Dogs jump on us because they’re excited, want to greet us, and are rewarded for jumping. The reward is getting patted while jumping!

Let me share some tips with you to correct this annoying behavior, especially if your dog is large and persistent.

As soon as you start opening the front door and before your visitor walks in, toss 5 or 6 delicious treats, one at a time, on the floor approximately 1 meter away from the door.

Show your dog each treat first, as if guiding him by the nose, just in case he is so focused on who is on the other side of the door that he doesn’t even notice the treats.

Allow the visitor in when your dog is picking up the last treat. With the visitor inside but still not interacting with him, toss another 4 treats on the floor, also one at a time, far from the visitor.

Doing this serves 3 purposes: reward him repeatedly for not jumping on the visitor; channel his excitement to picking treats off the floor; shift his focus away from the visitor.

Once your dog is calmer the visitor may bend over him to reduce the likelihood to jump, and stroke him. It’s better to use long and slow strokes than pats, which may get him excited all over again. They should also talk to your dog in a calm tone of voice.

It is possible that, initially, the visit will be more interesting to your dog than the treats and that he will jump on them. But as you continue training, he will develop self-control.

In this case you may want to have him on a short leash so he can’t jump on anyone. Toss the treat on the floor in that split second before he tries to jump and remove the leash only when he’s calmer. This is the time for the visitor to interact with him, if they wish. Should your visitor be scared of dogs and not want to interact, it is up to you to reward him.