They're excited, they're happy to see new people and they've got a huge vertical leap. Dogs are made to jump, and when they want to do it, it can seem next to impossible to stop them from getting up in the faces of your friends and family.
Luckily, in terms of unwanted behaviors from our dogs, jumping up on people is one of the easiest to resolve. Here are some much-needed tips to help take control of your dog's natural inclination to jump up.
* Why She's Jumping
First, know your dog is jumping up for a reason. She doesn't just want to get closer to your face; she wants to assert dominance over new people in her home. She's trying to say that she knows she's the alpha leader of her pack and that she has the control needed to do as she pleases.
Of course, not every dog jumps on people to show them who's in charge. Some dogs just do it to be closer to them and to greet them.
Dogs will smell each other's faces to greet one another, so naturally they try to climb the ladder to reach our faces.
Finally, they continue jumping because in the past, people have rewarded them for it. If your dog jumps up and you pet her, you're telling her that the jumping behavior is a good thing and that you'll pet her whenever she does it. Not a good way to control her.
* Stopping the Jumping
Let's move on to how you can stop the jumping behavior. To start with, you need to stop making a big deal out of returning home.
If your dog is allowed to get excited and bounce around whenever someone comes in the house, she will continue doing so for strangers, even children or the elderly.
You should wait at least 10-15 minutes after you return home before greeting your dog. This will disassociate the return home from the excitement behavior that she displays.
Second, you should get down on your dog's level to greet her. If your dog is simply trying to reach your face to greet you, get down to her face and let her sniff you on her own terms. By removing the need for jumping, you can teach her that greeting only occurs on this level.
Teaching your dog to respond to specific commands can also be very useful. You'll want to teach her to sit and stay first and then learn the "Off" command, which will teach her to get off of you immediately.
* The Off Command
To teach your dog the off command, start by saying, "Off!" immediately whenever your dog gets on you. It may take time for her to understand what you're telling her to do, which can be very frustrating. But, if you immediately reward her for getting off of you with praise and a treat, she will learn.
It is important to be very consistent with the new command as well. Communicate to everyone in your home that your dog must follow these new commands and that failing to do so is not acceptable. This way, your dog will learn much more quickly what "off" means.
The last thing you want is your dog jumping on people and possibly hurting them when they visit your home. This can be especially dangerous for children and old people who can get hurt more easily if they fall. To avoid this, teach your dog early and often that jumping is not acceptable.