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How to stop your dog from jumping on company

Updated on September 30, 2007

It is safe to say dogs are sociable beings. This chief characteristic is never more evident like when they greet you with endless joy and enthusiasm when you come home. While you might not be much too bothered about slobbering and being pounced upon, your visitors might have a problem with it.

When it comes to your own return and you would not mind less then enthusiastic welcome home (although many would argue that is one of the best things about having a dog) that will be easy - you simply have to ignore your dog's barking and jumping until your dog finally sits down and is peaceful. Then profuse praise is in order. Your dog will catch on quickly especially when there are treats involved. When it comes to having company over it might be a bit more difficult to curb your dog's enthusiasm. More importantly you will have to enlist the help of your family and friends, as just yourself cannot do this.

You should ask your friends and family to drop by as often as possible and at different times. Before your guests or family even arrive let them know about the training, it is important not to undo all of your good work and confused your dog.

When your guests or family do arrive, they should proceed the same way you would - completely ignoring the dog until he or she settles down. When the dog is settled then give treats and praise.

Another training technique that might help during the transitional period is the "off" command. This should be helpful if your dog has the tendency of jumping on your visitors. When you dog jumps up grab a hold of his paws and hold them until your dog starts to struggle to get his paws back. When this happens hold on for a few seconds and then firmly say "off". When your dog is back on the ground with all four paws profusely praise him. This should give him the idea that all four feet on the ground is a good thing. Repeat as necessary.

As with majority of dog training the goal with all of the exercises is to affirm the positive, while ignoring the negative. Positive affirmation consists out of praise and treats when the dog is seated and not jumping all over you or your guests, while negative reinforcement is the fact you are ignoring your dog's unwanted behavior as there is no worse punishment for the dog when he is not the center of your attention. This is one of the training techniques that are best applied even at the puppy stage. It is not impossible to teach old dogs new tricks as the saying goes, however it is best to start at very early age as it will take time, persistence and patience to teach your older dog jumping on your guests is unwanted behavior especially if they got away with it for most of their lives.


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