Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Debbie, nice to hear from you and yes, this can be embarrising! Dogs normally jump up because, as pups we let them. You have to start at the beginning and retrain. Use the dogs daily food allowance to get started - a dog will always work for what is rewarding and this is an easy way to help with this problem. Take the daily allowlance and start to feed every single morsel of food from your hand - call the dog, ask for a sit, and reward with food coupled with 'good sit, good dog'. The dog is being rewarded both with vocal and actual treats.
Practice this over and over and you will find that the dog will automatically start sitting when appproaching a person. When the dog is doing this reliably every time, start to fade the reward by treating every second time and gradually fading out till you only reward occassionall. Reinforce this by praising the dog and using the 'sit' cue every times it sits by itself.
Another thing you can bring in is when you arrive home, totally ignore the dog (hard i know!). When the dog has given up and gone off byitself, wait about a minute, call the dog back and ask for a sit and treat.
This will take time as the habit is always there, but if you are consistent and ALL people in the family do this, the behaviour is easily changed. Start this off with family first and then progress to visitors, but here keep the dog on lead to make it easier for yourself.
Good luck and do let me know how it goes, thanks Scotty
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