Dear Jeni: How do I get my dog to stop jumping when visitors come to the door?

This is one of the most common issues dog owners have with their pet’s behavior. Luckily, there are some very simple ways to deal with it! Don’t let others greet your dog unless he/ she is calm. Put your dog on a leash and keep a healthy distance from visitors as soon as they arrive. Make sure they are totally calm before allowing interaction – this means all four paws on the floor. Have patience, this may take a few minutes.

Ignore jumping dogs. If your dog jumps, simply cross your arms over your chest and turn around. Only give attention, praise, or rewards, when all four paws are on the floor. Make sure visitors know this rule as well!

Start a game. A game of fetch, or even simply giving your dog a chew toy can help distract them from the excitement of a new person in the house. After a few minutes, the “new person novelty” will wear off, and your pup should be significantly calmer and ready for proper interaction.

Practice! Practice! Practice! Have family members sneak to the front door and ring the doorbell. Do not open the door until your pet is sitting nicely. Encourage your pet to sit and stay with lots of praise and treats! 

- Jeni (aka The Doglady)