Re: Obedience Training Advice
One thing I can recommend with the jumping up on guests is what we've been doing with our pup (8 mos). At first you feel like you're getting nowhere because it takes a while, but it is so worth it. We ask our dog to go lie down away from the door. As soon as he lies down, he knows that the guest is coming in and will go pet him (hugely reinforcing for him). With time he's come to realize that the faster he goes and lies down, the faster he gets a belly rub. It's awesome.
To start, you want to ask your dog to lie down and ask him to stay as you open the door (no guests). Open the door, keep your hand up and stay looking at him, close the door, walk back to him, release him from the stay, and treat. Let him go see the door if he wants-- mine always wanted to see who he missed, haha. When he has that down, have your partner or family member knock on the door. This is going to be more tough and your dog will probably break the stay. When he breaks the stay, have your partner walk right back out the door and work on getting him to lie down again. Just try it a few times per day until he can hold that stay until your partner gets to him and scratches him. Make sure that you, as the person opening the door, keep your eyes on the dog at all times to start out with, keep your hand up if you need it, and the second it looks like he's going to stand and break it, step forward and make a little noise reinforcing the down. Luckily your guest is your partner, so you can totally focus on your dog. Each time one of you walks through the front door, you can knock first to practice this. Once he gets that, make it a little more difficult-- have a neighbor try it. This one is going to be pretty hard. Just keep working on it- it'll come with time. Make sure the neighbor doesn't pay attention to the dog as long as he breaks the stay and have him/her leave the second that he does. It's easier for the dog to not break the stay if the neighbor isn't looking at him.
If you can't work on this each time a guest comes, put your dog away before hand. With all training, it's going to take time to progress, so just keep it up and you'll see that your dog will rush to get into place when someone's at the door as to not waste time for some scratching. I love that the dog lying down quickly is in both of our best interests.