There is no greater greeting than when our dogs greet us when we get home. Their unbridled joy and excitement can make the grayest of days turn around. However, when the dogs jump and claw to excess, or to our unsuspecting guests, his or her greeting has become an unwanted behavior.

In order to break your dog of the jumping behavior you must start at the front door. You are the pack leader and your dog must respect your personal space. First, when you enter your home, you need to ignore your dog while he or she is in an excited state. (If you acknowledge your dog while he or she is excited you are teaching the dog that you enjoy that state of mind.)

When your dog jumps on you, say the word “off” and firmly remove his or her paws from your body. If your dog jumps waist-highth or higher, put your hand outstretched over his or her head. Your flat hand will unexpectedly stop the dog’s jumping momentum and get his or her attention. As soon as contact is made, you must say the word “off!” You need to teach your dog that “off” means to remove his or her paws from your body.

You know when your dog is about to jump. Therefore, you can prevent the jump by using the word “off” and speaking firmly to your dog. When he or she jumps anyways use three strongly outstretched fingers and “jab” your dog in the chest, just above the breastbone. As soon as contact is made, you must say the word “off!” Repeat the touch every time your dog jumps on you.

What you are teaching your dog is the new behavior expectation, don’t jump on me, using primal communication. You HAVE to stay consistent with the “no jumping on people” rule. That means each time your dog jumps, you block using your voice and touch whenever necessary. When your dog calms down, you may silently pet and love on your doggy. (Giving affection when your dog is calm and respecting your boundaries teaches him or her you enjoy the calm, non-jumping, state of mind.)

Don’t feel guilty for training your dog. It’s a dog and needs to follow your rules. It’s up to you to enforce your behavior expectations. Remember, prevention is the best cure and the word “off” is your new best friend. Eventually all you’ll need to do is use the word “off” and your dog will respond.

When your guests enter your home, instruct them to ignore your dog when it is excited and firmly say “off” when your dog is about to jump. In addition, tell them how you physically block and prevent the jump. Everybody needs to enforce the new expectation.

After several days of consistency, you will notice a difference in the way your dog welcomes you home. The jumping annoying greeting will be a thing of the past and your transformed calm dog will be your present and future.