Train Your Dog to Greet Strangers Calmly

Train Your Dog for Guests in Your Home

If you have an inside dog, it can be challenging to have people over without tons of barking and guarded, territorial behavior from your dog. While it’s good that your dog wants to protect you, you need a way to communicate with Fido when someone is a friend and not a threat, so he can know to relax and welcome the new person into your home. Check out these insightful ways to train your dog to follow your cues about who’s welcome in your home.

Your Dog & Guests At The Door

You’re at home and someone comes to the door. Again, your leash and treats are your best friend in this situation. Put the leash on your dog, ask your dog to sit and step on the leash. Say “Off” and when your dog is calm say “Yes” and give your dog a treat. Only then should you open the door and interact with the visitor. It’s a good idea to enlist the help of a friend to practice this scenario several times. That way, whenever anyone approaches the door your dog will have over time built up a memory bank of correct behavior. The more times you can enable your dog to perform a behavior successfully the more consistent your dog’s responses will be in the future.

Please remember good manners are skills that need to be practiced time and time again in order to be effective. This is as true for humans as it is for dogs. If you take ten minutes a day to train your dog on a particular skill, you and your dog will be rewarded many times over.

Teaching your Fido to go to his “Place” is a great way to encourage appropriate greeting behavior in your dog. “Place” is a wonderful cue that can be used when the doorbell rings and company comes over or if you have a dog that begs at the dinner table. You can even take your dog’s “Place” with him when your on the road. All you need is a Dog Mat, Dog Bed or Dog Crate and you can begin teaching “Place”.
– via

Train Your Dog to Fix Problem Behaviors?

When you’ve got an over-exuberant dog, it can be hard to figure out how to train for better behavior without putting a damper on his natural joy. But it IS possible! Let’s take a look at appropriate training that will help train your dog to socialize calmly without limiting his joie-de-vivre.

A joyful dog is a wonderful thing to behold, but extreme excitement can be a nuisance for anyone at the receiving end. While training should be geared toward improving your dog’s greeting behavior — by teaching attention and impulse control skills — it should not dampen his joy and desire to socialize.

Before you begin training, evaluate whether your past behavior has contributed to the problem; so much of a dog’s negative behavior is inadvertently reinforced by human attention. For example, if you allow your dog to jump and mouth while greeting you, it is an open invitation to jump and mouth on everyone else, so employ a “no jumping” rule at all times.

Ignoring your dog’s leaps and only giving attention when he has four paws on the ground is a great way to extinguish jumping behavior, but some dogs need extra help. You can deter him by bodyblocking him: Step toward him or to the side just before he jumps.

Training an alternative greeting behavior that is incompatible with jumping and mouthing (such as teaching him first to approach and sit in front of you and then repeating the behavior with friends or strangers) will show him that greeting in a calmer manner is intrinsically more rewarding than jumping up.

This skill also allows him to channel all his energy into an appropriate behavior. Start all training in your home where there are fewer distractions and gradually build up to more stimulating environments where it will be harder for him to succeed.
– via The Bark

How does your dog behave when greeting friends or strangers? Is he social, shy, or somewhere in between?

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