Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Keeping Your Dog Under Control Around Guests - A Balanced Environment

When you have visitors or guests to your home, it is important for you to maintain a balanced environment - not only for your guest, but for your dog as well. Not only will your dog feel more comfortable, but your guest will appreciate that you are in control of the situation.

Typically, if a dog is aware that his or her owner does not have a situation under control, he or she will most likely try to take control. However, if the owner is respected as the "leader of the pack", then the dog will most likely trust that the situation is under control.

When a visitor arrives, there may seem to be a brief moment of chaos, and it's up to you (the leader of the pack) to restore balance in the environment before allowing the guest to enter your yard or home. You can practice "guest etiquette" with your dog by inviting a few neighbors, friends, relatives, or even some neighborhood kids to randomly knock on your door over a period of an hour or so, and going through the motions with your dog. That way when you do have actual guests, you will know exactly how to respond to your dog's instinctual behavior.


  • Try having your dog back away from the door when you let him or her out for potty or play, allowing you full control of the door. This is a key dominance area of the home, as it would seem logical in the dog world that "He who enters and exits the door first is the leader." Therefore, you should always by mindful to exit first when walking your dog as well.
  • You could say "One Moment" through the door to your arriving guest, and then tell your dog to sit, lay down, and stay (if your dog is trained in these commands.) Once seated or lying down, proceed to answer the door - being mindful of your dog's willingness to remain seated.
  • Do not allow your dog to jump on or bombard your guests. Not only will your guests notice and appreciate the respectful behavior of a well led dog, but they will feel at ease in your home knowing that you have your animals under control.
  • If your guests feel comfortable, and your dog feels comfortable - you have succeeded in creating a balanced environment in your home, and with your pack!