It’s fun and exciting to bring your dog to a friend’s house, but, for certain owners, it may seem that your dog is far too hyper, awkward, and/or uncontrollable. If this is your situation, perhaps it is time to teach your dog some polite manners and make yourself aware of what is proper for your dog when he goes places.
A Polite Greeting
In the case of an excitable dog, call your friends before you arrive and tell them that your dog is hyper and still learning manners. Ask them not to pet your dog until he sits. Until then, they must turn their backs and ignore him. Before you leave your house, arm yourself with treats that your dog values. Keep your dog’s leash on until all greetings are done and your pet appears calm enough to be polite. Enter, say hello, and stand around, having your hosts not mention your dog’s name or making eye contact with him. You will probably be pretty busy holding onto your dog as he lunges and wiggles towards the guests, but remain in place. Don’t let your dog advance, as this would only be rewarding him for rowdy behavior. Also, don’t admonish your dog. That could cause him to think that he isn’t supposed to like new people, and he thinks that this is the proper way to greet guests. Stay positive and teach your dog the right way. Show your dog that you have a treat and ask for a sit. If he refuses to, remain calm and ask your hosts to ignore your dog by turning their backs. When your dog sits, give your dog a treat and let the hosts (calmly) come and pet your dog. It might be hard to keep your dog sitting when he starts to get petted, so a better position for you might be to stand directly behind your dog, as close as possible, with your hand on his chest.
No Messes, Please
Sometimes, new places excite or frighten dogs, causing them to go potty in the host’s house. This can be very embarrassing for you as an owner and irritating for hosts, so make sure your dog goes potty before you leave the house. If you live a while away from your destination, stop at a grassy area a few minutes before you arrive and let your dog relieve himself. In the case of a nervous dog going potty in the house, he is most likely doing an act of submission in front of the other humans. First of all, make sure your dog relieves himself before you leave your house. When you enter the host’s house with your leashed dog, have the hosts totally ignore him until he becomes comfortable in his new surroundings. Once he calms down, the hosts can give an extremely calm greeting.
Visiting a House With Other Dogs
Before taking your dog to someone’s house where other dogs are present, call to see if your host’s dogs are friendly towards strange canines. If they are not (or if your dog is not) accepting of other pets, be considerate and safe and leave your dog at home.
Even if your and their dog is canine-friendly, you should take a few precautions to keep both dogs safe and happy, which are listed below:
- For first few meetings between two (or more) dogs, have both canines leashed and under control so no dog feels threatened.
- If one dog gets tired, irritated, or plays too rough, distract or separate the dogs.
- Please don’t leave the dogs unsupervised!
- Do not allow rough play such as biting, excessive growling, humping, or aggressive barking. Naturally, dogs do nip, growl, and bark when at play, but it should not be frightening or dominating.
- A lot of dogs don’t like sharing, so bring your dog’s own toys for him to play with.
- If your dog attends dinner at the host’s house, make sure that both dogs are fed in separate rooms. Even dogs who are usually willing to share can be provoked if a certain dog tries to steal their food.
Visiting the Very Young or Elderly
If your dog is especially rambunctious and hyper, don’t let him visit babies, young children, or the elderly until he has fully mastered greeting older kids and adults. A jumping or wiggling dog could easily knock down a child or senior.
Even if your dog is typically calm around very young or elderly people, keep him leashed for the beginning of the visit to further encourage it and give him a chance to take in the situation. Some dogs are very tuned in to peoples’ age and are very polite and have a soothing effect on children and the elderly. If your dog does, why not consider certifying him to be a therapy dog so he can bring joy to children in schools or hospitals and seniors in nursing homes?