A well-behaved dog is a joy to be around, especially when entertaining guests at home. However, not all doggos instinctively know how to behave politely in social situations. It's up to owners to teach their doggos the appropriate manners and etiquette when visitors come to call. In this blog post, we'll discuss strategies for managing common issues such as jumping, barking, and begging, and share tips for setting boundaries, reinforcing positive behaviours, and using redirection to create a pleasant environment for both guests and pets.1. Establish boundaries and rules
Before guests arrive, decide on the boundaries and rules you want your doggo to follow. These may include not jumping on guests, staying off furniture, or not begging for food. Be consistent with enforcing these rules, and make sure all family members are on the same page.
2. Use positive reinforcement
Reward your doggo for displaying good manners and obeying the rules. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise, and playtime to encourage desired behaviours. Remember to reward your doggo immediately after they demonstrate appropriate behaviour to reinforce the connection between the action and the reward.
3. Practice the 'sit' and 'stay' commands
Mastering the 'sit' and 'stay' commands can help your doggo remain calm and well-behaved around guests. Practice these commands regularly, gradually increasing the level of distraction and duration of the 'stay' command. Be sure to reward your doggo for successfully completing the command.
4. Manage jumping behaviour
Dogs often jump on guests to greet them or seek attention. To discourage this behaviour, teach your dog an alternative way to greet people, such as sitting politely or offering a paw. Ignore any jumping attempts by turning your back and withholding attention until your dog displays the desired behaviour.5. Address barking and excitement
If your dog tends to bark or become overly excited when guests arrive, work on desensitizing them to the sounds and actions associated with visitors. Practice having someone knock on the door or ring the bell while rewarding your dog for remaining calm. Over time, your dog will learn to associate these sounds with positive experiences.6. Use redirection techniques
Redirection can be an effective tool for managing undesirable behaviours. If your doggo begins to exhibit unwanted behaviours, such as begging or jumping, redirect their attention to a more appropriate activity, like playing with a toy or chewing on a treat-filled puzzle.
7. Create a designated 'safe space' for your dog
Provide your doggo with a designated 'safe space' where they can retreat if they become overwhelmed or need a break from the social activity. This could be a separate room, a crate, or a designated area with a comfortable bed and favourite toys. Make sure your guests understand that this space is off-limits and reserved for your dog's comfort.
8. Introduce guests gradually
If your doggo is nervous around new people, introduce guests one at a time and in a controlled environment. Allow your doggo to approach the guest at their own pace, and reward them for displaying calm and friendly behaviour.
Teaching your doggo good manners around guests is an essential part of raising a well-behaved, sociable dog. With consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement, you can help your doggo understand the appropriate way to interact with visitors and create a pleasant environment for everyone involved. Remember that each dog is unique, and training progress may vary.