Does your dog jump on people when they come into your home or when you meet people on the street? This is a common problem for most people that can be corrected with time, patience and practise. Whether the situation involves children or adults, it can be frightening for everyone involved if you are not prepared.
You can start with some basic obedience training to prevent this problem. If you know when someone is coming to your home, put on your dog’s collar and leash before your guest arrives and place your dog in the sit position and give the stay command. Also, advise your guest ahead of time that you are having an issue with your dog jumping and ask them to ignore your dog when they enter your home and direct their attention to you first. Your dog should remain seated as your guest approaches but, if he should get up, your guest should back up and wait until you place your dog back in the sit position. Now they can approach again, so long as your dog remains seated, and verbally praise your dog and present their hand for your dog to sniff. Then they can pat your dog’s chin or chest. They should avoid placing their hand over your dog’s head since that might cause your dog to get up. This routine can be used both inside and outside your home with adults as well as children.
Have you ever been in a situation outside your home where a child runs up to your dog and starts to pat him? This could put your dog or the child at risk so, whenever possible, ask the child or their parent to ask your permission before approaching your dog. If you give your approval, you can then repeat the routine mentioned above. Also, don’t be afraid to tell the child that you would prefer that they not approach your dog. Dogs have good days and bad days just like we do and your are the best judge of how your dog is behaving that day.
Perhaps you have a neighbour who doesn’t get along with your dog. First determine why they don’t get along. Do they tease or use a loud voice when they are near your dog which could make your dog uncomfortable? Do they startle your dog by approaching too quickly or getting too close? If this is the case, ask your neighbour to speak in a softer voice and don’t get too close to your dog before they follow the rest of the routine above. If your neighbour is generally not comfortable around dogs, make sure your dog is on leash, put your dog in the sit position, give the stay command, and give your neighbour a treat that they can toss at your dogs feet. This allows you to retain control of your dog while he receives a treat and your neighbour can feel safe in the knowledge that he doesn’t have to get too close to your dog to interact with him.