Having guests over can really interfere with your puppy training. New people can completely overwhelm your new dog, scare him, encourage bad habits, or even create new ones that leave you with even more problems to work on long after your guests have left. However, with some proper communication and discipline, your new puppy can learn how to meet and interact with new people effortlessly.
Introducing your puppy to new people and vice versa can create more problems than you imagine. Picture the scene: you’ve spent countless hours teaching your new pup good manners, not to jump up, not to steal food off the table, not to beg; the list is endless!
Suddenly, your dog is introduced to new people and his whole training is forgotten. Even if your guests are dog lovers, this can still be problematic. Dog loving guests may be quicker to excuse your dogs behaviour, encouraging his naughty behaviour and even finding it endearing.
The best way to counteract this behaviour is to give everyone the heads up. Tell them politely that you’re working on his training and obedience. The more people you have on side, the more consistent and beneficial your training will be.
On the contrary, you may have guests that don’t like dogs at all and who’s distant and nervous behaviour can create tension for your dog in a space that has always been safe and welcoming for them.
Puppies are very sensitive to body language and can sense nerves and even fear. This may in turn create fear and anxiety for them too, and they could respond with unwanted, antisocial behaviour like growling.
These behaviours can be made even worse if you become frustrated and in the heat of the moment scold your puppy in a way you ordinarily wouldn’t. When this happens control is lacking and mistakes are made.
Be aware that your puppy may respond differently to people, and remind yourself before any of these interactions occur to stay calm and have a plan of action for any unusual behaviour. Staying consistent and in control here will benefit everyone.
Play safe with your puppy when guests come around. Stay in control and help him to learn remain calm with new people and new situations. Puppies need to understand that guests come to visit you and it isn’t acceptable behaviour to jump up and exhibit excessive attention seeking behaviour.
If your dog is particularly hyperactive and high drive, wait for him to calm down before allowing him out to greet your guests. When you do take him out, put him on his lead and teach him to greet guests politely with a sit.
When he has learned this new behaviour, make sure these good behaviour habits are maintained otherwise your dog may regress and ruin all his training progress. A dog that greets new people calmly and is a pleasure to be around and guests to your home will agree.