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Dear Miss Manners....Hi, It's Sophie!

Teaching Your Dog to Behave Around Guests


If your fur-riends are anything like me....they are extremely hyper and happy animals. We always want to say hello to whoever is around. Sometimes we may give you a healthy bark, leap up on your guests and greet everyone with a slobbery kiss. We may also possibly growl and respond to your guest in a negative manner depending on our mood that day.

Understanding our mindset will help ensure that your little fur-riend is well-behaved when around guests. Here are my most important guest etiquette tips!


Dogs love to give people hugs by leaping up to them when they enter a room, but unfortunately this is not always ideal since dogs can be a bit clumsy sometimes. Fortunately there are ways in which you can keep your dog calm and centered when someone new enters your home.

The key to a dog that behaves well with guests is to plan ahead, If you work well in advance on your dog’s greeting behavior and get them used to seeing new people in the house, they will not feel the need to jump all over them. Most dogs jump on people through sheer excitement and because it is an effective means of getting attention, but some dogs will jump because they feel uneasy when someone new comes into the home, and jumping is an effective way to cope with that discomfort. The best way to stop your dog from jumping up is to ignore them while they are doing it.

Here are a few ways in which you can train your dog in positive manners when guests come by.

  • Every time your dog jumps up at you, turn away from them and do not acknowledge them jumping.

  • Do not speak to, talk to, or look at your dog when they leap.

  • When a dog stops leaping, you can wait a few moments and reward them for stopping. Keep repeating this to build an incentive reward for not leaping.


When you understand how your dog thinks, then you’ll be able to prevent them from leaping all over guests to greet them or from doing something else that is inappropriate or harmful like growling or biting.

In situations where your dog may get a bit too excited and behave in an inappropriate manner, space can be the best solution in order to avoid any type of non ideal situation. Putting your dog in either another room of the house or separated by a baby gate can give your furry friend some distance between your guests and them, allowing them to calm down a bit and not feel overwhelmed when something new is happening.


Dogs begging for food is an extremely common behavior that almost all owners go through, but there are ways in which you can encourage them to calm down a bit so that you can eat in peace, especially when guests are around.

Arguably the most important thing you can do to prevent your dog from begging for food at the table is to never give in to them. If you feed them at the table, it will give them incentive to beg in the future if it means they can potentially get some of your food. Depending on your situation, it may be best to have your dog in another room to prevent them from being aware that you and your guests are eating.


Teaching your dog to behave around guests can be a difficult task to overcome, but thankfully with time it will be well worth the efforts. If you reinforce good behavior and keep on handling their excitement in the ways we have covered, you won’t have a problem later on when your family and friends arrive for that Turkey Lurkey or perhaps the Christmas Goose!

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