Welcome to the A-Z Challenge! This year my theme is Pet Health - information for people about their furry, four-legged family members.
Everyone loves a happy dog. The dog that just snuggles up next you, tongue lolling out, the wagging tail, the head that keeps bumping you hand so that you'll scratch an ear. The dog that is a wiggle worm because he can't figure out who to look to first for a belly rub.
There is one thing that not everyone loves about a happy dog: jumping. Pretty much all pet owners are guilty of this at some point - they let their dog jump on them at home so the dog figures he can do that to everyone else. It's cute when it's a 10 pound puppy who wants to play and couldn't knock anything over. Give it a year and that once little Bull Mastiff puppy now weighs roughly 150 pounds, that sucker is going to knock you out.
Many people don't take their puppies to a "puppy training" class, where they can learn to curb such behaviors as jumping up on people. Getting your puppy trained to understand basic commands and socializing is very important. For puppy classes, you can try private dog clubs, your local humane society, or even large pet retail stores.
Once when I worked for a pet retail store, a guy always brought his Mastiff, Max. My first encounter with Max was when my life flashed before my eyes. I had asked the owner if Max could have a treat, and as I grabbed one, Max tried jumping over the counter to get the cookie. His owner was highly embarrassed and tried to reassure me that Max only wanted the cookie and that he was "really a nice dog who that he was a lap dog". Once my heart started beating again, I patted Max on the head and gave him his cookie. For the next three years I wasn't afraid of the dog, but I always remembered how Max and I met.