How to Greet My Puppy

Ideally, his rear end should be on the ground before you pet him.
Ideally, his rear end should be on the ground before you pet him. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Allowing your new furry family member to jump right up on you as soon as you walk in the door may be adorable, but it isn’t so sweet when you have nice clothes on or when guests come over. Greeting your dog properly from the get-go. That way, when he’s bigger, you won’t have to worry about him knocking anyone over or scratching anyone’s legs.

Remain Calm

Your puppy’s reaction to seeing you is a reflection of your behavior. So if you storm in the door, run toward him and squeal his name in an excited high-pitched voice, expect a hyper puppy to respond. As happy as you are to see him, remain collected. Your puppy should mellow out and reflect your relaxed behavior -- just be patient with him. He'll show his pleasure that you're home even if jumping on you is no longer part of the repertoire.

Approach Him Slowly

While your instinct may be to lie on your back and let your puppy lick you, that’s the exact opposite of what you should do. Approach him slowly, like it’s no big deal. Avoid making eye contact and don’t even say a word to him; almost like you’re ignoring him. If he starts jumping or charging at you, turn your back and walk away. It’ll take time and persistence, but he’ll start to figure out that when he jumps, you leave. He doesn’t want that at all.

Make Him Sit

As soon as you can get your fur ball’s full attention, make him sit. If you reach down and pet him and he gets up or starts jumping, step back or turn your back. Start over and make him sit again after he calms down. It’ll take lots of bending over in the beginning, but your four-legged pal will quickly figure out that if he wants attention from you, he has to hold still and plant all fours on the ground.

Be Persistent

Your pint-size canine has no idea that you’re wearing nice slacks today and he’s not supposed to jump on you when you walk in the door. After all, you’re typically in jeans or sweat pants and let him jump on you as he pleases. Because it can be confusing to your puppy to allow jumping, pawing and rubbing against you one day, and then scold him the next, you have to be persistent in your training techniques. Every time you greet him, you need to follow the same steps -- be calm, approach him slowly and make him sit before patting him on the head. Everyone who comes to your home must follow the same process. If you make him sit, but the neighbor comes over and lets your pooch jump all over her, your training goes out the window.

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