We all love having friends come over. Our dogs, too, are quite happy and excited when guests come home. In the thrill of meeting new people, your dog might forget his manners and go dashing around the house or even jump all over the guests with enthusiasm. While this behavior is just your pet expressing how happy he is to have people visiting, it can be embarrassing and impolite to have him pouncing on guests and getting fur all over their clothes. Here are three ways you can teach your pet to greet guests without going overboard.
- Stay calm and composed
When your dog is already in an excited mood, he won’t be able to differentiate if you are annoyed or happy when you raise your voice to scold him. When you use a loud tone, it can further encourage him to continue jumping around, thinking that you are in a joyful mood just like him. So, the first step to control your dog’s behavior is to maintain a calm demeanor. Give commands in a firm but relaxed tone.
- Train him to follow commands near the door
Place a mat next to the door. Teach your dog to greet you sitting on this mat whenever you return from outside. Once he learns to sit on the mat politely, greet him with a gentle stroke on the head and use a calm voice to talk to him when you enter the house. Initially, you can go out and come back in a few minutes to help him understand the expected routine.
- Request guests to refrain from pampering
Usually, people who are dog lovers won’t mind your dog being a little hyper and will probably pet and play with him. But, this can reinforce undesired behavior. It can make your dog think that getting excited around new people is acceptable. Ask the guests who come home to not pay any attention to your dog as soon as they enter. Once he is calm and settles down, let him sniff the visitors and ask the guests to pet him or talk to him calmly.
During the initial phase of training, use a leash whenever someone comes home. Alternatively, you could give your pet some time out by leaving him in his crate or play area with a few chewy sticks or treats. This will help him become composed and relaxed. Since dogs get distracted when they meet new people, it is helpful to practice the “watch me” command, so that you can gain your dog’s attention easily when he is diverted. As soon as he makes eye contact with you, offer him a treat and praise him for following the command. Dogs are loyal, loving creatures, and with just a little bit of care and proper training, they can learn appropriate behavior that will make everybody happy!