How do I get my dog to like people that come over to visit?

When someone comes over, whether it's a person Pogo has seen before or not, Pogo will bark constantly nonstop at this person/s. He will come near them, but only to bark, and when the person/s walk into my house, he'll follow behind them, barking, and sometimes acting like he's gonna bite their ankles, but he hasn't ever done that (I hope he never will).

He's fine at home with just me, hubby, and kids. Friends/family complain about him barking, they don't like to come over cause he won't stop barking. But now if the person that is visiting, comes in and sits down on the couch and not move, Pogo will either sit next to me or behind my feet to hide, and he will not bark, unless that person gets up off the couch.

Also, Pogo will not go outside, he will fight me if I try. If he sees anyone outside from the window, he will bark non stop till they are gone.

What can I do to train him or let him know it's ok, that these visitors are friendly, is there something I can do?

Asked by Pogo on Nov 16th 2007 Tagged barking, scared in Barking
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I don't know if you need a behaviorist just yet, however, it might be better to intervene sooner rather than later.

I would have a bucket/cup/what have you of treats (something SUPER delicious) or favorite toys of Pogo's available for folks to bring in with them. Have them (or you can) make Pogo sit for the guest in order to "earn" the treat. Be consistent. The goal is that Pogo will positively associate with guests after some time. I would think it shouldn't take too long.....

Tucker answered on Nov 17th.

Other Answers


In Memory of PEANUT

I just looked to see Pogo's age, he's fairly young. Peanut, the chi I had before Cricket, did the exact same thing (only she nipped). She was not socialized as a puppy. Chi's are also very territorial and protective of their humans and property.

Cricket was socialized as a pup and tries to play with everyone that comes over. She does bark, but only at the usual suspects (UPS guy, mailman).

You might consult a trainer or a behaviorist. Get Pogo out and around people other than your immediate family. You can take him into pet shops, on walks, to other people's homes, etc. Another thing, if Pogo is like Peanut, if you leave and Pogo is in your home with just your visiter, he will not bark. If you can get friends to visit "Pogo" while you are not home, it may help.

In Memory of PEANUT answered on 11/16/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Could you start by having strangers throw treats at him and work up to having them take treats out of their hands? This way, {ogo will learn to associate strangers with good things.

Member 272716 answered on 11/16/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I completely agree with getting a behavioralit, socializing the dog ore outisde and having guests bring treas as they walk in the house (you can leave treat jar by the door). That should be very effective.

One final piece is also you. I suspect you get nervous when a person walks in worried they may get anipped ro bothered. Dogs read the energy and mistranslate it to mean you are scared of the guest. It very hard, but do all you can to be as casual as possible when someone walks in, in fact be excited and focus on your dog as little as possible. Let the dog know it's no big deal to you that someone is in the house.

Sparky answered on 11/17/07. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer