You’re bombarded at the front door every day after work by jumping dogs. You appreciate the excitement but you really wish they wouldn’t claw through your shirt. In this case, you need to train your dog not to jump on you when you come home. Read on for tips on how to begin the training process.
Discourage Jumping with Reinforcement Training
When guests come over, you can send your dog to the kennel, another room, or out back. This is a perfectly acceptable option, but if you’re like me, you don’t want to lock away your little angel. Thus, instead of using the ‘quick fix’ approach of putting your dog in the kennel, it’s more effective to address the jumping behavior at its source.
According to the American Kennel Club, dogs repeat behaviors that earn rewards. When your dog jumps up on you in ecstasy when you come in through the front door, how can you not give at least a few quick pats? If you want to curb your dog’s tendency to jump, you must summon the will to not reward them with attention.
This means when your dog jumps on you at the front door, ignore them. Ignore your dog every time they jump on you. Every time you walk in and your dog doesn’t jump on you, reward them with attention, maybe even treats. You can use the “sit” command when your dog jumps, and reward them with attention once all four paws are on the floor.
Have Your Guests Assist in Training
Inform your guests of your training efforts before they arrive in your home so they can help you reinforce positive behaviors in your dog instead of bad ones. As noted by the Humane Society, your dog needs to like the person that’s assisting with training. Your dog won’t react to your guest’s ‘positive reinforcement’ if they’re scared. Have your guest use the same reinforcement techniques: Hand your guest treats and ask them to give the “sit” command. When they sit, they get a treat, and when they don’t, they get ignored.
A general principle to keep in mind is to reward desired behavior and discourage or ignore undesired behavior. This applies to any type of dog training. Keep these tips in mind, be patient and persistent, and you can start coming home everyday assured that as you walk in the front door, your shirt will not be torn in half.