Many dog owners have this common problem. You’ve just gotten home from a long day at work and your large breed dog is beside himself to see you. He jumps up, pushing the bag of groceries out of your hand. Or you’re answering the door to your neighbor, and your too-friendly pet jumps up. Not only is this behavior considered rude, but it can also be dangerous if your visitor is a child or elderly.
Any behavior that gets a positive reward is likely to be repeated. Never reward your dog for jumping up. Sometimes it’s obvious, but there are subtle triggers that can keep your dog jumping on people. If he’s met with petting or a warm welcome then he’s likely to continue the behavior. You need to let your dog know that you don’t like that and he won’t be getting anything pleasant until he’s calmly on all-fours.
The first thing you need to do is inform all family members and guests that jumping up is forbidden and will not be tolerated. The reaction to a jumping dog should be no reaction at all. Remain silent, give no cues or pats, avert their gaze, and act as if completely indifferent. Check also this post that tells you what to do if your dog behaves aggressively.
Enlist the help of a visitor that can practice with you and your dog repeatedly. Leash your dog and arm yourself with treats. Before your dog loses himself completely, make your dog sit. Reward any behavior that is not jumping with food treats.
Persistent attempts of your dog to jump can be corrected with the use of the word “off!” Walk in a circle to gain control again and have your dog sit once again. Reward him for sitting and not jumping. Repeat the exercise until your dog understands. Don’t try to get the dog off once he’s jumped; that ambiguous. Instead teach an alternate behavior: sitting. Reward for sitting and you won’t have to face jumping as much. Learn also hot to crate a dog properly.
You will be more successful working with other people that your dog is more inclined to jump on. Enlist the help of neighbors and other visitors that can come repeatedly as guests. You should set up the training, not rely on any visitor to do the trick.
With each session, reward your dog for sitting. Eventually, put the visitor in control. Only allow your dog to be pet when he is calmly sitting. He will quickly learn that he only receives the attention he’s after when he’s sitting, not jumping.