There’s a common misconception that dogs jump on people to establish dominance. Balderdash! Dogs jump on people because there’s something about jumping that is reinforcing for the dog – usually the human attention that results from the jumping. If you want your dog to stop jumping on people, you have to be sure he doesn’t get reinforced for it. During the training process, your dog is certain jump. If he does:
Apologize/take responsibility. It’s your job to prevent your dog from jumping on people, even when they say they don’t mind. If your management efforts fail and your dog does jump up, apologize.
If in the process of jumping up he puts muddy pawprints on a business suit, snags a pair of nylons, knocks down a small child, or otherwise does some kind of property damage – even if the damage is minor – be responsible and make amends: pay for the cleaning bill, purchase a new pair of nylons, buy the child an ice cream cone, or do whatever you need to do to repair the damage. Then redouble your training and management efforts.
For more training tips and advice on how to keep your dog from jumping up on people, purchase Whole Dog Journal’s ebook, Proper Greeting: Stop Your Dog from Barking and Jumping when the Doorbell Rings.