Does your dog go into crazy overdrive when guests come over? We see this often, with symptoms ranging from barking, growling, biting, hiding, demanding attention, jumping up and licking, to racing around showing off. It can be stressful both for you and your dog! Here are some tips to help you understand why they may be acting this way and how to help them behave calmly and politely around new people instead. calm canines dog training
5. Stay calm calm canines dog training
When the doorbell rings or when the visitor knocks, what is your own reaction? Are you relaxed and feeling positive and in control? If you are stressed or excited your dog is likely to copy! Show your dog there is nothing to be worried about and that you can and will handle the arrival of a guest (the scary threat here to kill you all or the exciting person here to give pats depending on your dog). Take your time – don’t rush to the door or try to nervously or angrily hush the dog or you’ll make things worse. They need to associate people coming over with positive calm vibes.
4. Leash your dog at the door
Sometimes, simply putting a leash on your dog will make all the difference because you can use it to maintain more control and firmly remind your dog not to jump. You can also keep him closer to you vs. running up to greet people. Most people tend to greet dogs in an excited voice, which just makes the dog all the more excited!
3. Use highly valued treats to reward calm behavior
Once the initial greeting is out of the way, it helps to have highly valued treats your dog is willing to work for. You can use them to reward your dog for any good behavior such as sitting, lying down, staying on a dog bed or simply being calm. This is a good time to practice commands like “go to your bed” or “stay.”
2. Ask visitors to ignore your dog
Perhaps the most difficult of all, it is very helpful if people can truly ignore your dog. I know it’s almost impossible to get some people to do this. It might be because they don’t quite understand what you mean.
I tell people not to acknowledge my dog at all for at least a half-hour. Don’t even look at him, I say. When people can follow through with this and truly not acknowledge Remy, it makes an incredible difference for helping him calm down much faster.
1. Lots of daily exercises
A tired dog will be at least slightly calmer and better behaved at the door than a dog who hasn’t had enough exercise. Unfortunately, it’s generally not enough to take your dog for a long walk in the morning your visitors will arrive. It’s more effective if you can take your dog for a long walk every single day so he has less pent-up energy in general.
Other tips: Take him to daycare a few days per week, take him running, use a doggy backpack, visit new places to tire him out or work on obedience training.