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I'm the proud parent of two 10 month old border collie pups - Amber and Ghost, sister and brother respectively.

Training so far is going well. Basic commands (sit, wait, leave, stand, heel, crawl, round, paw, etc even through to "cross" when arriving at a pavement edge) work first time, every time. Some slight re-call issues when off the lead but this is being worked on.

The main issue we have at the moment is that when visitors come round to our house or we meet people on walks (who don't have dogs), their immediate reaction is to jump up excitedly and try to get the most amount of attention possible. The consequence of this, at least 9 times out of 10, is for Ghost to pee everywhere - more recently Amber has started doing so too.

I absolutely want to get rid of the jumping up behaviour. It isn't aggressive in any way and they have never growled or shown aggression in any of the previous 7 months they've been with me - but I know that a lot of people do not want dogs jumping up. I am included in this and want them to stay sat with their tails wagging as fast as physically possible.

Having tried getting the dogs to "sit" and "wait" when people approach out on walks or when the door bell rings, this lasts for only a couple of seconds before they ignore all commands from me and jump up anyway. I've tried to get them to succumb to some tasty treats but, as much as they love treats usually for their rewards, they have no effect in this situation. I've tried holding them by their collars and physically preventing them from jumping (not using any aggressive force, I may add) but this isn't practical and I don't think is the right way to do things.

I'm not so concerned about the peeing as I feel this will improve once their jumping excitement subsides.

I would like to know what techniques others have used in this kind of situation or if anyone could provide some advice which may help me.

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I would try this method while out and about and at home (you might want to try this with one dog at a time and then together after each one gets the idea of the exercise):

  1. Have your dog secured
  2. Have someone approach that the dog will be excited about and ignoring that the dog is present
  3. Once the dog starts getting excited, have the person turn around and leave the area or far enough away that the dog is calm again

Repeat until the dog is approachable without jumping up and getting overly excited about the attention. At this time reward the dog with what it likes most (since each dog is different you may want to reward with a toy, food, or a calm form of attention). Also try with different people and random people if they are willing to help you. It is also helpful if you tell people you encounter to ignore your dog until it is calm.

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  • Thanks for your suggestions. I have initially started to ignore them when I get up in a morning or get home from work of an evening and only give them attention when they are calm and sat down - this has worked so far. I definitely need to bring different people into the equation but with a briefing beforehand of what I'm trying to do. What do you think with regards to the peeing? That this will disappear once the initial excitement goes? – weblar83 Jan 18 '18 at 8:54
  • I definitely think the peeing will eventually go away. Most of our pups when they were excited ended up peeing and went away as they got older and/or less excited. It can take a couple years. We had a room we kept them in that had an entrance to the yard. We would come home and go into the yard from another entrance (yard gate or sliding door) and greet them in the yard. This might not be an option with your setup, so you could also crate them close to the door they go through to pee outside and shuffle them through there immediately after letting them out of the crate. Just some ideas :) – Deirdra Strangio Jan 19 '18 at 18:13
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In addition to the training-sessions for not-jumping: For a bit, have a sign at the door. Something short and simple, like:
I have two puppies to train.
When you come in, please ignore them at first.
You can pet and cuddle in a few minutes :).

When you spring two little, excited dogs on someone, chances are at least some will go "Awww, how cute!", and this reaction from visitors is not helping your dog-training! If you give them a note like that, they will be ready for the "attack of cute fluffyness" and not accidentially sabotage your training.

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