If you’re a pet guardian, you know it’s critical to teach your dog good manners. A dog with bad manners is annoying, embarrassing, and can create a feeling of unease. When it comes to dog obedience, one of the first things responsible guardians teach their dogs is not to jump on visitors. But why does it happen, and how do you stop it?

First, it’s natural for dogs to jump up on people when they say hello. When dogs greet each other, they like to sniff their faces. They like to do the same thing with us, but since we’re taller, they feel that they need to jump up. The key to changing their behavior is to teach them that only dogs with front paws on the floor receive a greeting.

When training, remember your dog’s goal is to get attention when you walk in the front door. Bearing this in mind, it’s important to remember two things:

  1. Keep your attention and your hands off your dog unless her front paws are on the floor.
  2. Immediately give your dog attention and petting the second her front feet hit the floor.

So when you enter the room and your dog jumps up, simply ignore her. Don’t push her off, and don’t tell her to get off you. Just look over the top of her head, and if you need to move your arms or hands, just put them on your chest. If she continues to jump, turn away. This forces her to put her front feet on the floor to follow you. As soon as she does this, give her petting and tell her, “Good girl.” If she gets excited and starts jumping again, stop petting and turn away. By doing this, your dog will quickly learn that attention from you all depends on good behavior from her.