Our dogs are happy that we’re back and just want to greet us. If you want them to do something else when you get home there are 3 alternatives for you to try

I’ve been asked this question a lot of times over the last few weeks and I thought it would be a great so share some thoughts on the subject.

Find out how you can turn the excited jumping you might be getting now into something more appropriate and maybe even safer. Find out my favourite alternative behaviours and why managing rehearsal of what you don’t want is so important.

Of course jumping up to greet you might not be an issue if you have a 7kg terrier, but it might be a different story if you’ve got a 35kg Labrador. Everyone decides what’s right for them and if you’re ok with it that’s fine, but if you’re trying to get shopping, visitors or kids through the door it can be an issue.

so where do you start?

First things first, our dogs just want to greet us when we get home and its lovely that they are so pleased to see us. They definitely aren’t being naughty and personally I’m not one for ignoring them when I get home. So if jumping up isn’t what you want, what do you want? Whenever I have a student say to me “how do I stop my dog from…….” I always ask them what they want instead? We then have a chat and form a plan to teach an alternative behaviour. This is us being pro active and talking about what we do want rather than living in the problem we have now. There are all sorts of alternatives to jumping up as you come in the door and I’ve shared my top 3 below.

1. Sit

A sit is a great alternative to jumping up. Dogs can’t sit and jump up at the same time

A good all round useful behaviour, the sit is what we call a mutually exclusive behaviour (MEB). Dogs can’t sit and jump up at the same time so teaching a default sit or a “sit to say hi” is a great alternative. It’s up to you what alternative you’d like to teach and you know what would suit your dog. Sit is one of the most clear behaviours you can teach your dog and they soon learn that bum on floor gets the reward. Build strong foundations and sit can become so useful in the right environment. Again think about your dog and even your dogs breed. For some dogs they become a sitting machine and if they aren’t sure what you want from them they sit as a default because it’s paid well in the past. For some dogs it might not be as comfortable. Many giant breeds and sighthounds don’t always find sit that comfortable and they don’t always want to do lots of it so for them read on and maybe try and alternative.

2. 4 paws on floor

Another useful alternative to jumping up to greet you is to reward 4 paws on the floor. A great way to introduce this is to do lots of scatter feeding to the floor. You can use your dogs dinner for this if you feed dry food, otherwise you could use some tasty low calorie foods. Lots of interrupting jumping by scattering some food will keep all those paws firmly on the ground until that becomes the new normal. Have some food by the door before you go into the house and then you can be ready to scatter before any jumping up happens. This should help you to get through the door without incident.

3. retrieve

A retrieve is my favourite alternative to jumping up as you come in the door but again look at what suits your dog. I’ve walked dogs in the past who have retrieved toys as I’ve come in the door and firstly its nice and safe as they don’t want to dash out as the door opens and secondly its very cute and they’re so happy when they go and grab their toy for you. A retrieve is an all round useful behaviour so by building lots of value for it it can become a great alternative to an unruly door greeting.

A retrieve is an ideal alternative to jumping up when you get home

One thing to remember if you want to teach your dog an alternative to jumping up at the door is that management and preventing rehearsal of what you don’t want is key. So have some treats ready at the door to scatter or to reward a sit, have them in another room when you come in the house or have a toy ready to give them. When teaching the alternative you’re rehearsing lots of what you do want so that this eventually becomes that lovely go to, alternative behaviour.

The last thing I want to share with you on this subject is the importance of training these alternative behaviours away from the door to start with. If the door is currently a place of great excitement, learning won’t happen here as your dogs arousal levels will be too high. So grab some treats and power up that sit, 4 4 paws on the floor or retrieve. Once these are well practiced or proofed behaviours you’ll be able to interrupt jumping up and add in your new alternative.

If you want to know more, find out how I can help you and for more training tips plus a free game, join our mailing list.

Subscribe To Our Mailing List And Get A FREE Training

Game To Supercharge Your Dogs Confidence

Be the first to hear the latest news and updates from Freddie and Friends

You have successfully subscribed!!! Now go and get your FREE training game and start supercharging your dogs confidence and optimism today>>>https://mailchi.mp/3478b993f312/mailinglistgamelink