How to Train Your Dog to Greet Visitors!

However sweet and loving your dog is, no one likes having a dog acting rambunctiously around them when saying hello. Perhaps as a young puppy, it’s easier to brush their boisterous behavior aside given their smaller size as you can just pick them up to control them that way. But, when your puppy is a fully grown adult, you may want to think again!

If your dog has been allowed to greet a human by jumping on them as a puppy, they will assume this is allowed as an adult.

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Inappropriate greeting behaviors are a common problem among dog owners and apologizing to the other person for your dog behaving incorrectly is simply not enough, especially if it was towards a child.

Here we will explore some training options and methods to help combat the issue!

Common Incorrect Greeting Behaviors

  • Jumping on your guests
  • Barking at your guests
  • Running around the room in hysteria and jumping on and off furniture
  • Running around your guest, and brushing up against them uncontrollably
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How Does Your Dog Greet You?

Having a well mannered pup who greets visitors nicely really begins with how your dog is allowed to greet you – their human! After all, if your dog is rewarded for greeting you with any incorrect behavior, they will continue to greet another human in a similar way.

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  • Ask your dog to ‘sit’ in front of you when you enter the room.
  • Ignore any inappropriate and rambunctious behavior.
    • All four paws must stay on the ground.
    • Continue to ignore them if they continue to pace around you excitedly and/or brush up against your legs sideways (even though they may not be jumping) – this is still not calm behavior.
  • Note – do not repeat your command multiple times if they do not obey instantly. Instead, pause and ignore for a few seconds and then repeat the command.
  • Once they sit, ask for them to ‘stay’ in that position for a few seconds while you settle indoors.
  • Only ask them to ‘come’ to you once they are in a calm state of mind (look out for their excessive tail wagging to calm down as well)
  • Be sure to reward them with a treat, lots of praise and pats.

Calmness Is Key!

  • Achieving a calm state of mind for your dog is vital to a well balanced dog
  • When your dog is calm, this means they are surrendering to you with trust and are happy and contented.
  • Teaching your dog to be calm helps them to control their emotions and giving them the ability to be contain themselves in any environment or situation.
  • Being constantly overly stimulated and excited can lead to additional behavioral issues such as anxiety
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Your Dog Should Enter Any Home Politely

This applies to all homes – either your own or your guests’ home. After entering the home from outside, make your pup sit at the door (inside or outside) and wait for your signal to allow them to enter the rest of the home. This will reinforce the correct calm behavior required while at the front door.

Identify The Trigger That Excites Your Dog

These common triggers can often cause a variety of responses from your dog:

  • Ringing of the doorbell
  • Knocking on the door
  • A car parking outside
  • A car door closing
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How To Contain Their Excitement

Creating a place of calm and peacefulness – where your dog is sitting or lying down – is essential to a well-mannered and polite dog. Here are some helpful ideas to achieving this state.

Establish a Place Which Is ‘Theirs’

It may be a good idea to keep a greeting mat by the door so your dog understands that this is their place to sit and lie down when they enter their home. Just be sure to be consistent in using it each time you enter your home – practice makes perfect!

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High Energy Dogs Take Time & Patience

Getting your high energy dog used to this routine may be difficult to begin with, and it will take time and a lot of patience to establish this habit!

You may want to also use your dog’s greeting mat as their spot to sit and lie down when your guests enter your home. Be sure to command your pup to ‘stay’ on their mat for as long as your guest/s need in order to settle in your home. Don’t forget – even after your dog is allowed off their mat to say hello to your guests, they must keep all four paws on the ground!

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Ask Your Guests to Ignore Your Dog

Asking your guests to ignore your dog is a simple and effective trick you can do! Every dog who is persistent at jumping and greeting a human ultimately just wants some love and attention in return. So, when they do not receive any attention from that person, they will get the idea and surrender, much to their dismay!

Of course, some dogs may take more time in getting the idea and will need to be ignored for a little longer than usual! Don’t worry though – eventually they will understand that their unacceptable behavior ultimately means no attention.

Keep Your Dog On a Leash

Sometimes a pup just needs to be kept on leash whilst in the company of others! Be sure to have your leash at the ready and when the doorbell rings and your friend has arrived, leash your pup and command them to ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ right next to you. Always hold the leash close to your body while doing this and reward them with a quick treat and pat when they have been in their sit position for the duration of the time it takes for your guests to settle in!

Use Your Dog’s Crate

If your dog cannot help themselves even while on a leash, it may be safer to place them in their crate before your guests arrive. They should only be allowed out to socialize with your guests when they are in a calm state. When you allow him out of the crate, be sure to keep him on a leash and greet your guests with a ‘sit’.

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