Does your dog get crazy excited when you come home? Does he jump all over you and, though its adorable, would you rather he took it down a notch? Next time you come home, try coming into your house playing ball with him right away so that it gets the excitement and dog playing ball eagerness off of you and onto the game! Keep a basket of tennis balls right outside your front door so you’ll be ready for a toss as soon as the door enters. This way, you’ll have an activity for him to focus on when you come home, and you can help burn off a little of his energy, too (he’s been waiting all day for you!). Take it outside to the back yard if he seems like he needs to run!
When he’s calmer after a few tosses, you can then pet your pooch and spend some quality time. Remember, every time you talk to or touch your dog you’re reinforcing behavior, so if you play ball as you can home you can reinforce the behavior you want and not the jumping up on you! Hey, you might even like playing ball at the end of your long day – so who’s helping who here? That’s exactly why we love our pets – they help us laugh and relax more every day!
– Written by Katya Friedman, Adopt-a-Pet.com’s Director of Partnerships and Promotions and a certified dog trainer