It's adorable when a little puppy puts its paws on you and begs to be picked up. But encouraging this behavior or leaving it unchecked can cause frustration and injury as your puppy grows. Here are some ways to curtail this behavior before it becomes an issue.
When your puppy jumps up, do you give him attention? Do you reach down and pet your puppy when he paws you? Do you greet him excitedly when you return home? Do you hold his toy just out of reach, causing him to jump for it? All of these things encourage and reward your puppy's jumping behavior. Know when your puppy is going to jump up and be prepared.
When You Come Home
Stay calm and quiet when you come home. Do not immediately greet your puppy. If he is bound and needs to go outside, do this with as few words as possible. If your puppy jumps up on you, do not use your hands to push him away. He might think you want to play.
Instead, give a little "bump" with your leg, say "Off!" In a stern tone of voice and turn away from him. A "bump" is a small movement used to get your puppy's paws off your leg. Never kick or knee your puppy. When he has all four paws on the floor, calmly praise him and continue what you were doing. Repeat this exercise as many times as necessary.
When Guests Arrive
Keep a leash by the front door. When your guests arrive, attach the leash to your puppy's collar. Tell him to "Sit". Stand on part of the leash, leaving your puppy enough to sit comfortably erect. Hold the other end in you hand.
As guests arrive, ask them to ignore your puppy until he calms down. If he stands or tries to jump up, tell him to "sit" and go back to greeting your guests. This is a very difficult exercise for your puppy. If he sits still at all, calmly reward him.
Once you're left, have your puppy sit next to you. Loop the leash under your foot and hold the other end. Your puppy will appreciate something to chew on while he waits to be released. When he is calm, have your guests offer him a treat. Keep him leashed so that you can restrain him if he gets too excited.
When You're Playing
All puppies get excited when they're playing. If your puppy jumps up on you, use the "Off!" Command as described above. Use "sit and stay" to help your puppy control his urge to jump.
Be aware of any actions that might encourage your puppy to jump up on you during play time. Do not play tugging games. Teach him to fetch and release instead. Do not tease your puppy with his toy. Hold it close to your body, or throw it. Waving it in the air above him teaches him to jump and snap.
Accentuate The Positive …
… so that you can eliminate the negative. We place a lot of emphasis on correcting our puppy's behavior issues. Remember to reward your puppy for good behavior. If he is sitting quietly, or chewing on his toy, say "Good Boy!" And give him a pat on the head. Puppies repeat behaviors that are rewarding.