When guests visit, it can be difficult to handle nervous or overexcited dogs and their behavior. Here are a few things that may go wrong and what to do about in that situation.

Managing Dog Behavior When Guests Come Over
How to make sure your dog is on their best behavior when guests arrive.
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Dogs might have trouble behaving themselves around visiting guests. Some may behave aggressively toward strangers. Other dogs may get so excited that they jump on visiting guests, bark at them, or mess up the rug.

While this behavior is common for dogs, it’s not impossible to train them out of it. Allowing your new dog to be exposed to visiting guests more often is a good idea. If dogs are accustomed to seeing guests in the house and know how to behave, they will probably be less likely to act out.

Training your dogs to behave when guests visit may take a long time, but dogs will probably get better at behaving in front of guests as they grow more accustomed to seeing them.

For Aggressive Dog Behavior

If your dog has problems with aggressive behavior, having guests visit may be a challenge. If they have a tendency for territorial behaviors, leave them outside or put them somewhere in the house where they won’t interact with any guests.

One thing you should know about aggression is that, while many dogs may act out of territorial behavior with visiting guests, this is not always the case. There are several other causes of aggressive behavior, including anxiety and fear. 

If your dog acts aggressively towards strangers or guests and they don’t usually act territorial, something else may be the matter. They may be intimidated by guests or strangers and act out defensively.

 In this case, expose your dog to strangers in a less crowded setting, and reward them for behaving well. Exposure to strangers will help override their anxiety around strangers, and positive reinforcement will make them associate friendly behavior with guests.

For Overexcited Dog Behavior

Managing Dog Behavior When Guests Come Over
Managing Dog Behavior When Guests Come Over
Photo by Andrew Leu on Unsplash

If your dog’s behavior is friendly, you’ve probably had an incident where they jumped on one of your guests, knocked something over, or peed on the kitchen floor.

This can be normal behavior for puppies and younger dogs, but it should be addressed quickly before it becomes the norm. No matter how much your visiting guests love dogs, they probably won’t appreciate it when your dog jumps on them.

Training your dog not to jump can be a slow process. You might want to start by reinforcing their preexisting training. Make sure that your dog understands commands like “Sit” or “Down.” They can be used when your dog jumps excitedly all over your guests.

One effective trick may be to train your dog to go to a certain place in your house and stay there when company visits. If you reward them for doing so, they’ll associate the location with good feelings and with visiting guests. And you can allow your dog to see your friends without jumping on them.

It may also help to practice training these commands consistently, or at least to practice these commands before guests come.


Training dogs to behave around guests is a slow process, which will require a lot of effort for both the dog and the owner. Have patience with your dog as they get used to having guests around the house.