Jumping up is a common behaviour problem among dogs, and is annoying to boot! Some people are fine with their dog jumping on them, and that is their prerogative, but they get embarrassed when their dog jumps up on their guests or strangers.
Is it possible to teach our dog the difference between who they can or can not jump on OR When and where they can jump?
Yes! You can!
I personally, am okay with my dogs jumping on me - in the right context. When I walk through the door with my hands full of groceries? You better not even think about it!
I am excited, happy, and want to show affection to my dog? JUMP AWAY!
So, how do we teach our dogs rather the difference between when they can and can not jump OR if they are even allowed to jump on anyone (including you)
Let's start with the ABC's of training:
A= Antecedent (what triggers a behaviour)
B= Behaviour, & (what the dog does)
C=Consequence (what happens after the behaviour to rather increase or decrease the frequency)
You can solve literally any behaviour by utilizing this sequence.
Let's look at this sequence for jumping:
A = You or a guest walks into the house
B = Your dog jumps up
C = well, we will talk about that in a second.
So what makes a dog want to jump up people?
There are a number of reasons why dogs jump up on people, and it's not because your dog is trying to dominate you.
The truth is, though, that your dog is probably just trying to greet you after a period away! (albeit rudely)
With any behaviour, there is always a consequence. Depending on the behaviour and outcome of the consequence will depend on the risk the dog is willing to take. Not all consequences are bad! A consequence of behaviour could be reinforcement, and that is what usually happens with jumping!
Many people inadvertently reward their dog for jumping up by giving them what they want.
Take a second to think about what that might be?
Okay - I will help you out.
The consequence (C) of the behaviour of jumping is Attention. How could kneeing your dog in the chest, pushing them off and yelling at them be something they WANT? Well, as is often true with kids, negative attention is better than no attention at all.
So, your dog doesn't understand that when you push him off of you, knee him in the chest, or yell at him to get down that you're attempting to punish him. In other words - Instead, your dog is likely viewing your behaviour as exactly what he wants: attention and potentially play.
So, in the end, your attempts to punish your dog has turned into a reward for jumping up!
Oops... that is why it isn't decreasing.
You are actually making the behaviour more reinforcing, causing it to happen more and more and becomes an ingrained habit. This is why a lot of dogs will jump until the day they die, no matter how many times you've kneed them in the chest or screamed at them. You are actually making the activity kind of fun.
So, what the hell do you do?
Yikes, I'm gonna say it.
Train. Your. Dog.