize a sit for greetings.
Use management (leash, baby gate, etc) to prevent jumping on strangers and guests.