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Dogs need to learn good manners with other dogs and humans, that’s what socialization is about. It's easier to do this in your own home because you have more control of the situation. When people come in, ask your dog's admirers only to pet him when he has all four paws on the ground. Teach him a 'down' command which you can use if he does jump up. Ask your visitors to cuddle your dog after he has settled a bit, rather than instantly. This also helps him learn that a manic greeting does not bring rewards.

Some dogs are leg humpers, while others can go through their lives without ever molesting a human. It is usually linked to overexcitement, so prevention includes sending dogs to their baskets with something to occupy them, if they are getting too wound up. A squirt from a small water pistol can distract the dog from the love object if 'down' commands are ineffective. Humping might seem funny at times, but can be scary for some people, especially kids, so is best discouraged. If your dog is a humper, be extra vigilant about his jumping up.


Not everyone likes dogs, so a useful goal is to be able to get your dog to stay at some distance from the door before you open it, and to stay there until you give permission for him to move. You may want to send him to a basket once the guest has sat down, so he gives your guest space.

Dogs do need to learn that they can't always be the centre of attention, even if your guests adore dogs. It's worth using a basket, or just a lie-down and stay command for part of the guest's stay, making sure the dog stays for a while until invited to take part in the conversation. Teaching this self-discipline is very important for youngsters. If they are fussed by every visitor, you're training them to get overexcited and pushy when guests come to your house. People who really adore dogs will understand.

Visitors who are experienced with dogs can be very helpful allies. They can help you practise greeting guests, by calling at the door, coming in and sitting down a few times, until you and your dog have got this right. They can also help youngsters get used to being handled by other people, by grooming them, and gently looking at paws, teeth and ears, combining this with long, soothing strokes. You can return the favour by helping others with young dogs.