What is Your Dog’s Behavior When Guests Arrive?
There’s nothing more frustrating for many people than being greeted by an overly excited, barking, jumping, sniffing, licking dog when they arrive for a visit at a friend’s or family member’s home. It’s a sweet dog, who obviously means well, and is excited to see the “new friends”, but it’s a very uncomfortable feeling for the human. Keep in mind, not everyone likes dogs, let alone dogs that are jumping on them, so now they like them even less.
As well as being poor manners and undesirable, an overly excited dog can be a little dangerous, your guests could be:
- A frail adult or small child can be knocked down and hurt
- A situation that starts out as excitement, can change from excited and become aggressive
More than likely, your dog is just trying to say “Hi”, but this is behavior that needs to be changed. The best time to begin social training your dog is when he is still a puppy. But whatever the age, in spite of the old adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, it’s never too late to help him/her learn a new behavior.
Managing your dog’s behavior:
You can manage or control your dog’s behavior when guests come by doing such things as:
- Banning him to another room
- Put him on a leash
- Put him in his crate
Although that works, teaching your dog appropriate behavior is ultimately the best idea…your dog can be around the guests, the guests will be happy to come visit and see you and your dog, and you will feel comfortable inviting friends into your home.
Your role is to keep calm, consistent and stay in control. Make sure your guests know you are working on Fido’s manners, and even if they tell you they don’t mind the attention they’re receiving from your dog, let them know that his behavior is unacceptable to you and ask them not to encourage it. In fact, you should ask your guests to withhold attention from the dog when they first arrive, which will encourage him to remain calm.
Be prepared to “manage” (see above) his behavior when training is first beginning, just in case he can’t be brought under control.
Teaching your dog a new behavior:
- The first step is not to allow your dog to jump up on you as a greeting. You will confuse your dog…if it’s OK with you, you’re sending mixed signals when it’s not OK with a guest.
- Teach your dog to sit and stay before opening the door for your guests…it’s hard to jump up if he is sitting.
- Be prepared with his favorite treats to reward him generously for doing what you have told him to do.
- You could ask your guest to help you (if they are comfortable doing so), by handing them a treat to offer your pup when he sits on your command. Also, if your dog remains seated, your guest could reward him with a pat on the head or additional treat.
- You might even ask a friend to help you with your training by a planned visit so you and your pup can practise the new skills.
If you’re having trouble with this or any other behavior skill, sign up for a dog training class, you’ll be glad you did. We offer family friendly classes here at BowWow Fun Towne by Pawsitive Steps Dog Training.
For all your doggie daycare needs, Contact BowWow Fun Towne, you’ll find plenty of great activity, appropriate toys, and exercise here to help keep your dog happy while you’re away.