Dogs are easily excited and show their love and joy by jumping on you and being extra playful. Their excitement is a breath of fresh air and a cue for you to play with your puppy.
However, dogs don’t know when to avoid doing this, which means when you have guests, you’ll most likely be dealing with the same. So providing an environment where your guests ease into playing with your dog is essential.
Having a dog that immediately pounces on guests can be pretty uncomfortable. But, of course, the discomfort affects both you and the guests. So you’ll most likely have to keep apologizing and trying to find ways to keep your dog calm.
Fortunately, you can help your dog stay calm when you have visitors. Here are the key steps to ensure your dog is guest-ready.
Start by command training your dog
Dogs are always eager to learn and pick up on what you do. So you are constantly training your dog, intentionally or not. Taking an intentional approach to training your dog will help you establish commands for it to follow.
Training your dog to follow your commands will help you nurture their obedience to ensure they do what you say. Over time, your dog will comfortably follow what you say.
However, this will not happen overnight. So, you’ll need to be patient and stay intentional with your training. Take different opportunities to command your dog to ensure that your training sticks over time.
Train your dog to stay calm
A great way to train your dog to stay calm in the presence of visitors is by doing it practically. For this, you can enroll the help of different people over time to help solidify the response in your dog.
Start by asking your helper to ring the doorbell, then go to the door with your dog. Place the leash on your dog and command your dog to sit. If it gets up due to excitement when you are just about to open the door, stop and return to the other room.
Repeat this cycle until your dog sits when you open the door. Once that happens, remember to give your dog a training treat. Welcome your helper into the house and ask them not to greet your dog.
If your dog is still hyperactive when your helper enters the house, gently tell it that it doesn’t get a greeting. You could use a phrase like “too bad” or “not this time” to help show your dog that there’s no greeting for it until it stays calm.
Let your helper sit in one room, take your dog into another room, and gently lock the door. Wait for 30 seconds before opening the door for your dog to get out.
If it comes out with the same excited energy charging forwards to the guest, repeat the phrase and lead it back to the room and lock it. Repeat this process until it gets out of the room calmly and let your helper greet it; then, you can give it a treat.
Relying on this training process will help your dog establish the correct manners and behave better each time you have guests.
Doing this will make your dog feel comfortable and emphasize the need for it to stay calm when you have visitors. You’ll not have to worry about your dog’s behavior around visitors anymore.
You can help your dog stay calm by ensuring that you keep calm even when it doesn’t do what you wish. Avoid scolding your dog because it will not understand what you mean at that time.
Your dog will be excited energy, and you shouting at it will lead it to believe that it’s you encouraging the behavior. This will lead to more hyperactive play for your dog and leave you frustrated.
Instead, when your dog doesn’t do what you expect, stay calm and follow the steps above to solidify the training. Doing this will help you avoid contributing to your dog’s excited energy and demonstrate calmness.
Keeping your dog distracted is a great way to redirect its excitement by letting it focus on something different. Doing this will help your dog stay calm as you have a good time with your visitor uninterrupted.
You could invest in chew toys, quality chew bones, or a treat and train remote feeder to reward your dog each time it behaves. This is a great way to encourage your dog to stay calm.
Invest in a barrier or gate
As you work to train your dog to obey your commands and stay calm, invest in a barrier or a gate. The barrier will help keep your dog away from the front door as you welcome your visitors.
Using a gate is a great short-term solution to help prevent your dog from pouncing on your guests. However, the barrier will not address your dog’s barking and exciting jumps. So, you’ll need to compromise on that as you work on training it to stay calm and obey commands.
Your dog’s excitement may knock over your barrier if you invest in the wrong option for your dog. First, consider whether your dog is strong enough to knock over or jump over the gate. Then, invest in a quality option to keep your dog locked away until you let it out.
Alternatively, you could use a dog leash to keep your dog securely restrained. Ensure that you invest in harnesses that are chew-proof to keep it in place.
Nicole McCray is a die-hard animal lover who worked in pet care for years. She is a former vet technician, a dog mom to her two rescue pups, and she grew up living and working at her family’s pet boarding facility. She loves using her writing talents to share the insight she’s learned throughout her career in the hopes that her knowledge can help other pet parents.