Behavior Tip of the Month
Jumping on Guests at the Door
My dog has learned not to jump on us.. However he's terrible at the front door. He jumps on all our guests when they come in the door. I'm tempted to put him in the backyard. What can I do instead of isolating him?
Dogs get excited when visitors come to the door, and jumping can be a real problem. They see their owners all the time, so are less excited and not likely to jump on them. Visitors, however, are greeted with manic jumping. Unfortunately, people sometimes encourage this jumping by petting the dog or using hands to push him away. Since human touch is highly rewarding to most dogs, this can increase the jumping behavior. Here are a few different methods that can teach your dog not to jump on guests. Choose the one that best fits your dog and your lifestyle
1. Control your dog with a leash until non-jumping becomes a habit.
A. During this retraining period, hang a leash near the door.
B. Whenever the doorbell rings, attach the leash to your dog's collar.
C. Step on the leash so your dog can't jump.
D. Hand feed your pup for having his four feet on the floor.
E. Open the door and tell your guests not to greet or even look at your pet..
F. Bring dog and visitors inside the house. However, keep your K9 on leash away from your guests. Put him in a down, keeping your foot on the leash and feeding him treats.
H. Continue for five to 10 minutes; and, when your pup is less excited, you can bring him over to greet your visitors. They can offer him treats for keeping his four feet on the floor. If he tries to jump again, go back to step F.
In time, non-jumping will become a habit, and you won't need your door-leash. My motto concerning leashes is: It's a privilege not a right to be off leash. A jumping on guests pet hasn't earned that right.
2. Play training at the door.
This method will only work if your dog is ball or toy crazy.
A. Place your dog's favorite ball or toy by the front door.
B. As you open the door for your guests, throw the ball into the interior of the house. Your canine can't retrieve his ball and jump on your guests at the same time.
C. Alternatively, you can even ask your visitors to throw the ball. A side benefit to this method is that your pup will look forward to friends entering the house.
3. Another method is to give your dog something wonderful to do when visitors arrive. Stuff a Kong Biscuit Ball with your pup's canned or water softened dry food. Put a bit of cheese, peanut butter or freeze dried liver on the outside of the Kong. Give it to him as you answer the door. He will be so busy trying to get his dinner out of the stuffed Kong that he's not likely to jump on your guests.
Try these suggestions and see if they minimize your pup's jumping. If they don't work for your situation, next month I'll suggest some others.
Good luck and happiest of Holidays,
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.