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How to Train Your Dog to Greet Guests Politely

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Welcoming visitors to your house can be stressful if your dog gets overly excited or unruly. By following these five easy steps, however, you can train your dog to stay calm and politely greet your guests.

dog sitting at the front door

Step 1: Establish Basic Obedience Commands

To start, focus on fundamental commands that lay the groundwork for a polite greeting.

First, begin with “Sit.” This foundational behavior not only prevents jumping but also curtails overexcitement.

If your dog needs to learn how to sit or if you could use a refresher, check out this guide.

The next command your pup should know is “Stay.” This adds an extra layer of control and keeps your dog in place until you give the green light for a friendly approach.

Here’s helpful information for teaching your dog to stay.

These will help your pup stay calmly seated, eagerly awaiting the opportunity to greet visitors.

Step 2: Introduce Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in shaping your dog’s behavior.

What exactly is positive reinforcement?

“Positive reinforcement refers to the process of rewarding or reinforcing desirable behavior to increase the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated in the future,” according to psychology research.

Regarding dog training, this means using treats, praise, and affection to reward your dog when they do something you approve of.

So when your dog acts in a calm and controlled demeanor when someone visits your home, make sure you reward this positive behavior. This creates a positive association with the action. Remember, consistency is critical. Regularly reward your dog for exhibiting the desired behavior, and you’ll soon notice a positive shift in their behavior when greeting guests.

Step 3: Practice Controlled Greetings

Creating a controlled scenario is essential for honing your dog’s ability to greet guests calmly and politely.

How do you do this?

First, start with familiar faces, like friends or family who understand the training process. Ask them to come to your door and then work with your dog on the above steps.

Next, gradually expose your dog to new individuals. This step ensures that your dog learns to greet guests with composure, regardless of familiarity.

Ensure your dog sits and stays with each new visitor to your home. And don’t forget to maintain a calm and positive environment during these exercises. This will make all the difference.

dog sitting patiently in a home

Step 4: Address Undesirable Behaviors

Jumping, barking, and excessive excitement are common canine behaviors when visitors come to your door.

But don’t worry – these can all be addressed with training.

When your dog gets overly excited, redirect their attention to more favorable actions. Gently but firmly instruct them to sit and stay when someone enters your home.

For success, consistency is crucial. Make sure you correct your dog’s undesirable behavior every time.

When you redirect your dog’s attention to more favorable actions, this reinforces the notion that calm behavior leads to positive rewards.

Now, let’s add the finishing touch.

Step 5: Reinforce Polite Greetings with Permission

Someone has entered your home, and you’ve instructed your dog to sit and stay. Now what?

The fifth and final step is to teach your dog to wait for permission to greet the guest.

You’ll need to create a signal for your dog that lets them know they can approach your visitor. It can be a saying like “hello” or “greetings.”

When you say this phrase, your dog will know it’s acceptable to approach those at your door.

In the beginning, help facilitate the process. Make sure they continue to act calmly without jumping or barking. As you work on this process, we recommend you let people know the steps you’re taking and the ultimate goal. That way, they can help support the process.


Picture the scene: Guests are entering your house. Meanwhile, your dog is patiently waiting for your cue to welcome them. When you give them the signal, they calmly say hello.

This is all possible if you follow these five easy steps.

As you start this training process, remember that patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are your greatest allies. Practice makes perfect!

With these five easy steps, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying the company of visitors and a well-mannered canine companion.

Check out more articles about: Training

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