Jumping for Joy
Jumping up on people is a Golden favorite. Dogs jump on people to get their attention and to get close to their faces to greet them. In most households this is not acceptable, and this creates a behavior problem. What your dog considers friendly, the rest of the human world considers quite rude. The solution of course is to teach your Golden an alternate way to greet people and prevent jumping from being an option.
The easiest way to prevent jumping is to put a leash on your dog when there are people around, and step on it to prevent him from jumping on them. The second thing that needs to be accomplished is to teach the dog to sit instead. You might teach this in the absence of people and any other distractions until the dog will sit quickly and reliably. Once he has mastered this, you can then move on to adding the distraction of people at a distance and slowly working the session so that they come closer while your dog maintains his sit position.
Your clicks and treats are for maintaining the sit in the presence of the person and should be spaced very closely together until your dog visibly relaxes. An active Golden that is used to launching himself at people will need lots of clicking and treating and a firm foot on the leash for quite a while before they settle down. It may take several training sessions before the new person can even stand close to your Golden.
To make progress toward getting rid of undesirable behavior, you need to have a clear idea of what you want your dog to do instead.
As with most training sessions, the speed with which you add distractions is dependent on the dog. You must train at the dog's pace. It may be slow at first, but with practice and persistence you will eventually be successful in teaching your dog to sit for greeting and petting instead of jumping.
Here are some tips to help make your stop-jumping program successful:
Put a leash on your dog when he is around visitors.
Be ready to reinforce sitting instead of jumping.
Have clicker and treats by the door or in your pocket on walks.
If you are not willing or able to reinforce sitting, the dog does not get to greet the visitor.
All visitors must ignore the dog — no eye contact, no petting, no talking until he sits.
Family members must be taught to reinforce sit and ignore jumping.
Exercise your dog regularly to help him channel his extra energy appropriately.
Have a basket of toys by the door and have the visitor toss one to your dog.
Have a visitor come in and sit before you release your dog to greet her.
Put your dog in another room until the visitor has been inside and seated for at least ten minutes.
Teach your dog to retrieve a toy when the doorbell rings — some dogs forget to jump when they are holding something in their mouths.
Jumping is not a problem that will disappear on its own, but it is a fairly easy problem to fix. Remember that your dog is only doing what comes naturally to him. Your job is to teach him an alternate behavior that is incompatible with jumping.