19 September 2018

Dealing with Visitors and Your Dog House Rules

Having visitors can be fun for you and your dog, but sometimes your visitors can undo your hard work in training your dog to behave the way you want him to. If your visitors are breaking your dog’s house rules, here’s how you can address the situation.

When guests break the rules

If your guests encourage your dog to jump up or play roughly, it could make your dog think that the behaviour is acceptable. Remind your guest that jumping isn’t an acceptable behaviour for your pet and ask them not to encourage it. Most people will understand and simply stop their own behaviours.

If guests offer your pet food from their plate or from the table, it can lead to begging or expectations of food later on. Simply tell your guest that your dog eats a specially prepared diet that won’t upset his stomach. You don’t have to tell them that it’s just dog food--they should respect your request to withhold table food regardless.

Children and pets

If your guests are children, they may not understand why your pet has rules to follow. Be sure to explain the rules when they first arrive and advise them to give your pet plenty of space. Your dog may become uncomfortable with too much rough play, so remind children to visit calmly with your pet. Even better, ensure your dog is has a safe haven to retreat to that kids are not allowed in. Children who learn to respect dogs from an early age are less likely to be bitten, and even friendly dogs can be pushed to nip when they are agitated. Kids and dogs should never be left alone together.

Other dogs

If your guests bring other dogs with them, there could be some issues you need to watch out for. Dogs that have ‘accidents’ in your home leave behind their scent, which can confuse and challenge your dog. After all, their scent is marking your dog’s territory, so the only option your dog will see is covering the scent with his own.

Any visiting dog must be allowed to ‘meet’ the resident dog in neutral territory to ensure they are able to properly assess each other. You can determine if they will tolerate being together. Some dogs are not able to cope with a strange dog in their turf.

You can always request that your guests leave their dogs at home or outside in the car when they visit as your dog is not comfortable with other dogs in his territory.

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