As you probably know, dogs are extremely smart creatures. On average, dogs have the same level of intelligence as a 2-year old child. So, it’s no wonder why you would want to learn how to train your dog to greet visitors.
When you want your dog to learn how to greet visitors, there are several factors to consider. From obedience training your pup to disciplining it – you will need to teach your dog various lessons. Only then will your dog keep calm and greet the visitors the way you want.
Why Do People Love Dogs So Much?
Dogs’ sense of smell is so sharp that they can detect minute changes in blood flow through your palms just by smelling them -they can tell if you’re nervous or anxious from your scent alone.
In addition to being intelligent creatures, dogs have been proven repeatedly to provide humans with various physical and mental benefits. In fact, it has been scientifically documented that owning a dog provides significant health benefits for people who suffer from chronic pain and depression.
So, with that being said, it’s not surprising that we’ve become so attached to the dogs and vice versa.
Dogs Are More Than Our Friends
Trainer and behavior specialist Laura Waudby has stated that dogs are more than just our friends – they’re family members. She says that if your children don’t talk to you or respect you, your dog will because he wants someone to love him.
But let’s face it – there are some days where you feel like you cannot be good enough for your dog no matter how hard you try. For example, you may find yourself constantly yelling at your dog throughout the day. Or perhaps having had enough of your dog’s barking.
Whatever your excuse may be, there is always a way to train your dog better. And that’s what this is all about – how you can train your dog to greet visitors.
But before beginning the training, I need to tell you about the specifics of why your dog gets too excited or nervous or overwhelmed when it sees a stranger.
Understanding Your Dog’s Different Reactions While Interacting with Strangers
So, why does your dog do it? We all know that dogs are smart animals, but we don’t realize that they have many built-in safety mechanisms. One of those mechanisms is the fight or flight response. When your dog sees someone it doesn’t recognize, and if it feels threatened by this stranger, it may choose to run away from them instead of fighting them.
Or if your dog isn’t afraid but still overwhelmed by seeing a stranger – it will show clear signs of excitement such as barking, jumping up at strangers and being overly energetic around them.
In addition to over-excitement, your dog might freeze in front of a stranger for various reasons as well. For example, if you’ve been taking good care of your dog and training your dog well, it may feel guilty for not showing good behavior when someone comes over.
And finally, your dog might be afraid of or intimidated by strangers, which is a much more serious matter than being overwhelmed. This type of response usually occurs when strangers are loud and demanding. Again, this behavior can suggest to your dog that this person is a danger.
Depending on the root cause of your dog’s excitement or nervousness concerning strangers, you need to provide it with tools that will help move past its feelings without getting too stressed out.
Now that you understand why your dog acts the way it does when there’s a stranger at the door, it’s time to train your dog how to greet guests properly by using positive reinforcement rather than harsh discipline techniques.
Different Breeds of Dogs Have Different Reactions towards Strangers
Before I dive into the training, it is important to mention that different breeds of dogs have different reactions towards strangers. For example, my family has two pugs. And both are completely different in how they behave when there’s someone at the door.
One pug would get extremely nervous and bark incessantly while the other just ignored everyone coming in or out of the house. If none of them takes action or speaks with your dog in a friendly way – nothing will change because it doesn’t feel threatened by people it doesn’t know yet.
If you’re looking for ways to train your Shiba Inu, chances are you already know that this breed tends to be suspicious of strangers and may even be downright aggressive if not socialized early. Also, Shiba Inus prefers their own company, so being left alone, even from a young age, won’t upset them as much as other breeds.
To teach your dog to greet visitors properly, you need to provide it with ample positive reinforcement and attention when it’s behaving well around guests. I know you love your dog, which is why you’ll follow the steps listed below.
Prepare for Training Your Dog
Before starting training sessions, make sure to have all the necessary equipment ready:
- Leash – if your dog doesn’t come to your call, a leash will come in handy.
- Clicker – if your dog doesn’t respond to the sound of a clicker, you can always use the word “yes.”
- Treat bag or pocket with plenty of treats or favorite toys.
You can get all sorts of interactive toys for your dog right here.
The Training Begins
First things first – it’s important that your guests are actually friends first before they come over for a visit. And by friends, I mean people who truly care about your dog and will treat him nicely when he sees them at the door or somewhere else in the house. You can also try giving them a specific command related to your dog’s behavior. For example, tell them they can greet him once he sits down.
Before the Guests Arrive. . .
Before visitors arrive, make sure that your dog is not in a sit or down position next to you because it will be tough for him to move away from this spot when he sees another person. Instead, teach your dog to follow an already known command such as “come” or “go see.” Once he hears the word and gets up on his feet – let him know right away by saying “yes!”.
Once The Guests Arrive. . .
The moment your guests come into sight – ignore your dog for a few seconds, and then ask him to sit. The moment he sits down – say “yes!” and give him a treat or toy. After just a couple of minutes, you need to practice this routine over and over again without being too demanding on your pup’s part.
The interval between treats or toys should gradually become bigger because the longer your dog stays quiet near guests – the higher his chance of success will be when people actually come through your door. So next time they come in, make sure to repeat these steps as many times as possible until you notice positive changes in the dog’s behavior towards them.
Teach Your Dog that Not All Strangers Are Unsafe
The first method I’ll share works best when your dog gets nervous because he doesn’t like people in general. It’s essentially a technique where you bribe your dog with treats and praise every time he behaves well around humans. The more positive associations your dog has with strangers, the easier it will get for him to act normally when they come over. At the same time, you also have to consider that your dog isn’t normalizing to behave well with any random stranger. Your dog should, however, show a little bit of resistance towards strangers, especially when you are away. This is to ensure that your dog can act appropriately in the case when someone tries to steal your dog from you.
Training Your Dog to Tell Good Strangers from Bad Ones
First, you must create a sense of trust between strangers and your dog using treats and toys. To do this, ask somebody to sit next to your dog while he is in a down position on the floor. Once they’re seated – give them some food or play with him if he shows any interest in them after several minutes. If he continues showing fear-based behavior towards unfamiliar people – make sure to reward him for his good choices, even if it doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down beside them calmly yet.
After that’s done – you can start associating strangers with negative outcomes such as crying or barking when people come over unannounced. When this happens, ignore your dog for a couple of minutes and make sure to bring his attention back to you by asking him to sit and remain in it even after there’s no food or toys involved. This way, we ensure the safety of both your belongings and your furniture before anyone comes in through the door.
Training Your Dog Not to Run Away from Strangers
This method isn’t suitable for all dogs because it really depends on their natural temperament and behavioral traits. For instance, shy dogs won’t be able to do this because they’re too afraid of new people and situations.
If your dog is the kind that runs around like a lunatic when he sees new people or pets – then you can try this technique. It’s best if your pup is on a leash so you can easily control his movements while walking. But it’s also possible without one by holding him close to you with a head collar or harness instead.
When the dog sees someone it doesn’t know – ask it to sit or down depending on what’s most comfortable for you and your dog. Then give your dog treats every time it does as asked after looking away from strangers. This will train your dog to follow your commands instead of ignoring them because there’s food involved in the equation. Repeat this method as many times as possible without demanding too much from your pup at once because we want it to be fun and not stressful for both of you.
If You’re Not Sure How Your Dog Will React Around Strangers
It can be quite nerve-wracking if your dog is around small children all the time and sometimes acts aggressively towards them without any obvious reasons.
In this case, it’s best to get your dog used to being around kids slowly by just having them sit next to him while he’s in a down position. Always give treats when your dog shows good behavior and ignore bad ones because there isn’t a point in encouraging a negative reaction towards strangers if they’re around small children or people of old age. If your dog starts growling or barking at all – simply remove him from the situation and remain outside for some time until it has calmed down.
If you suspect that your dog will behave inappropriately towards an elderly person or child, then keep them away from your dog until you can train him how to interact with them properly. This technique will only work if the reason why your dog behaves badly is that he’s not used to being around people of different ages, so it’s best to keep him socialized early on.
Obedience Training Your Dog Also Helps Significantly
Set a schedule for your dog and train it to follow the same rules every day. Make sure he stays calm around people by teaching your dog commands like “behave yourself”, “lie down”, or “sit”. If possible, teach your dog tricks that involve staying in position until you release it from that state. This way, you’ll be able to keep your dog away from strangers on demand without needing your presence behind it.
You can also try rewarding your pup with treats whenever it’s next to someone new instead of waiting for something bad to happen – but make sure your dog understands what this means exactly before trying this method out.
If you follow these procedures regularly, then there will come a time when your dog won’t feel anxious around strangers anymore. Instead, your dog will stay by your side even when there’s someone new around. While this isn’t a foolproof method, it definitely helps to avoid any unnecessary situations that may lead to injuries for people or pets involved.
Now you know what you need to do to train your pup not to run away from people he doesn’t know during a stroll or after a quick greeting at the door. You can either try out one of these methods right now or save them for later on, depending on whether your dog needs immediate help or is alright with his current behavior as long as no strangers are around him.
With these tips, we hope that you’ll be able to teach your dog how to behave properly without having to worry about anything bad happening.