We have all seen those videos of soldiers coming back home and being greeted by their overjoyed dogs, who leap and cry in excitement. That behavior is normal. It’s also normal to be greeted with a wagging tail and a jump or two when getting back home after a day at work.
However, what’s not normal or desired is when your dog develops a habit of jumping on guests and strangers. You need to realize that not everyone likes dogs and that’s okay. According to 2017 estimates, as much as 9 percent of the global human population suffers from cynophobia (fear of dogs). These people can experience anything from dizziness to fainting if they are forced to interact with dogs.
While your dog may have good intentions, the jumping behavior can cause stress or even end up hurting unsuspecting guests at your doorstep. Saying things like “he is just trying to be friendly” also does not help.
As a responsible pet parent, you need to maintain a no-tolerance policy on jumping on guests. The following are 6 dog care tips that will help you achieve that.
Start Discouraging the Behavior as Early as Possible
Training puppies to stop jumping is easier as they are much more manageable when they are small. Teaching them to stay calm when guests arrive at an early stage will save you the trouble of training an adult dog. This is critical if you have a big dog breed. Discourage the behavior by not reacting to it positively when the dog jumps on you and by assertively commanding the dog to “sit.”
Don’t Encourage Your Dog When It Jumps on You
Dogs can get confused if you shower it with love and affection every time they jump on you. They start expecting the same loving reaction from guests. If you do have dog loving guests, this ends up reinforcing the behavior. Before you know it, your dog is jumping on the mailman and the delivery guy. Ask your guests to ignore the dog when it’s jumping to greet them.
Make sure to discourage the behavior if your pet jumps on you after you return home. In time, your pet will learn that this is an undesired behavior and thus stop doing it.
Don’t worry, just because you don’t allow your dog to jump on you every day doesn’t mean it will not greet you at all. Don’t discourage your dog when it tries to get close to you or when it licks your face when you stoop to its level.
Throw a Toy to Distract Your Dog When Someone’s At the Door
Throwing a toy to distract the dog is a great temporary solution, especially if you are dealing with a jump-addicted adult dog. Keep a toy handy to distract the dog as soon as someone is at the door. The toy allows your dog to vent out its excitement and fight the urges of jumping on guests.
Interact with Your Dog by Stooping Down to Their Level
One of the reasons dogs jump is because they want to get to your eye level. While training your dog not to jump on guests, ensure you are stooping down to your pet’s eye level. Greet your pet at the door after coming home from work by going down to its level. With easier access to your face, your dog will be far less inclined to jump.
This way you still get to enjoy all the loving without encouraging jumping behavior.
Socialize Your Dog with Other People and Pets
Dogs that spend a lot of time alone or have little interaction with other dogs and people, often get excited when they meet new people at the door. This is why it’s important to socialize your dog by taking it to pet events and dog parks regularly. This way your pet will be far less excited if someone arrives at the door.
Train Your Dog to “Sit” When Guests Arrive
When guests arrive, it presents a perfect opportunity to train your dog to behave. Use positive reinforcement training to encourage your dog to sit and stay calm. Just use an assertive tone and ask your dog to “sit” and request your guests to avoid interacting with the dog till it calms down.