Because of their extreme excitement when greeting people, some dogs find it easier to grab a toy to shake or hold, rather than sit for petting. If this sounds like your dog, keep a toy by the front door. When you come home, open the door and immediately direct your dog’s attention to the toy or throw it for her. Do the same thing for your dog when visitors come to your home.
Because teaching your dog not to jump can be challenging, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) in your area. A professional trainer will offer group or private classes that can give you and your dog lots of help with jumping issues.
If your dog shows signs of aggression, such as growling or teeth showing while lunging or jumping toward you, your family members or visitors during greetings, you should seek the assistance of a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or Associate CAAB), a veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB) or a qualified Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) who has experience treating aggression. If you elect to hire a CPDT because you can’t find a behaviorist in your area, be sure to determine whether she or he has professional training and extensive experience in successfully working with aggression, as this expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification.
What NOT to Do
Do not become really excited when you greet your dog. The calmer you are, the calmer your dog will be.
Do not shout at your dog when she jumps up on you or others. Shouting will just make her more excited and cause more jumping up.
Do not try to grab your dog or push away. Doing that could just cause more jumping up.
Do not knee your dog in the chest, step on her back toes, grab or pinch her front toes, or otherwise cause her pain or discomfort. If you do, you’ll frighten and hurt your dog, and she still won’t have learned how to politely greet people.
WebMD Veterinary Reference from ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist
The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk.
If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.