Tips for Correcting Your Excited Golden Retriever’s Greeting Habits

Greeting HabitsThe Golden Retriever is a breed that is naturally friendly and full of life. Unfortunately, this often correlates with over-excitement, especially when new people come to the door. If your Golden Retriever has developed a bad habit of jumping up or barking at new people, you may need to work with him a little bit to reduce these behaviors.

Why Do Dogs Jump Up on People?

If you have ever visited the home of a fellow dog owner, there is a good chance that you were greeted by their dog in a very enthusiastic and energetic way. Even if your friend tries to hold the dog back, he may have just been too excited to contain himself and that excitement frequently manifests in the form of jumping, licking, and barking. Seeing this kind of behavior in someone else’s dog may make you realize that your own dog has the same issue. What you may not realize, however, is that you probably played a role in reinforcing that behavior. Think back to when your Golden Retriever was a puppy – how did you react when he got excited to see you? You probably returned that excitement by speaking to him in a positive tone, petting him, or even picking him up. In doing so, you reinforced his over-excited behavior and taught him that jumping up and barking at people gets him the attention he craves. To curb this behavior, you will have to work with him to teach him that this behavior won’t get him what he wants.

Teaching Your Dog Not to Jump Up

The key to curbing undesired behavior in dogs like the Golden Retriever is to stop rewarding the dog for exhibiting that behavior and, if applicable, to teach him that said behavior does not get him what he wants. To teach your dog not to jump up on people when they enter the house, you may need to enlist the help of a friend and work through a training sequence to teach your dog that he will only receive attention when he is calm. Start by asking your friend to step outside then stand with your dog on the other side of the door. Have your friend ring the doorbell and as soon as he starts to get excited, tell him to Sit. If he complies, praise him and reward him with a treat. If he doesn’t, repeat the sequence until he gets the hang of it.

Once your dog has learned to sit when the doorbell rings you can actually have your friend enter the house and start working on your dog’s overly excited greeting behavior. Have your friend step into the room – your dog will probably make a beeline for him and start jumping up. Instruct your friend to freeze as soon as the dog starts jumping up and to turn around, ignoring the dog. Your friend should avoid engaging with the dog in any way until he calms down, at which point your friend can turn back around and pet him calmly as a reward. Repeat this training sequence until your dog learns that jumping and barking will not get him the attention he craves – he will only get that attention when he remains calm.

Curbing your dog’s overly excited greeting habits may take some time, but if you are consistent with it you will be successful. You can also adapt this training sequence for other situations, making sure to only reward your Golden Retriever for the behaviors you desire and to stop reinforcing bad behaviors by giving your dog what he wants.

Photo credit: brandon harris/Flickr

The article, Tips for Correcting Your Excited Golden Retriever’s Greeting Habits was originally posted on September 21, 2016 and was last updated on September 21, 2016. It was posted in the category, General, Training with the Tags: , , , ,

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