Are you feeling that it is unsafe to have guests over at your home because your dog doesn’t like them? Does your dog hate it when you have company over? Do you feel lost on how to get your dog to calm down when people come to your home? We want to help you! You are also not alone in this.
There are many people that have had similar issues and have had success through dog training. Salt Lake City is the home of many dog owners that have trained their dogs to be more comfortable with guests. The owners feel much more peace, happiness and safety in their homes.
An easy method to use is counter conditioning. However, if your dog is extremely reactive this can be dangerous to apply on your own so we highly recommend that you consult from a list of dog trainers. Salt Lake City has many options and we highly recommend that you choose a reward-based dog trainer.
Counter conditioning is pairing the trigger (the guest) with positive items such as treats. It works best if you use a special treat that your dog only gets when guests come over such as cheese or chicken. The dog receives this treat when he sees the guests and when the guest is out of slight the treat stops.
So the guest actually predicts the treat. It is also important that you have your dog at a distance when you are performing this technique. It is safer, and it will also keep your dog calm. When you are doing counter conditioning your dog should be relatively relaxed. If this is not the case then your dog is probably too close to the guest.
We also recommend for safety reasons to have your dog on a leash that is securely attached to something. The guest is also out of reach from you dog if your dog hits the end of the leash.
Repeat this process multiple times and with numerous guests. Again we recommend consulting with professional dog trainers. Salt Lake City has many that will be happy to help!
Johanna Teresi, Professional Dog Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars, LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City, Utah