Why Does My Dog: Spin around when greeting me?

Dog spinning / greeting

Do you return home to a dog that spins in circles, jumps up and generally gets very boisterous? It’s a classic example of we humans interpreting such behaviour as the dog being very happy to see us. We emotionally reinforce the behaviour with a show of ¬†happiness and joy that the dog has missed us. We may have bags of shopping, our best clothes on and really not want our dog to get so excited, but by us giving positive reinforcement indicates that we like the dog’s behaviour, so that it becomes a habit.

In real terms, bouncing all over the place indicates that the pent up energy stored during your absence is being released in boisterous, over-excited behaviour. The jumping up on you gives them a sense of control over you, effectively reinforcing control over you now that you have come home.

The best response is to ignore the dog until it calms down, simply saying “hello” serves our need to communicate with our dog – we don’t want to hurt his feelings! Effectively, you’re just saying: “There’s nothing to be so excited about. Calm down and relax.”