The Dog Who Jumps On People

You may walk through the door each evening dreaming of an extra-dry martini in front of the television set. But what your dog has in mind is washing every inch of your face and perhaps knocking you off your feet in the process.

With a little luck, you can avoid this overpowering welcome by walking right past the dog, muttering a lukewarm greeting, instead of confronting him with a gooey hello-which turns to rage as you pick yourself up from the rug. But most dogs are so glad to see you-and visitors-that they just must get to your eye level, where all the attention is

There is, fortunately, a very simple and pleasant way in which to stop your dog from jumping on you. As he jumps up, grab his front feet, one in each of your hands, and hold on to them. Keep holding, talking to your dog agreeably. Don't let go. Don't bend over; don't squeeze his paws. Just hold on, talking all the while as if nothing special were happening.

If he tries to gnaw on your hands, move them back on either side of you, alongside your hips, but keep holding on. In fact, hold on until he is in a state of panic over no longer having four feet to call his own. Then let go and walk away. Repeat this procedure and instruct everyone who comes to the door to do the same. Within a few days, you'll notice that when your dog starts to jump up, he immediately gets a very knowing look on his face and puts his front feet right back down on the floor. Then he will stop jumping up altogether.

Obviously, it's important that everyone in the house assist on this project. Otherwise your dog will learn that there are some people he can jump on and those he can't. If some member of the family-because of age or disability-cannot do his part, or if you expect visitors whom you do not know well enough to include in this "game," get the dog's lead on before the confrontation arises. Keep him under control, sitting, that is, until everyone has arrived and settled in. Then he may greet them. He is a social animal, you know!

 Patricia P. Widmer
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