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The Same Goes for Your Guests

If your over-excited dog lunges at and jumps up on your guests as they try to enter, she is claiming these new people in your home as being her own.  She also thinks that she owns the home with no regard for the meaning of "mortgage" or "rent".Her lunging and jumping tells your guests that "she runs this joint and sets the rules here."

What we want instead is that a dog give guests a respectful 3-5+ feet of space and patiently wait for an invitation to approach them later after the excitement has drained. In this case, she is saluting you as the leader who owns your guests, and is taking her follower position behind you in your pack.

​​​A dog jumping on other dogs is beyond play, it is disrespectful dominance and a warm up for fighting.

See Dog Dominance 

to learn how to identify and block dominance in your dog

Need Help STOPPING the JUMPING?  Schedule Our Home Behavior Consult

Jumping on One Another is Not a Natural Animal Greeting

Dogs do not naturally greet one another by jumping on top of one another. If one dog decides to greet another with a jump, the jumper is likely to get pinned down and bit by the jumpee as this is an offensively dominant behavior. It is not acceptable in the animal world. And we humans are animals.

Practice Greeting Your Dog or Puppy With Your New Rules and Boundaries

Don't shower your dog with verbal howdies and affection when you walk through the door. This creates the excitement that leads to jumping. Instead require that your dog afford you space until the excitement ebbs. And then greet your dog on your own terms with no paws raised off the floor.
Communicate to your dog that you disagree with her jumping, and do so with perfect timing. The technique and intensity will vary by dog as they are all quite individual.

Keep in mind that your dog's canine mom would disagree with her pups in a firm manner.  As a result, her puppies learned rules and boundaries from her lessons which would have served to help them move forward later as juveniles and young adults in the pack.

Establish Rules About Your Guests

This is harder because guests only visit infrequently, and because of this your dog becomes very excited. However, there is still a ritual to follow that your puppy or dog should recognize because you have practiced this with her when it came to you and your family.

When your guests arrive, let your dog run barking to the door.  It is her job to tell the family that someone is here. Proceed calmly to the door without becoming stressed. Project the calm you want your dog to mirror.

Once at the door, claim the threshold, choose a place ten feet from the door where you wish your dog to go, send her there, and remain with her until she drains her excited energy.  Be ready to go back to your dog as she experiences another excitement surge as the door is about to be opened, and then when she first sees your guests.

Flying Disc Games/Frisbee

A dog is not built to be a pogo stick. When you are tossing a flying disc for your dog to chase, send it out lateral to the ground. A dog jumping high in the air is cute and funny, but is likely to cause bone, joint, and ligament problems down the line.

Stop Dog and Puppy Jumping

In the Animal World, Whomever Touches the Other 1st is Leader

To dogs and puppies, the leader/follower role is black and white compared to our human gives and takes. If your dog or puppy paws you, sits on you, or jumps up on you, HE is Leader and YOU are Follower.  If instead he greets you by keeping four-on-the-floor and waits for you to bend down to give rubs, he is showing you Leader respect.

Keep 4-on-the-Floor with Kids, Guests, the Furniture, Counters and Other Dogs

Claim the Pack Leader Role

Start establishing yourself as pack leader when there is not so much "skin in the game."  Work on rituals when your dog is not over-excited so that her brain can start digesting that you are changing the roles and rules. The pack hierarchy has become upside down. You are turning it right side up.

When a dog doesn't have a clear pack leader, she will try to fill the void on her own. And she does not necessary have the skills and knowledge for making the best decisions in our urban domesticated world. 

As you bring in your guests, position yourself between them and your dog to block her from her old habit of claiming these new entrants. She must afford 5 feet to your guests. If you have another human in the house, it helps to have one assigned to the guests and the other to the dog. Continue to block your dog from approaching your guests after they have sat down until her excitement completely drains perhaps 10 minutes later. She is only then allowed to approach them if they invite her to do so.

Many humans consider the jump with paws wrapping around their bodies to be "a hug." It is instead a demonstration that your dog owns you. You are being re-claimed as her follower. You most likely not only let this happen in the past, but probably even encouraged it at some point. This taught your dog to repeat the behavior until it became a habit. She is not being belligerent or mean, just repeating a bad habit she was taught in the past from your family's inadvertent cues.

Your dog jumping on you when you return home is not a "hug." Sure he's happy to see you, but the jump signifies re-establishing his dominant role in the pack. And Fido jumping up on the bed or couch is often a challenge for power.

​Provide Consistent Leadership Day In and Out

Your dog will follow your instructions when she respects you as a leader who does not beg, plead or negotiate to get what you want. You cannot be a leader part time. It is a full time, forever job during your dog's lifetime with you. Any inconsistency triggers confusion and anxiety in a dog and creates over-excited, hyperactive behaviors.

Animal pack leaders never waiver from their leadership role.  Neither should you!