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How to Make Your Dog
Comfortable With Visitors

How to Make Your Dog Comfortable With Visitors

It is difficult to watch your normally happy and peaceful dog turn into an unhappy or nervous pet when visitors come to your home.



Whether your dog begins barking incessantly or becomes aggressive, the behavior can be embarrassing for you and uncomfortable for your visitors.

So, it is important that you stop the behavior and acclimate your dog to visitors.

Malamute

Make Your Dog Comfortable With Visitors - Possible Reasons for Visitor Anxiety

If you can identify the reasons for your dogs anxiety with visitors then you may be able to stop the unwanted behaviors. So, it is important to identify possible causes. Do you notice a pattern with your dog? Is his behavior worse with male visitors than female visitors? Does he seem to bark louder, withdraw faster or destroy something quicker if there are children visiting?

By paying attention to his patterns, you may find that he needs further socialization with a particular group of people. For some dogs the anxiety is caused not by inadequate socialization but by prior abuse. This is particularly true if you adopted your dog as a rescue and do not have complete knowledge of his history before he joined your home.

Other dogs are acting out because they think they are protecting their families and their homes. Observe your dog’s behavior. Is he particularly anxious when a visitor gets near one of the children? Is he more nervous at night? Does he greet visitors differently outside or away from the house then he does inside his own home?

Also, keep in mind that your dog just may be excited to see a visitor and not anxious at all. Either way, however, the bad behavior needs to be stopped.

Make Your Dog Comfortable With Visitors - Possible Solutions to Visitor Anxiety

Once you have identified a likely cause (or causes) it is time to try and train your dog to not only stop the bad behavior but more importantly to ease his anxiety.

Like everything else you have taught your dog, this will involve some training.

One way to train your dog to behave appropriately, particularly if he is just simply overexcited, is to refuse to greet him until he is sitting down quietly. This approach starts with you.

Every time you, a relative or a friend comes into your house ignore the dog until the dog is sitting appropriately. Then pet him, play with him, give him treats and lots of attention for a job well done. If this is repeated often enough it will work, especially with younger dogs.

If your dog is simply too anxious for that approach or if it doesn't seem to be working then consider measures that you can take to make him more comfortable. For example, some dogs like to be put on leash to great visitors. It helps them feel secure and safe. After they remain calm on leash for a few minutes, you can then let them off leash as you normally would. Other dogs may simply prefer to be kept in a safe comfortable place with toys and water until the visitors leave.

So, it is not necessary that receiving visitors at your home be a stressful event for you or your dog. With some understanding and training, you will be able to open your home to your friends and family with no problems.

Article by Jason Brooks of OhMyDogSupplies.com, leading provider of dog carriers .

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"When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911." -- Erma Bombeck