Rough play in dogs is not considered as dog aggression. It is considered as a normal behavior. Rough play is exemplified when your puppy jumps on you. This simply means that your puppy wants your attention.
Reactions to rough play include pushing your puppy away, kneeing her in the chest or stepping on her hind toes. These reactions mean to her that she is getting your attention. Your puppy will perceive that rough play or jumping on you is an acceptable behavior and thus, will repeat this behavior over and over again.
Here are tips on what to do the next time your puppy jumps on you:
1. Fold your arms in front of you, turn away from your puppy and say “off”
2. Persist on turning away from your puppy until such time that she will put all her four feet on the ground. Once her four feet are on the ground, praise her and give her a treat. If your puppy knows the sit command, tell her the command. Once she is in the sitting position, praise her and give her a treat.
3. In case she jumps up again once you praise and give her a trait, simply repeat step 1 and step 2.
4. Educate the people that your puppy meets to follow steps 1 & 2.
Your puppy must come to realize that she can get attention, not by jumping on you (as this can be perceived as dog aggression), but in ways such as by sitting quietly beside you. Keep in mind to praise and reward your puppy when she calls your attention by simply sitting quietly beside you.
A Message About Puppies and Children
Children under 10 years old have difficulties in following the tips outlined above. Children in these ages must never be left alone with dogs. Parents and of-aged family members must closely monitor any interplay between children and dogs.