Jumping on people…

Barking hysterically…

Couch surfing…

Chewing shoes and other household items…

We love our dogs, but not so much when they’re exhibiting these and other unacceptable behaviours – especially if we have visitors!

We all enjoy having visitors, but if  – at the sound of the doorbell – your dog goes completely overboard by barking hysterically and running around in circles, or jumping up against your visitors, your visitors might not be so pleased to see him! With not having had many visitors in your home recently, your dog may be even more overwhelmed now that we are able to socialise more.

As with any dog training – reward positive behaviour, and if there is no improvement, signs of aggression or you are concerned, rather call in a specialist to assist.

To start teaching your dog to be calm when the doorbell rings, try calling him into another room or placing him behind a dog gate when visitors first arrive at the door. Reward him if he obeys the command to follow you, and only let him out once everything has settled down and he’s calm. If he jumps up at you or your visitors, don’t shout, rather ignore him until all four feet are on the ground and he is calm again, then praise him and ask your guests to acknowledge him and give him a pat if they are comfortable doing so.

A good point to note – greeting your dog when he is over-excited could reinforce the undesirable behaviour and make the problem worse.

Top tips:

  • If you’re at all concerned that he may be stressed or snap, or if there are children visiting that he isn’t used to, rather bring him into the room on a lead and let him sit close to you. Ask your visitors to keep their distance, and to ignore him.
  • When he is completely calm, and has remained so for a while, praise and reward him for doing do.

Keep a progress report

Keeping a progress report or diary can be really useful. By keeping a record of when the problems occur will help to identify the triggers and any patterns to his behaviour, and from this you should be able to work out why your dog may be acting up in such an unsociable manner. From that, you are able to then take swift action to bring his social confidence up to scratch, and to start dealing with the undesirable behaviours. Having notes written down will help when you’re trying to recall previous behaviour or potential triggers from a few weeks earlier, and if at any point, professional assistance is required, a progress diary is a great resource to have.

The most important thing to remember is that, when dealing with these problems – as with any problems your canine friend may have – you need to have patience and understand that your dog is not intentionally being naughty. He isn’t able to tell you what’s wrong, and what is making him feel the way he does.

If you are uncertain of what to do or feel overwhelmed because nothing seems to be working – always seek professional advice and don’t get angry with your dog. There is help available