Over the past couple of years, my pooch has grown from an adorable pup to a full-grown husky mix, and what was once cute (her excitedly jumping up to greet people) is now a nuisance. Because dogs rely so much on their sense of smell, they often jump on people in an effort to greet them, i.e., smell their mouth, in the same way they would greet a fellow dog—by smelling the other dog's behind. However, if your dog weighs more than thirty pounds, this behavior can be quite alarming, especially around small children.
Below are the steps I took to successfully train the jumping instinct out of my own pooch—try this process out if your dog has a similar problem!
Paws on the Ground
If your pup jumps up on you as a greeting, the first thing you need to do is visually ignore her by looking past her (not at her) and crossing your arms. After you show her that jumping will not get her any attention, there's a trick to getting her paws back on the ground. If you start to turn around, your pup will naturally go back onto the ground in order to follow you. As soon as her paws are on the ground, look directly at her, pet her, and give her lots of verbal positive reinforcement. You'll need to repeat this process with her many times and very consistently in order for her to understand the behavior expected of her when she greets people. Let you friends and family know this process as well so she can be consistently trained every time she greets a person.
Sit to Greet
Once your dog understands that jumping up will not give him the greeting he wants, a great way to ensure that your dog doesn't jump to greet is to teach him to sit instead as a greeting. If your dog has already mastered the sit command, this training process will be fairly easy. And if he hasn't, follow our easy guide on training your dog to sit! To start, before you enter the room, tell your dog to 'Sit'. Be sure to not enter the room until he sits, and if he reverts to jumping or whining, cross your arms and turn around until he calms down, then tell him to sit again. Once he does, gives him lots of praise and a treat, then repeat the process every time you come home or into the same room he's in. Let your guests and friends know to give him this same command until he learns to sit when greeting a person automatically.