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Jumping up

Large dogs can bowl people over by jumping up on them as a greeting, and even small dogs can scare children if they jump up, so it's worth teaching all dogs how to greet people politely. Training dogs to greet without jumping up can begin in puppyhood, by teaching 'off', once the pup has jumped, 'sit' if the dog looks about to jump, and only rewarding with cuddles or whatever when the pup has all four paws on the ground. You can also squat to greet the pup, making it easier to greet you from a sit or a stand. It's especially useful for pups to learn polite greetings, since manners learnt by pups tend to stay with them as adults. People often cuddle pups whatever they do, because they are unbearably cute, but meanwhile the pup could be learning lots of bad habits. The person the dog is greeting can take a step back from the dog, and greet immediately the dog has all four paws on the ground. Repeat if the dog jumps up again. 'Off' is easy to teach with a treat thrown on the ground. You say 'off' as the dog gets down to get the treat. This can be reinforced by stepping on a lead, so an attempt to jump up cannot succeed.


It's easier to control jumping up if you also train the dog only to jump on your lap if invited (with an 'up' command or similar). If the dog jumps up uninvited, use the 'off' command. This training again protects guests from unwanted doggy attention.

Be especially careful on walks, because passers-by, especially children, and people who are dog-phobic, may panic if your dog jumps on them. It's safer to keep a dog on the lead when there are people around if he's likely to jump up.You can also practise meeting friends with him sitting nicely. Good recall is also important to retrieve your dog if he's off the leash and there is a risk he may jump up. You can practise 'off' at a distance, with dog-friendly friends, to use in emergencies, but prevention is better than cure.