Dog Barking? Essential Tips On How To Train Your Dog To Greet People Nicely.
If your dogs anything like mine, then you face the same daily battle I do. That sinking feeling when a car pulls up the driveway or an unexpected visitor knocks on the door.
Chaos begins, a wrestling match with your fur baby starts, or they get put out of the way as quickly as possible.
Well no more I’m here to help share some tips that worked great for my two nutty fluff balls.
Dog Barking – My Vital Tips To Train Dogs To Greet Visitors In Easy Steps.
1. Realization about pack mentality.
First understanding the way your dog sees guests arriving through their eyes. Let me shed some light.
Dogs are pack animals, within their pack they have a hierarchy, depending on their place they have jobs too.
Let’s assume you are ‘Alpha’ you should be as you are in charge of the house.
If you think you have an issue with ‘who is Alpha’ in you’re house, you will need to establish and sort that out first! Sorry.
I will have to write a separate post on this subject otherwise this will be too complicated.
So Alpha (you) is in charge of determining the hierarchy of the pack. Your dog is looking to you to determine who is a friend and who isn’t. This is especially crucial when new members enter the pack eg – Guests arrive at your house.
Your dog looks to you ‘ Who are these people’ ‘ Friend? or Enemy?’. ‘ Where is my place in this pack now?’ ‘ Am I above or below these new members?’
It can be stressful for them and of course they want to keep their ranking in the pack. They don’t want to be below you’re new guests.
However, if it isn’t clear that the guest is indeed above them in the ‘ranking’ that is where issues like jumping, barking and even aggression come into play.
I’m sorry if this is getting long-winded, but understanding how they tick, really helps you approach this differently.
keep in mind, one of your dog’s jobs in the pack, is actually to let alpha know when they think the danger is approaching.
Your dog barking is to warn you as ‘alpha’, they need you to check something out and for the safety of the pack. Its a really big deal to them
By barking, they are letting you know that you need to come and do your job ‘ danger’ or someone has arrived. It is their natural instinct.
Remember they think they are being a helpful pack member, bless their furry little cute butts.
Tips to keep your dog busy.
This is also why while a dog barking at guests is frustrating, it is pointless to yell at them and does the complete opposite to what you want.
Your dogs barking because they want ‘Alpha’ to check out the potential danger. If you start yelling, they see it as confirmation of danger!
Therefore escalating the whole situation. They go into panic mode!! In their eyes, you just confirmed the pack is now under attack!
Human interactions that stress a dog out.
So what now?? How do you stop your dog barking?
Instead ‘praise them’, yes you heard me correct, ‘ Praise your dog for letting you know there is potential danger.
It is your job to determine if it actually is ‘danger’ or not.
However, by praising your dog you’re telling them ‘Your job is done and your Alpha has decided there is no danger’.
Anyway with that explained let us move to some other tips to help you, break this now bad habit.
So the craziness starts with a knock on the door, or a car door slamming. It’s different for every dog, and so keep in mind what’s triggering your dog.
You can either train your dog to stop reacting or train your family to stop coming over haha
Trust me the dog will be easier to train
Steps for desensitizing your dog:
Put your dog on a lead, Ask a friend to come to the door and knock, slam the car door, approach the house. Whatever triggers the behaviour first.
Hold on tightly and once they bark a few times (Whatever you deem acceptable) “Praise” your dog for letting you know. Once your dog calms down, have them sit, and give them a treat and more praise.
Keep Practising until they have mastered not pulling on the leash and barking excessively (don’t expect success in one training session – this will take some time!).
Next, teach the same behaviour with the same process when off the leash.
Tip: Your guest needs to ignore your dog upon arriving. Once the dog is calm, then they can pat/cuddle the dog.
Teach Your Dog To Know Where Their Safe
Now that the dogs barking is under control. Make sure your dog has a safe place to be. Like a comfy bed in the lounge or their crate?
Show them once their job is done this is where they can go and relax. The danger has been dealt with, job done, go and chill my furry friend.
Over-time they will learn to take themselves to this place if they need to.
3. Slowly Increase The Number Of Guests
Arriving And Be Patient.
The heading says it all, Slowly practise with more and more people or triggers, until you get the desired result.
Be patient, if your dog has been barking at guests for a while now this won’t be fixed overnight and it will take consistency from you.
I hope you find this technique helpful.
As always thanks for reading.
‘Do you have any more tips for ‘Unwanted Dog Barking’ to add?’ Leave me a comment below.
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How do you teach a dog to greet?
Once settled take them to their safe place.