"My puppy loves to jump on all sorts of people and he gets really excited...
What to do?"
We need to teach our dog how to be calm around people. To start, we need to be calm and we should ask other people to be calm around our puppy.
Do not let all these people just come and make a big fuss to your dog.
Teach your puppy to know how to be calm and relax around other people so he will not view them as a source of super excitement.
Physical touch and praise are high value affections. The more your dog receive those from strangers the more excited he will become when he meets them. He will expect lots of high value reward from them, which will make it very hard for him to remain calm in front of them.
I teach my dogs how to just hang out and chill around people. My dogs love affection but they do not expect that from strangers because l do not allow strangers to pet my dogs.
Unlike what you may have been told, not letting strangers pet your dogs will not make them scared of people. They just know not to get super ramp up and drag and pull to strangers.
One of my dogs (Anja) used to be aggressive toward human, and another one (Sadie) used to be intensely reactive toward them. They are very powerful dogs and used to pull my arm off. But not anymore. Not allowing strangers to pet my dogs actually changed them from being anxious and aggressive to being gentle and calm around strangers.
If l allow someone to touch my dogs, they will love it and they will be very gentle and cuddly. The difference is they do not automatically expect that from strangers so they do not get super excited around them.
I also teach my dogs to pay attention to me more than other people. I am more important and they are supposed to ask me before they get away from me to do other stuff. So, they are not allowed to just run up to someone (even when off leash) unless l give them the okay.
I teach them that their default position is to remain by my side.
I call this engagement training and it is in my opinion a very important foundation of good behaviour.
Dogs need to know how to be content without being the centre of attention. They cannot always go "look at me, l am here!"
A dog can learn how to have more confidence as he learns how to be content by himself and just relax without his human around. This is really important for dogs in general but especially with high energy puppies.
One common issue l see often is with well meaning owners who just cannot ever leave their "cute fur babies" alone.
When an owner is so emotionally attached and gets so excited every time he/she looks at the puppy, it is very hard for the puppy not to expect to always be the centre of attention.
I have observed this with lots of owners but especially with those who do not have children.
It is for the best for everyone when a puppy can have some down time so he knows how to be content by himself.
Owners of super excited puppies need to know how to be more aloof and distant with their puppies sometimes.
For a lot of owners, this may be next to impossible to do. But if they cannot do it, they will likely struggle.
It is not good for a dog to think it is always "me me me". Many owners eventually have to give up their "well loved" puppies because they just could not take this constant demand of attention any more.
If every time you look at your dog, you see a very cute stuffed animal and you cannot stop hugging, kissing, and fussing around this "toy", you should work on your own self control.
You are like a parent who cannot stop buying things for his/her children all the time - it is not a healthy kind of love and it is not good for either parties.
Not being excessively cuddly will also help the puppy to learn how to respect the bubble of human.
If you are always super tight physically to your puppy, how is he supposed to know that humans have bubbles?
He will love to be very close to other humans just like he is with you.
Puppies like that will jump up and ask for hugs and affections, butt in between humans who are having a conversation to demand their attention, nip people's hand when they don't like something, whines and barks in their crates or when being left alone...etc. We are essentially training a puppy to be rude, entitled, disrespectful, and pushy, albeit unintentionally.
I teach puppies to love spending time with me when l invite them to spend time with me. We spend time together to play, train, walk, relax... but l also teach them to have the maturity and independence to be left alone.
Teaching a puppy how to ignore - and how to be content when he is being ignored - will greatly reduce a lot of problematic behaviour.
Of course we need to stop the jumping but a jumping dog usually have many other issues too because the jumping is just a manifestation of how he views the world.
We need to stop the jumping but more importantly, we should change ourself, so we can change how we live with our dogs.
When we have a healthy and respectful relationship with our dogs, our dogs will become a compliment to our lives and we will enjoy spending lots of time with them.
On the other hand, a pushy, bratty, entitled dog is a pain to live with. It is not a breed characteristic but our own doing that have caused a dog to behave like that.
Many such dogs will be given up to shelters or killed.
It is up to us to decide how we want to raise our puppies. This decision will affect and even determine the quality of life our dog will have. Therefore, please make a responsible and wise decision because the future of your puppy depends on you.