Join Date: Oct 2008
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Thanked 6,957 Times in 2,786 Posts
Goldens are very prone to jumping up to look/lick people in the face because they're so friendly and people-focused. It isn't usually dominant or aggressive behavior, but rather an attempt to look a new friend right in the face and exchange a few friendly kisses. So it's actually absolutely a part of their positive temperament.
It is, however, totally unacceptable in my book, since people who are elderly, have health problems, or are dog-phobic might be upset or even injured.
While you're retraining this behavior, make sure NOBODY plays a game with the dog where he's allowed to jump up. If he gets to jump on even one special person, it'll be harder for him to figure out what's desired of him. I'd also refrain from teaching or practicing "give paw" or anything that encourages the dog to jump up and/or put paws on people. You can go back and train those tricks later once you've ironed out the undesired jumping.
I don't know what you've tried yet, but here's what I'd do: Practice entrances on the leash. When friends come over, leash your boy and have him sit next to you when you open the door. When you see him thinking about a jump, pop the leash (don't yank) and give your quiet aversive noise, like the dog whisperer's snap and shh or a quiet "no." Don't yell; it just adds to the excitement. The "no" is to interrupt the dog's behavior, not to surprise or frighten him.
It's really important to make sure you don't enter into a tug-o-war where you're hauling on the dog and he's dragging you toward the guest. The leash has to be a way of interrupting the unwanted frame of mind, not a way of fighting with the dog.
As with all corrections, timing is everything. The trick is to pop and correct right before he begins to jump. If you're hauling back when he's already jumping, you're going to end up in a tug, which won't help.
You don't need the leash for this. If you have really good presence, you can put yourself between the dog and the guest and have him sit and interrupt him with sound and your physical presence when he starts to jump.
A common mistake is to yell "down" at the dog when he's jumping. That can be really confusing for a dog when "lie down" is a whole other command. Many people use "off" instead, but you could say whatever you want, so long as it's not a duplicate.
Make sure your guest COMPLETELY ignores the dog for at least the first five minutes he or she is there. No talking to or about the dog, no eye contact with the dog, and definitely no petting. Once the dog settles down completely for a good five minutes, your guest can interact with him.
Whatever you do, make sure your actions and your guest's take energy out of the situation. Yelling, yanking on the leash, or getting upset or nervous will all add to the dog's confusion and excitement. Make sure your practice guest is ready to be jumped on and ready to stand there and ignore it while you do your corrections. In the short term, crate the dog when unprepared guests come over so he can learn with patient, calm people only.
Every guest that reacts excitedly to the dog's jumping, either positively or negatively, will confirm the behavior. Jumping is very much self-reinforcing, so you've got to break that cycle. Good luck!
Last edited by tippykayak; 11-28-2008 at 10:06 PM.