We love it when our canine companions are excited to see us, but sometimes their greetings can be too overwhelming. Many dogs like to jump on us to show their love and affection. This can be a problem to pet parents and other humans as it is not only annoying, but can lead to injuries such as falling or scratches. Here are 5 dog training tips that can help curb this bad habit:
1. Be Mindful of YOUR Greeting
If we greet the dog with excited energy, the dog will greet us with excited energy. Our dogs are influenced by the signals we are giving them. Make sure that when coming home or having guests over to act relaxed and not overly excited. This energy will rub off onto our dog and help them realize that coming home or having guests over is not an event for over-excitement.
2. Withhold ALL forms of attention when the dog is jumping
When our dog is trying to greet us with jumping, do not acknowledge the dog. This includes touching and talking to the dog in any way. Even if we are telling the dog “no” or using a stern voice, many dogs will see this as a form of attention, which reinforces the jumping behavior. This actually encourages them to continue to do it in the future.
3. Move into the Dog
Dogs are sensitive to pressure and movement. Moving backwards will encourage the dog to move into you while moving forward will encourage the dog to move away. If the dog can predict that you will move into them they will be less likely to jump onto you.
4. Teach an Alternative Behavior for Greeting
Teaching behaviors such as “Sit” or “Place” in training sessions can help us teach the dog appropriate behaviors in these situations. Make sure you practice these behaviors frequently in training sessions with distractions present before expecting them to perform the behavior when they are excited. When you know they will do the behavior on command in an excited state, start asking for this behavior before greeting the dog.
5. Reward Proper Greetings
Whenever our dog does the correct greeting, it is important that we let them know. When all 4 feet are on the ground and the dog has calm energy, reward the behavior with petting an/or a treat. If we are consistent with rewarding the proper greeting, the dog will be more likely to show proper greeting manners.
Remember that dogs are only rude with greetings because they are eager to show us their love and affection. By following these tips and staying consistent with your feedback, your dog will learn what type of greeting will get them the love and attention they are looking for.