Does your dog jump on people when they come to your home or when you approach
someone on a walk? Does your dog jump on the kitchen counter? These are very common issues that many people experience with their dogs.
So what can you do?
I often have clients with these types of issues with their dog and many times I also see people using a leash correction or yelling at their dog to get them off the counter or get them off the person they are jumping on.
There is one big reason why that doesn't work: miscommunication. The dog clearly doesn't understand the expected behavior. Dogs learn best when we reinforce behaviors we do want, as opposed to correcting behaviors we don't want.
By teaching a behavior we want from the dog, marking and rewarding that behavior and then consistently training that behavior in the environment and/or situation you expect the behavior to occur, the more success you'll have.
However, if you allow your dog to rehearse behaviors you don't want, the dog is self-rewarding by doing what he's practiced but then doesn't understand when he gets corrected.
Start by having your dog sit in an area in your house with no distractions. Mark the sit and reward, then release your dog.
Do this throughout the day and every time your dog comes to you. As he gets better, add in short duration training. Remember to always use a release cue so your dog knows when he can get up.
As your dog gets better, add in distractions slowly by taking the game to your kitchen without any food on the counter, then as you are running the water, then as you open the fridge, then as you are making a snack. . . you get the idea.
You also want to add in distractions by working on the front step, then your driveway, then with people walking at a distance, then as people are walking toward your dog only a few steps, then have your dog walk toward someone but have him sit 4-5 feet from the person slowly moving closer and closer.
This teaches impulse control as well as the behavior you want from your dog. Pretty soon, your dog will automatically sit when he approaches a person or is next to the counter, etc.
Remember to HAVE A PARTY with your dog when you release him!
Teach your dog that training is fun! Aim to train with play!