Puppies aren’t born knowing not to jump. In fact, they’re born thinking they should jump to greet us. It may be cute when they’re young, but as they grow, it’s not nearly as cute.
“Dogs jump up because they want to say hello,” says dog trainer Rendy Schuchat.
- Offer an incompatible behavior. Whenever someone walks in the door, have that person toss treats, such as Vita Bone® Trainers, on the ground. If the puppy is busy “vacuuming” treats, it’s impossible to also be jumping. Or, offer treats stuffed inside toys. Similarly, if the puppy is busy working on getting those treats, there’s no simultaneous jumping.
- Tell people to ignore. Totally ignore puppy until the jumping subsides, and only then greet and pet the dog. If the jumping resumes, quit until the puppy quits. The puppy will learn that in order to receive attention (which is all he really wants), he should not jump.
- Clicker train the dog to sit whenever people walk into the house. Using a little box that makes a unique sound (called a clicker), first feed treats and click the clicker repeatedly. This will associate the clicker noise with something pleasurable for the dog. Then, you can mark the behaviors you desire using the clicker. Have the dog sit when a new person approaches. When he does, click the clicker and provide a treat. When he doesn’t, ignore him.
What we don’t want to do is to use an aversive training method. There’s no need for punishment, which can even potentially damage the family’s relationship with the dog.