How to Train Your Dog to Greet Visitors Calmly

Medium
3-8 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

No one enjoys walking into a house where a dog is going to jump all over them. You want your dog to know when visitors come and go, and you would like him to keep your house protected. But you also want your friends and family to be able to come and see you while wearing nice clothing or carrying gifts without your dog jumping all over them. Teaching your dog to greet guests calmly is not only beneficial within your own home but also beneficial when your dog is out and about such as at your veterinarian's office. An excited dog can cause damage to clothing, other animals, or even your house. We may all know a house that has scratches all over the doors and windows because the dog jumps each time the doorbell rings. You don't want to be the one family member or friend no one wants to visit because your dog will not stop jumping on anyone who enters your home.

Defining Tasks

Teaching your dog to greet guests in a calm manner can be done in a few different ways. You can give your dog a special place to sit or lie calmly while he waits for visitors to come to him. You can teach your dog to shake hands with visitors before they walk in the door. This gives your dog attention and acknowledgment without your dog jumping all over your guests. While teaching your dog to greet your guests calmly demonstrates good behavior, it also builds on your dog's manners. A well-mannered dog will be a dog who gets more attention when you have company. Teaching your dog to greet guests calmly goes both ways as well. If your overall goal is to teach your dog manners, be sure to let anyone who comes into your house know the rules, so they do not encourage your dog to jump or greet them in wild fashion.

Getting Started

To teach your dog to calmly greet guests, you will need lots of delicious treats, a leash for at least one method, and a special place for your dog to be greeted once your guests are ready to say hello. This could be a spot on the floor near the door or a mat or a bed you teach your dog to go to when the doorbell rings. Dogs are excited when the opportunity arises to meet new people. Each time the doorbell rings your dog probably thinks it is a visitor for him. So have time and patience to teach these manners to your dog. You may want to recruit a friend to ring your doorbell now and then and assist with the training process.

The Ignore Your Dog Method

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Step
1
No attention
Do not give your dog any attention from anyone if he is jumping to greet your guests.
Step
2
Communicate
Teach the people who come to your home not to touch, pet, or acknowledge your dog unless he is sitting or lying down and is calm.
Step
3
Praise and pet
Once your dog has calmed, pet him and praise him for being a good dog.
Step
4
Sit command
Ask your dog to sit before he is allowed affection and a greeting. Once he sits, give him the attention he deserves for obeying. Remember your dog just wants to be noticed. Once he is a good listener and obeys, notice him.
Step
5
Practice
Practice this with everyone who comes into your home. Set your expectations with your guests, so your dog begins to understand he will not get affection or attention until he is calm.
Step
6
Reward
Always offer your dog a reward. While training, you can have treats nearby to offer once he is calm or you can give him praise for being a good boy.
Recommend training method?

The Wait on Mat Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Sit
As soon as the doorbell rings or guests arrive, ask your dog to sit on a mat or bed and offer him a treat for obeying.
Step
2
Command
Using a treat for a lure, hold it out near your dog and ask him to wait. Do not give him the treat. You can use a hand signal as well to keep your dog in place. The typical 'stay' hand signal is your hand up palm facing out toward your dog.
Step
3
Treat
Open the door and give your dog the treat on his mat as soon as the door is open.
Step
4
Another treat
Repeat the step above with another treat. Hold the treat so your dog can see it and use the command 'wait.' Do not give your dog the treat unless he stays still and waits.
Step
5
Count
As you are greeting your guest, count to three and then reward your dog with the treat for waiting.
Step
6
Repeat
Continue to use these steps as your guest is coming into your home to entice your dog to stay on the mat away from your guest. Each time, use the command 'wait,' and reward after a few seconds have passed. You can increase the time to make your dog wait.
Step
7
Practice
You can practice these steps without the doorbell or guests in your home. Teaching the command 'Wait' can help your dog stay calm when company visits.
Recommend training method?

The On a Leash Method

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Step
1
Keep leash by door
Keep a leash by your door, so when the bell rings, you can attach the leash to your dog.
Step
2
Tight leash
Answer the door, keeping your dog on a tight leash.
Step
3
Command
With your palm facing out facing, put your up hand in front of your dog’s face and say the command “wait” while holding his leash close to your body
Step
4
Open door
Open the door for your guests and use the command wait.
Step
5
Keep dog away
While holding the leash tight, continue to use the command ‘wait’ and greet your guests.
Step
6
Reward
Reward your dog with affection once he's calm and ready to greet your guests.
Step
7
Practice
Continue to practice asking your dog to wait until he no longer needs the leash.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Tuffy
Japanese Spitz
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tuffy
Japanese Spitz
2 Years

HOW TO STOP DOG JUMPING ON VISITORS? AND HOW TO STOP HIM BEGGING FOR FOOD?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Geeta, To stop Tuffy from jumping on your visitors, try the methods outlined in this Wag article: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-jump-on-strangers To stop Tuffy from begging for food, practice the methods outlined in this Wag article: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-beg-at-the-table Best of luck with training, Caitlin Crittenden

thank you very much, is my golden lacking attention and that is why he demands it from our guests?

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Question
Nala
lab
Four Years
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Question
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Nala
lab
Four Years

Our dog is calm when home with family as soon as guests come over she is out of control jumping and wanting to play. Have tried putting her on a leash, making her sit, nothing seems to work she gets overly excited and happy to see everyone.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, Check out the video linked below. Start with just you and him, and recruit friends or hire trainers who are willing to practice being guests while you work on implementing the same type of training but around other people too - which will probably look like greetings on leash at first with the right attitude, calmness and tools to teach more respect to you and your guests. When he is totally calm, he can calmly greet guests or have guests ignore him for a bit after they get there, and you can reward with a treat for being in a calm state of mind and polite. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
oggy
Golden Retriever
8 Years
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Question
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oggy
Golden Retriever
8 Years

sorry i don't know how to send a photo, but i have a very large loving dog. HE IS 135LBS AND TALL. We were greatly affected by the hurricane this past year and have had to rebuild our house so lots of people in and out. Oggy goes up to everyone and demands to be petted and most are very nice and pet and play with him thinking he is super friendly and cute(which he is) But i am wondering if this behavior means he is not getting enough attention from us. My hubby suffered a stroke last year and is in a wc. I am giving him all the attention i can with walks in the park and he has free roam of a underground fence. ( i am my husbands sole caregiver) i want to start back into running again and would like to take him with me but he is always pulling me down. i thought that would be a good bonding experience with him. His golden 1/2 brother is totally different and quiet natured and just goes up to the door with his tail wagging. Please help me to make my dog happy. thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Perry Ann, Many Golden Retrievers are exceptionally friendly to everyone no matter how much attention you give them, so them being friendly doesn't necessarily mean he is not getting enough attention - he may simply be extroverted. Running, walks and other obedience type exercises that work his brain and body are definitely good though. I suggest using a no pull device while also training him to pay attention to staying next to you. I suggest an easy walk harness, gentle leader, or prong collar (fitted high on the neck and tight enough that it gently touches the skin all the way around so that it will give an even correction and not hang loose - hanging loose can make it bump into the throat which isn't good, it is supposed to give a gentler correction even though it can look harsh). If you have access to a fenced in area, practice the "Turns" method from the article linked below in the fence first to make it easier in case he pulls. Make sure when he starts to move his face past your leg that you turn directly in front of him at a ninety degree angle quicky - if you wait until his entire head is past your leg it's hard to turn in front of him and turning in front of him will help him learn not to move ahead of you. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Hugo
Rottweiler
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Hugo
Rottweiler
2 Years

He occasionally jumps up and puts a persons arm in his mouth and can scratch. This is mainly when he is being looked after. On occasions to my son. I put him for time out, outside and sometimes use a leash to control him from doing this. Any tips would be great fully received.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
422 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hugo, First, you need to determine whether he is doing is as a show of dominance or territorial behavior - like trying to mount a person and keep them from entering, OR if he is doing it playfully because he is excited to see people. The two types of jumping are VERY different and need to be dealt with differently because one is dangerous and the other is just rude. Assuming you are describing the most common type of jumping and biting - playful and overly excited (you need to do something different than what I am about to suggest if the behavior is aggressive instead)...Assuming the behavior is playful and just rude, check out the video linked below and work on some structure and appropriate corrections to teach him that it's unacceptable to jump and mouth. Once he is calmer, then reward him for sitting and greeting nicely instead by dropping a couple treats at his feet or feeding them below his chin - not holding them above his head which encourages more jumping. Rude dog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwvUOf5oOg Finally, working the Step Toward method for the jumping from the article linked below, and the Leave It command for the biting from the second article linked below. Step Toward method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite When he gets really riled up, use the Out command to make him leave the room completely. Follow the section in the article on teaching the Out command, and the section on using Out to deal with pushy behavior. If his behavior is aggression you need to take a different approach though - feel free to ask another questions with more details about the behavior if the jumping and mouthing seems aggression and not just rude and excited. Out command: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ When you practice all of this, when he can stay calm when you get home normally, then practice acting silly and super excited (think jumping jacks) and use the methods to correct any jumping that happens then, and reward him for staying calm then...then when he can handle your silliness, recruit friends to come over and practice the training with him until he does well with volunteers too, and is ready for real-life visitors. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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