Dogs like to jump up because we have trained them, or for fear comfort this way from the time they were puppies. When they jumped up and put their paws on us, we bent down and petted them, rewarding the jumping behavior “ Good pup!”Now that the dog is fully grown, jumping up is not so cute anymore or even dangerous, and we keep rewarding the behavior. Think about what else would you like besides jumping? I like to teach the dog a sit to associate the sit with greeting people instead of jumping.
• Invite friends to your house.
• Tell your friends to completely ignore everything your dog does (including barking and jumping up) to try to get attention.
• But, as soon as the dog sits you want to instruct that person to quickly say, “Good pup!” and give your dog a reward and some positive attention.
It only takes a few repetitions before your dog gets it, and the good thing is your dog thinks he’s training you: “Wow, all I have to do is sit in front of these people and they feed me.”
I like to think about the dog’s feelings while he jumps too. Dogs behave in a way they find enjoyable so we can assume dogs enjoy jumping up and of course dogs have a greeting ritual with kissing the other dog on the mouth and our mouth is so far up the only way to reach it is to jump. You want to put jumping upon cue: teach your dog to jump up and give a “hug/snuggle” request. The dog learns that the default setting is to sit, but if requested, he can jump up and give a hug, kiss or snuggle with you. It’s a great way for you and your dog to greet each other, and your dog truly enjoys it.