We love coming home to our dogs. No one is more excited to see us and shower us with love as soon as we walk in the door. Our pups can sometimes barely contain their excitement! Unfortunately, that can become a problem.
Many of our dogs show that high energy and affection when other people come to our doors, too. And that enthusiasm can get a little overwhelming, especially when dogs jump up, scratch, or bark at visitors.
Getting your dog to greet people politely isn’t always easy. It can take lots of training and almost certainly won’t happen overnight. But by following the steps below, you may be able to teach your dog to have good manners when visitors come to your home.
Get Started By Teaching Your Dog To Greet You
Start by teaching your dog how to greet you politely when you come home, yourself. Teaching your dog how to greet you is going to teach them how you want them to behave in general when anyone comes in the front door.
First, give your pup the command to sit and stay when you walk through the door. Do not repeat commands, and ignore any rambunctious behavior until they do as you’ve told. If you must push your dog off of you, do so quickly and continue to ignore the behavior as much as possible.
This may take quite a bit of time, especially if this is the first time you’ve commanded your dog to do this. Stay patient. Wait for your dog to sit.
Once your dog is sitting politely, then you can greet your dog with lots of pets and speak to them in a calming voice.
You may even wish to reinforce the behavior by rewarding them with whatever motivates them most, whether it’s a toy, a treat, praise, or even a short walk outside. This needs to become a daily practice for your pup to really learn it. It will become easier and easier the longer you do it.
It might be a good idea to place a small mat near the front door so your dog learns that this is the mat where they must sit to greet visitors.
You can practice by going out and coming back in over and over again to help your dog understand and get the point of what you are are asking them to do.
Teach Your Dog To Come In Politely
If you have a dog who likes to spend time out in the yard, it’s a good idea to teach them to sit politely when they enter the house, too. You might want to place a “greeting mat” near the back door as well.
Teach them that, when they come in, they must sit on the mat and wait to be greeted or given the command to come in and make themselves at home.
This is going to be harder with a dog who has lots of energy. They’re going to want to come inside and run all over the house because they’re excited, and that’s probably what they usually do.
You’ll need to be very patient and stick with the training every time your dog comes in to get this to work, but it will work.
Soon enough, your dog will learn to enter the house in a calm and polite manner. This will help your dog learn that when you come home, they must greet you by sitting at the door patiently and not jumping all over the place.
All of these techniques will help your dog understand that they should remain calm when the door opens or when someone — human or dog — enters your home.
Teach Your Dog To Greet Visitors
Now it’s time to invite other people over. Start small with one or two people, and you can go up from there.
Have your friend knock on the door or ring the bell, then get your dog to sit in the greeting position near the door. Do not open the front door until your dog is calmly in position.
It doesn’t matter how long this takes; it’s more important that your dog does it right. The first time is always going to be the hardest. Be sure to praise your dog when they get it right.
Now, let your friend into the house and make sure your pup remains sitting in the greeting position. Have your friend greet your dog by petting and talking in a calm, soothing voice, give your dog time to sniff your guest, and then have your human friend go and sit on the sofa.
Then let your dog know they can come and join you in the living room with your guest. You may need to do this over and over and over again. Hopefully, you have some patient, dog-loving friends!
You’ll want to keep inviting more and more people over to make sure your dog really understands what’s expected of them. Continue being consistent and patient. Don’t give in, or you’ll lose the battle.
When you’re out on walks and you stop to talk to someone, teach your dog to sit at your side. Let the person greet your pup, and allow your dog to sniff them. You should apply this “sit greeting” technique every time your dog meets a new person, no matter where you are.
With continued, loving guidance, your pup will be greeting all visitors in a calm manner, even the mailperson!
Have you had trouble keeping your dog calm when visitors come over? How do you get your dog to relax? Let us know in the comments below!
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