Jul 07

Polite Greetings

How many times has a guest come to your house only to be greeted by a very excited and overly friendly Fido?  If the answer is often, then it’s time to change old habits, and reform this problem behavior. Rest assured; there are ways to help your dog be more polite and calm when greeting guests!

When a guest arrives at your door, one of the first steps you can take is to redirect your pooch. It is always a good practice to teach your dog to sit, as the doorbell rings, and guests arrive.  You should treat your dog, as sitting is a calm behavior, and this reward will help your pup to stop jumping, or running around guests’ ankles.  If your dog won’t sit, you can begin this technique by putting them on a leash near the door, but far enough away where they can’t reach the guests.  When they are calm and all greetings are over, quietly unleash them and, of course, treat!

Set some time aside, and ask a friend or family member to help with some training sessions.  Have your assistant step outside and ring the doorbell.  Put your dog on his leash, take him to his spot and have him sit.  Have your assistant come in, take a few minutes and greet your friend, and then ask them to approach your dog.  If your dog breaks his sit, have the person back away and put your dog back into a sitting position.  The object is to teach your pooch that they will not get to greet the guest unless they are calm and sitting down.

If you are unable to keep your dog in a sitting position while you open your door, you can install a hook or find a piece of furniture near the front door, where your dog’s leash can be tethered.  Work with the dog tethered in the same way you would when holding the leash.  The goal is to prevent him from practicing the undesired behavior, by teaching him to be in a calm zone.

Remember to keep you sessions short; fun for both you and your dog, and to use treats during the training.  We are asking for much patience out of our dogs, and should reward them for their hard work. I would also encourage you to have some treats either just outside your door, or inside within reach, so your guests can treat your dog for being polite.  Don’t forget, practice makes perfect! So begin by practicing your own calm greetings with your pooch!


  1. badmash

    I just signed up to your blogs rss feed. Will you post more on this subject?

    1. rtouhey

      I’m in working on another article this weekend concerning leash training a puppy.

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