A training specialist explains why you shouldn't show him any attention, positive or negative.

By Erica Sloan
November 13, 2019
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Though family members and friends may adore your dog, they probably don't love when he jumps all over them the second they walk through your door. If the sheer thrill of a visitor arriving at your house sends your pup right onto his hind legs—and into the air for a nose-to-nose welcome—experts agree that the best way to stop the behavior is to try a training technique that rewards a seated greeting.

Little girl is playing with her dog in the snowy forest
Credit: praetorianphoto / Getty Images

How do you do it? According to the experts, it's pretty simple. "Give your dog the 'sit' command, then have a friend come toward him. If he leaps up when she arrives, ask her to walk away and start over," says Alison Schramel, a behavior and training specialist at the Animal Humane Society. "When he manages to keep all four paws on the ground for the full approach, have the greeter offer caring pats and a treat."

During this training period, ask guests to turn their back on your dog if he jumps, rather than show him any attention, positive or negative. "Scolding or pushing, for example, can actually reinforce the bad behavior by giving the dog a form of the interaction he seeks," Schramel says. That's why the best course of action is to have guests ignore the dog's behavior entirely and start the interaction from the beginning.

Not every visitor wants to take part in your canine's education, though. If you have guests coming over that may not want to repeatedly enter the house, keep Spunky on a leash, or in a crate or a different room, when they come over.

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