Is Your Dog “Overly” Friendly with Guests?

Training Tips for a Calm, Cool and Collected Greeting

Does your dog go crazy when people come to the door? The commotion can be unbearable. He’s barking and jumping all over your guests. You’re yelling and tugging him back. With the holiday season upon us, an over-excitable welcome can add unnecessary stress to your household. Thankfully, this impulsive, inappropriate and often embarrassing behavior can be curbed with a little practice, training and patience.

  1. Analyze your own behavior.
    How do you react to your dog when you walk in the door? What’s the tone of your voice? Perhaps high pitched and animated? If so, your overexcitement is likely encouraging his. Try greeting your dog in a more relaxed manner; speaking in a calm, even tone. With consistency, your pooch is likely to respond in the same manner.
  2. Practice “sit” and “wait” commands.
    Training can improve attention and impulse control skills. Teach your dog to sit and wait in a calm position near the door. Start practicing inside a quiet house without distraction. As your dog builds skill, slowly add in more distractions. Most importantly, be sure to reward your dog as skills are achieved.
  3. Give your pup plenty of exercise.
    Part of your dog’s over excitement comes from having energy to burn. Daily exercise goes a long way! Take a hike, a walk or, in warmer months, go for a swim. Engage in dog sports like agility or nosework  that work both mind and body. If you’re busy or low on energy, try social daycare where he can play with others. Basically, give your dog opportunities to channel his energy into a more appropriate behavior.
  4. Ask guests for help.
    The doorway is an emotionally charged place where we’re usually so focused on acknowledging visitors that our dog has carte blanche to misbehave. Some well-meaning friends even make it worse by saying, “Oh, it’s okay. I love dogs!” As you welcome company, instruct your dog to remain sitting. Then ask guests to greet him in a calm, soothing voice. This will help reinforce the positive behavior you’ve been practicing.

Ultimately, you’ll need to practice all four of these tips daily to curb your dog’s frenzy. If you still don’t get the results you want, consult a dog trainer. Our experts can assist in shaping a more positive behavior – without dampening your pet’s happiness or desire to socialize.