Training Your Dog - NO JUMPING
Jumping up to lick at your face is a natural dog behavior---although you may not like its origin! Around the time of weaning, puppies jump up to lick at their dam's and other adult dogs' mouths to stimulate them to regurgitate. Wild canids greet adults returning from hunting by licking at the adults’ mouths in hopes of getting a free meal. Domestic dogs continue this behavior into adulthood, licking at the mouth of their leader, whether canine or human. Many of them transfer this behavior to anyone who comes to visit. In time, the behavior becomes rewarded because you either pet and love on him because you enjoy his enthusiastic greeting, or even because he gains attention as you try to get him to stay down.
You’ve probably been victimized by your dog or a friend’s dog as you walked in the door and became the target of a pogo-sticking beast jumping all over you, ruining your clothes, and nearly knocking you over. The typical owner response is either “Oh, he just loves people!” or “Get down! I’ve told you a thousand times about jumping up!” as she pulls him down. Either way, the dog got what he wanted: for just a second, he was the center of attention.
Traditional training advice is to knee the dog in the chest or to step on his rear toes when he jumps up. These are potentially injurious to the dog, are still rewarding because he is still the center of attention, and fail to give the dog a correct alternative behavior.
Instead, teach the dog to sit and stay instead of jumping up. Reward him with attention, kneeling beside him for greeting so he can reach your face. If he jumps on you, ignore him and leave the room. He will eventually learn that the best way to get your attention is by doing as you ask, not by demanding it.
Jumping up, along with pawing at you, nudging you, barking at you, leaning on you, mouthing you, scratching doors, or stealing objects, are often types of attention seeking behavior. Needy, untrained, or ignored dogs are most likely to partake in these behaviors. Most people react by attending to the dog, whether with an idle pat, an admonishment to stop it, a shove away, or even punishment. Unfortunately, even punishment is often better than nothing for these dogs, so their behavior is reinforced.
Because these dogs crave attention, you need to make sure they get it at regularly scheduled times of your choice. Use this predictable time to train, play with, groom, or massage your dog, making him the focus of attention.
Attention-seeking behaviors should be ignored. The dog must instead learn acceptable behaviors to earn your attention. Have the dog sit and stay for your attention. If the dog is generally unruly and wants to play, you must instead wait for him to be calm before you suggest going to play. This can be difficult because most owners are so relieved the dog is finally quiet they don’t want to get him riled up again. The trick is to get your dog to respond on your terms.
Jumping up is also common in dogs that are extremely excitable. Chances are such dogs are not hyperactive, as you are tempted to label them, but overactive for the amount of exercise they get. That means the solution is exercise, both mental and physical. Teach the dog tricks. Make them challenging. Jogging, games, and exercise can tire your dog physically, which is half (but only half) the battle. Canine sports such as agility and flyball combine mental challenges with physical ones. If your dog was bred to do a job, giving him that opportunity, whether it is hunting, herding, or pulling, is one of the best ways to fulfill his needs.
Don’t expect your dog to be calm without first working off some of his energy, but even then, he needs to be rewarded for calm behavior. Speak calmly and quietly. Ignore his pushy or overactive behavior. Reward him for sitting or lying down and staying, and for being calm as you gently pet and massage him.
It's always easier to reward good behavior than it is to fight bad behavior.