Jumping on guests is a normal behavior that dogs exhibit, but through proper management and training, you can change your dog’s behavior. 

With inappropriate behaviors, it is important to identify what changes in the environment start the pattern of inappropriate behaviors. 

If you do not intervene at all when guests arrive, the normal chain of events might look like this:

If you can stop your dog from rehearsing all of the steps of the behavior, then you can change the behavior pattern. The goal of behavior modification is to stop the inappropriate behavior and redirect it into appropriate behavior. 

When guests arrive, the first event that usually causes dogs to react is either knocking on the door or hearing the doorbell. If your dog reacts to this event, you should read this post about desensitizing your dog to the doorbell and work on the exercises there.

The next event that can cause dogs to get excited is when the guest appears at the door. There are a number of strategies that can decrease anxiety and change the behavior pattern.


Reward before your dog jumps

Tether Your Dog

If you want to greet your guests first you can tether your dog to prevent her from rushing the door. Put her on leash and put the end of the leash under a table leg or over a doorknob or other stationary object. Your dog should be able to comfortable sit or lie down. She should not be uncomfortable in any way.

 Use Toys

If your dog likes toys, you can throw a toy for your dog to chase as soon as she sees your guest. This accomplishes the goal of stopping inappropriate behavior and redirecting it into an appropriate behavior.