You and your dog are the classic odd couple. You are a vibrant socialite who loves nothing more than to invite friends and family to your house for potlucks and sporting events. But your doggy – well, she is shy around new people. She might even spend the evening hiding under coffee tables, whimpering and counting the seconds until your guests leave.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. By correcting a few behaviors and providing structure, you can put your pet at ease when visitors come into your home.
Discipline for the Door Dasher
Of course, it’s not just shy pups that can have trouble with new people. Sometimes extroverted dogs can rush your guests as they enter the door and jump onto them. Worst case scenarios include Fido knocking food or gifts out of your guests’ hands or spooking a family member who has a fear of dogs.
To break this behavior, you’ll need a leash and some dog biscuits. The collar and leash should control your door dasher as friends enter your home. Instruct your visitors to ignore your pet until she settles down. Once your doggy is docile, you can reward her behavior with a biscuit.
Now that things are a little more settled, you can let your pooch mingle and meet the guests.
Pro Tip: While it’s sometimes fun to let your guests spoil your puppy with treats and biscuits, your dog could interpret this as an open invitation for begging or bothering strangers for table scraps. If you want to control your pup, ensure that you are the only person feeding Fido at your dinner party (and only when she’s earned it).
All Tuckered Out
Conversely, your doggo might be an introvert who is easily overwhelmed by company. That’s okay – there’s no need to put her in a situation where she is distressed and fidgety.
If you know friends and family are coming over, take a moment to work off some of that excessive energy before your guests arrive. Ideas include taking a nice long walk, playing a game of fetch or practicing tricks until your pooch is ready for some rest and relaxation.
Once your visitors arrive, your pup will likely try to find a spot away from the action. Set up a doggy bed for her in your room or a similar space apart from the foot traffic and loud voices. Your doggy will appreciate the privacy.
Use Your Body Language
It is often said that dogs mirror the energy of their owners. In other words, if you are anxious, tense and snippy, your pooch might reflect some of that same tension. Admittedly, it might be tough to keep your own emotions in check; especially if your plans get out of whack. Nevertheless, you can still be a good example for Fido by doing so.
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