Jumping up on people can be a cute trick for puppies, but it quickly becomes a problem behavior as the dog gets older, larger and heavier. A very heavy dog can easily knock a child or even an adult off his or her feet, so jumping on people can be an annoying, as well as dangerous, problem.
The reason puppies and older dogs jump on people is obvious – they are excited and happy to see them. Many people are reluctant to discourage this exuberant behavior, but it is important to redirect that happiness and energy in other ways. Many well-meaning owners, family members and friends inadvertently encourage this jumping up behavior by picking the puppy up, kissing it, or otherwise providing encouragement.
This type of inconsistency is anathema to proper dog training, and in order for the dog to be trained not to jump, every member of the family must recognize and accept the importance of the training. If one member of the family allows the dog to jump up while other family members do not, the dog will understandably become confused and frustrated. The training must be firm, kind and consistent in order to be effective.
The best way to discourage a dog from jumping up is to turn away and ignore them. Do not grab their paws, or let them put their paws on you. Wait for their energy to calm down before you try to say hello again. By deflecting their energy and not engaging with them, they will learn that they won't get the reception that they desire so much!
One way to redirect the dog’s happiness and excitement from jumping is to teach them to lift their paw when greeting you. This “shaking hands” posture is an acceptable way for the dog to show their happiness and respect. But you must make sure this is a "shake" and not the dog jumping up with both paws. Many people even teach their dogs to do simple tricks, like rolling over, instead of jumping on people. This helps engage the dog, while keeping them from dictating the terms of saying hello!