Greeting You and Visitors

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This is an excerpt from Linda’s book, Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual, available to download here.

Greetings may well determine the course of the relationships between you and your dog and your guests and your dog. Protect your guests and your dog by insuring that greetings go well. Your dog will thank you for not allowing him to rush to the door where he may be uncomfortable and doesn’t really know how to behave.

Dog Greetings Dog TrainingDogs aren’t famous for making reliably good decisions. Your dog should not be asked to make a decision about which of your friends feels safe. That’s your responsibility!

Greeting you and family members. Ignore to calm. Delay your greetings until your dog is calm. Don’t escalate the adrenaline spike your dog experiences the minute you arrive home, adding “logs to his fire.” Walk into your home and go about your routine calmly. You may smile and say “Hello”, but no excitement and no touching. Let your dog out to eliminate. Later, greet with calm affection, rather than exuberance. Many dogs stop jumping when this technique alone is consistently employed…but it can be the hardest one for pet parents to implement!

Greeting guests. Confine to calm. Start with managing your dog’s environment in order to get things under control. Give your dog time and space to calm down before attempting greeting. If your dog jumps on, growls, or shows any stress or aggression with guests, confine your dog to keep your guests safe until you can bring him out on leash and allow calm greetings to unfold naturally. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to jump on or bark at your incoming guests.

Confine your dog to an ex-pen, the patio, a guest room, or your kitchen with a retractable gate. Allow your dog to calm down in a safe space and accept the guest in your home. Later, have guests toss high-value treats to your dog to speed and secure the process of acclimation and create a bond between your dog and strangers entering your home.

Learn more about pet parent problem-solving, teaching classes, and private consultations in the Do No Harm Dog Training Manual.

Dog Training Manual Do No Harm Force Free Positive tranier san diego del marThe Do No Harm™ Dog Training Manual was designed as my own personal guide for teaching basic manners classes, and evolved into a reference manual for my private behavior consultations. Created as a practical guide for either or both training formats, it is also helpful for pet parents who want an inside look at dog training and behavior, as well as for those who seek force-free solutions for specific problems. Written with love for the “heartbeats at our feet”. You can purchase and download the PDF ebook dog training manual here.

Linda Michaels, “Dog Psychologist,” M.A./Psychology a Top Ten Rated U.S. Dog Trainer — Do No Harm Dog Training, may be reached at 858.259.WOOF (9663) or by email: for private manners/obedience instruction and behavioral consultations near Del Mar and the San Diego Coast. Please visit us at  All rights reserved.

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Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology, Del Mar Dog Training, serves clients in Del Mar and San Diego County from La Jolla to Carlsbad, plus Rancho Santa Fe, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Linda Michaels was recently rated one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, by Top Ten Magazine. Linda has a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology (Hons), and is the creator of the Hierarchy of Dog Needs™ (HDN). She focuses on the psychological aspects of dog behavior that often mirror human psychological conditions, such as: fear, separation/attachment disorders, and aggression toward humans and other dogs. She also teaches private, customized basic manners/obedience lessons for dogs of all ages and every breed.

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