Most people love it when their dogs jump all over them once they get home and welcome the behavior - but at times it can become a problem for your dog's health or the safety of others.

It’s a familiar sight in nearly every dog owner’s household – you get home from a long day at work, and before you even have a chance to open the front door and get inside your dog is jumping all over you in manic excitement whilst trying to get high enough to lick you on the face. The majority of owners actually welcome this behavior – equally glad to see their dogs and relieved that there is someone in the world that truly cares about them – while others actually find it rather annoying.

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Your dog jumping up on you is rarely a serious behavior problem – most of the time they are simply so excited to see you, and to them it is just the natural way they greet people. When a puppy’s mother returns home, they also happily jump up and lick them with excitement. As far as your dog knows it is acceptable behavior – and you encourage them to keep doing it each time you kneel down and submit to their greeting.

The problem is, it isn’t always acceptable behavior. For many dog lovers, it is one of the things they enjoy most about them. But the whole world doesn’t love dogs, and even those that do might not be comfortable having a dog that weighs over 100 pounds jump all over them. If you have a large dog then training them not to jump on people is especially important – not just because of the danger it can be to others, but to the damage they can do to themselves. Many dog breeds – both large and small – have particular back and joint problems that may be caused by consistently jumping up to greet people.

For these reasons, you should at least consider training your dog to stop jumping up on you. The good news is it isn’t actually that hard – it’s just a matter of reverse positive reinforcement training. You have essentially already trained your dog that jumping up is a good thing – any time you have given them attention after such behavior it has acted as their reward, and so they have rightly assumed that continuing to behave in such a manner is acceptable. If you want to show them that it’s not acceptable then the answer is simple – you just have to stop rewarding them.

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