You love your dog. You know exactly how to handle his rambunctious behavior. But sometimes when people come over, it gets a little bit too rowdy. There are many ways dogs can misbehave when people come to the door. Some of these responses are worse and harder to break than others. Here are four tips for handling your dog when guests come over.
Be Vocal with Your Guests
You obviously want people to feel comfortable when they come over to your home. This can be difficult, however, if your dog hasn’t learned how to behave with people. All the work you put into training your dog can be undone if your guests encourage the naughty behavior. People who love dogs can actually cause the most harm during training. If your guests don’t mind the dog getting wild and jumping up on them, your pooch will think that’s the way he’s supposed to behave when people come over. Even if your pup’s enthusiasm seems cute, it’s actually a slippery slope.
Of course, this isn’t acceptable. You need to tell your guests that you’re training the dog. Explain to them exactly what they need to do in order to help you reinforce good behaviors. If they aren’t getting the picture and continue to rile up your dog, put him away until he calms down.
Know Who’s Afraid of Dogs
It’s likely that some of your friends aren’t dog people. Larger breeds can be especially intimidating for people who feel uncomfortable around them. You should keep a list of all your friends who don’t like, or, are afraid of dogs. It’s smart to ask this of everyone before they come over to your home. By identifying who isn’t a dog person, you can take proactive steps in preparing for when they come over.
Many dogs react badly to people who show obvious fear. They might growl or charge at people who give off nervous signals. These situations can get out of hand, and potentially end in a bite. To avoid this negative outcome, it might be the best idea to leave your dog in its crate when certain people are visiting. Bites are a strain on friendship, but can also be a blow to your finances. Your homeowners insurance rates will rise as a result—although luckily your policy will cover the cost of medical bills.
Stay in Control
No matter how your dog reacts to guests coming over to your house, you need to control the situation. This means you have to be on top of your game from your visitors’ arrival to their departure. If you see your dog is starting to get out of control, immediately move to make things right. This might require you to leash your dog or put it in its crate. Do whatever’s required to keep everything safe for guests.
Use the Event as a Training Opportunity
You should strive to make the most out of people coming over to your house. Visitors present a training opportunity for you and your dog. Have plenty of treats ready, and be prepared to reward good behavior. This must be much more than an afterthought put into action after your guests have already arrived. You need to have an approach to training ready to go ahead of time. This will allow you to take full advantage of teaching your dog how to act around other people. If you can do this early in your pup’s life, you will have an easier time later down the line.
It can be stressful having people over to your house if your dog isn’t totally under control. Consider these four tips when you’re getting ready for guests to meet your new dog. This will reduce incidents like bites and help keep your dog relaxed.