Many dog owners face the challenge of training their dog not to jump on people. It can be frustrating and embarrassing and we often unintentionally reward this behaviour. Whether it is the first time we bring our sweet puppy home and give them cuddles while they jump up on us, or even if we say “No!” and push them down, dogs learn that jumping up works to get our attention. Below are some ideas to help teach your dog appropriate ways to greet people.
For a dog that is still too excited during the above steps, another option is to enter your house and completely ignore the dog (no eye contact or anything). Initially this may take quite awhile, but as soon as your dog settles and lies down, you can then say hello. We are teaching the dog that they will only get attention when they are calm. Begin with people living in your home, then familiar, then new people coming to the house.
You could also have your dog away from the door (ex: in their kennel, behind a gate) during all of the initial excitement. Teach them to go to this place for big rewards when the doorbell rings. Only take them out when once they are calm and settled. This moves them away from the excitement, and teaches them that they need to be calm in order to be able to greet people. You could also bring them out on leash to greet the guests to further influence their behaviour.
We often make our hello’s and goodbye’s very exciting, so ensure everyone who greets your dog does so in an appropriate and calm manner. Remember this training takes patience but will be a worthwhile process once you have a well-mannered canine greeting your guests!