A big problem among all breeds of dogs is jumping. Most dogs have the impulse to jump up on a person if they're excited to see him. It's a way of showing deference. If you watch a litter of puppies, you will see that they all hop up to lick their mother's face. However, jumping can become quite a nuisance, especially if there are muddy paws involved.
When you see two dogs together, you might see one dog reaching up to lick the other dog's muzzle and lips. The dog that is licking is the more submissive of the two dogs and is showing the other dog respect. You will not see the dominant dog return the compliment.
You don't want your shepherd jumping up on your frail great aunt when she comes over to visit, nor do you want your puppy bowling over the neighbor's kids. But you don't want to suppress your puppy's good intentions either. You have many options to control the situation. You can get down on the dog's level; teach “Jump up” as a command; substitute an alternate behavior that the shepherd finds rewarding; or ignore the behavior to extinguish it completely.
Get Down on His Level
As soon as you walk in the door, kneel or squat down to your puppy's level. From this vantage point, give him the rubbing and attention he wants and allow him to slather you with puppy kisses. As your puppy grows and matures, he will recognize that you are going to allow him to greet you on his level. His reason for jumping up on you, children, and others will no longer exist.
Teach “Hugs” on Command
When you come in the door and you know your puppy will jump up on you, kneel down and pat your shoulders or chest, saying, “Hugs.” (You can substitute any command you'd like.) Praise your puppy when he jumps up on your shoulders and gives licks. Do not praise him if he jumps up on you when you haven't given him the “Hugs” command. Soon, he will recognize that he gets the attention he wants and is allowed to show you deference only when you give him the command or signal to do so.
Substitute an Alternate Behavior
Another approach is to give your shepherd something to do instead of jumping up. For example, if friends are coming over, instruct them to ignore the puppy unless he sits, in which case they can pet him. You can put him in a sit five feet back from the front door and require him to stay while your friends enter. (It's okay to help a young puppy to maintain his stay by keeping your hands on him.) After your friends have entered, they can reward him with rubs, treats, and verbal praise.
Ignoring the Puppy
A very effective way to extinguish a behavior is to ignore it. In this instance, you would walk in the front door, put away your things, and sit and read for five minutes without making any contact with your puppy. He should settle down relatively quickly. Once he's relaxed, you can gently rub him and praise him for his calm demeanor.
If you are ignoring a behavior to extinguish it, you must be consistent. The most common mistake an owner makes is to slip up and shout at the shepherd. Though this seems like a negative response, it could be perceived as a reward by the dog. If you do anything other than ignore the behavior, you're sending a mixed message, and the jumping will continue.
When working to extinguish a behavior, be aware that the behavior will get worse before it gets better. Just be patient with your dog, and hang in there. The reward for your efforts will come soon.