Being a friendly and loving creature, dog too can feel overwhelmed when a guest visits your house. Through a dog’s perspective, they are either a friend or a trespasser and in both the conditions, they may get out of control.
In the first scenario, they will feel overly excited and could jump your guest with joy or they see them as a threat and don’t let them stay in your house. However, neither the conditions can be good because it will only make your guest uncomfortable.
Sometimes even a well-trained dog can get out of control in front of the guest and it is a common complaint of most dog owners, but that doesn’t make it any less of an issue. To make your dog behave calmly on the visit of guest, you may teach them a tactic or two.
There are some ways that you can teach them to behave properly when you are having people over, it may take some time, but you can definitely make it happen.
1. Keep Yourself Calm First
In order to make your pet calm, you need to be calm first. It is natural to keep shouting on your dog to top their voice so that he can hear you, but it will just have an opposite effect. If we see it from their psychology, when you are calm they will start to assume that the visitor is no threat, and they will stop barking eventually.
If you are actively vocalizing with your dog, it can make him more active, whether he is barking or feeling excited. So the first thing to do is calm down.
You can also opt for the positive reinforcement technique that is used to train animals in psychology. To apply the method, just wait for the dog to calm down and as soon as he becomes calm, give him a treat. Repeat it over and over, and eventually, he will keep himself calm to get a treat.
You can recruit your friends or family members when you are giving him training so that fewer guests get uncomfortable with his overwhelming response.
2. Teach Them How To Greet
Greetings are the first step of mannerism and that’s exactly what you are going to teach your dog. The way you will use the positive reinforcement technique with your dog, the same way you have to use negative reinforcement.
To apply that, first prepare for some scolding tactic, that you will use as a punishment for him. Like, for example, shouting ‘too bad’ to your dog when he is behaving badly could be one. So now here’s what you are going to do:
- When he gets too excited, just shout ‘too bad’ to him so that he’ll know he is doing something wrong.
- Second, tell the guest to completely ignore him. Dogs long for attention, and that’s why they behave the way they do to draw your attention. So when he will not be getting any, he will eventually stop.
- Now take him to the closest room and close the door for about 30 seconds.
- After 30 seconds open the door for him to meet the guests if he is calm. And if he is not, then repeat the process.
- So when he gets completely calm, only then give him a chance to say hello to the guests, so from the next time, he will know how he will get to meet the guests.
3. Practise Mannerism with Your Dog
Here is another way, how you can teach your dog mannerism. For this step, don’t wait for the arrival of guests to get them startled. First, try these steps by recruiting your family or friends and make them play the guest. Now if everything is set, follow the below-given steps:
- Keep your dog’s favorite treats in your pocket
- If he doesn’t have a collar around his neck, then first give him a collar and add your leash to it.
- Then ask your helper to ring the doorbell, your dog will naturally get up and will move towards the door. Follow him there.
- Now command him to sit and put his leash somewhere close to the door.
- Ask the guest to enter, and if the dog starts barking, try to make him calm.
- Repeat the process until he starts to behave calmly upon the arrival of anyone. And when he behaves calmly, reward the behavior by giving him the treat.
Now, it is natural for the dogs to not get overly excited with the arrival of the same guest over and over because of the development of familiarity in his mind. So when applying this technique, take help from at least three friends or family members and ask them to play the guest.
In this way, you will see if he is actually learning something. Because the arrival of a new guest is what the real test is about.
4. Use Some distractions
You can look for different toys, chewies, or distractions in order to keep your dog occupied whenever your guests arrive. He may get startled upon the sudden arrival of the guests but you can give him these distractions to get his attention elsewhere.
Even if your dog is already calm and the initial thrill of their arrival is over, you can still make use of this technique. Chances are, he gets pretty impressed with your guest and refuses to leave them alone and at that’s where the distractions show their magic.
Give them a comfy spot to sit on, from where he can also see your guest and give them the distractions like treats, toys, chewies, his favorite blanket, etc. Then you and your guest can hang out in peace while your dog is occupied with other things.
5. Give Him A Time Out
It is totally possible for these tactics to fail especially when the number of guests is higher. When your house is filled with people, your dog will lose its calm and will hard to get control on. In that case, it is completely okay to give him a time out and put him in his dog house or crate.
Place the crate somewhere he can be calm and also don’t forget to give him a distraction to keep him occupied. If there is a lot of noise in the house, the dog will get pretty overwhelmed, so that is why it is important to keep him away from all the noise and confusion, where he can be calm.
And he wants to meet the guests desperately, only take him to meet one guest at a time instead of the whole crowd to prevent the barking again. But, remember to only do it if he is calm.
A Quick Solution
If any of the above mentioned strategies don’t seem to work out in your favor, or if you are looking for a quick solution then you can buy some kind of barrier or a gate to keep your dog out of each of your guests and place them far away from the front door.
If it’s not affordable, you can just put them on a leash. Your dog may be pissed at first and is likely to bark, but you can give them a treat, toy, or chewy to keep them distracted. You can buy all this equipment from your nearest pet shop, local market or it can be easily available online.
Note: Don’t keep him isolated or away from everyone for too long, because he can get pretty scared and will be really restless. And it can not be good for his mind.
The Bottom Line
It is pretty hard to get your control over animals, but you are in luck because dogs are the easiest to train. He may take some time, effort, and practice, but trust me, your training will not get wasted, as he will definitely learn a thing or two if you are patient.
Being a dog-parent has its perks but sometimes things can take another turn too. However, nothing can be too bad, because dogs may behave overwhelmed sometimes, but they are one of the most loving beings on the planet.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. You can let us know about any queries, suggestions, or feedback that you have, in the comment section below. We will make sure to get back to you.