A. It's a common problem - your dog loves people so much she wants to knock them over! The worst thing you can do is to banish her to the back yard, because then she will never learn how to behave properly. The trainers at our shelter recommend that you make sure no one is allowed to pet the dog unless she has all four feet on the floor. If she jumps up, don't reward the behavior by giving her attention. Even reprimanding her or pushing her away is still giving her attention.
Let your family and friends know that if she jumps, they are to turn away from the dog. Give her a sit or down command. Once she is sitting, and only when she is sitting, give her all the attention she wants. If she jumps up again, start all over. You may even have to have one person hold the dog's leash under their foot, so she is physically unable to jump up, while the other person practices getting her to sit for attention.
A good game to discourage jumping up is the "airplane game." Have the dog sit. Hold a piece of food or treat up in the air over her head and bring it down slowly. If she tries to jump up for it, pull it away. She is only given the treat when she does not jump up. Make sure to give her a verbal reinforcement, such as "down" that she associates with staying put.
It takes a lot of work on your part, and some help from your friends, but you really can train her not to jump. If you need more detailed help, there is an excellent selection of dog training books at www.dogwise.com.
--Dr. Heidi Strand is a veterinarian for the East Bay SPCA in Dublin. She has lived in the Tri-Valley for 10 years with her family and an assortment of four-legged friends. Questions can be mailed to 315 Diablo Road, Suite 100, Danville 94526; or e-mailed to email@example.com. Her column runs every other week.