As soon as your dog sees another person, she gets overly excited: jumping, whining, barking, and maybe even releasing her bladder. Her tail is wagging a mile a minute and you know she’s expressing her enthusiasm, but her intentions aren’t quite lining up with the impact of her behavior. It’s up to you to curb overexcitement in your dog, particularly around guests and strangers. We have some quick tips that can help!

Start with Separation

The long-term solution is to change your dog’s reaction to other people but for now, the goal is to prevent her from scaring people or knocking them over. Keep her on a leash in public, even when you’re hiking a trail or walking on the beach.

At home, use a gate to create space between your dog and the front door. This won’t resolve the issue of barking and whining, but it will keep your dog from jumping on your guests or bolting out the door in a frenzy.

Manage Your Own Energy

Your first instinct may be to yell at and restrain your dog when she encounters other people. The only problem? When she’s this activated, she’s probably not reading tone as much as  she’s reading energy levels. She may misconstrue your interaction with her as enthusiasm and approval.

It’s also important to remember that she’s taking cues from you when you’re excited, too. If greeting a guest involves a lot of hugging and noise, try to greet them outside, away from your dog. Once you enter the house, maintain a calm voice and body language.

Ask Guests to Help Out

Chances are that not everyone who comes over will find your dog’s wild greeting alarming or off-putting. They may even engage with your dog while she jumps on them or mirror her excitement.

While it’s wonderful that friends and family members love your dog, their interaction sends mixed messages. Before they come over, ask them to help you out by ignoring your dog until she starts to calm down, even if it means turning their backs on her.

Provide Distractions

Another short-term method is to provide your dog with appropriate distractions when guests are coming. To do so, you need to find toys or games that hold her attention but don’t increase her excitement level.

Kong toys or lick mats packed with frozen peanut butter and other dog-friendly snacks are great options. They provide a lasting distraction while allowing your dog to self-soothe, as continuous licking tends to reduce stress and send calming signals to your dog’s mind and body.

Work on Training

If you want your dog to approach both guests and strangers appropriately, the only long-term solution is to work on training. Thorough training ensures that your dog will look to you for guidance and listen to your commands even when she’s excited.

At All Dogs Unleashed, we provide both one-on-one and group training sessions to help dogs and their owners get on the same wavelength. Learn more about our training programs near you today!