How to Greet a Dog When You Come Home

Your dog's enthusiastic greeting may not always be welcomed.
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The enthusiastic greeting you receive from your dog when you come home makes you feel like the most spectacular person on Earth. As flattered as you may be by the show of attention, however, you may not always welcome him jumping all over you as you come in the door. Certainly, many of your guests would rather not be accosted every time they visit. How you greet your dog when you come home teaches him what behavior will get him the most attention.

Teaching the Proper Behavior

Step 1

Determine what you would like your dog to do when you come home. Do you want him to sit, stand, lie down or get a toy?

Step 2

If you would like him to sit, stand or lie down, determine where you want him to perform this command. You may want him to go to his mat or bed, a certain piece of furniture or just a few feet away from the door.

Step 3

Now practice entering the house. Come through the door and give your dog the command you want him to follow. If he does it, give him a treat and calmly praise him. If he jumps on you instead of doing as you’ve asked, stay standing, don’t speak to him, don’t touch him and turn away from him.

Step 4

If your dog was successful for the first practice run, exit the house and return through the door again. Repeat the command and treat and praise calmly again. Continue this several more times to reinforce the behavior.

If your dog jumped on you the first time, and you remained standing and turned away from him, watch him out of the corner of your eye. If you see him sit or perform the command you requested, immediately treat and calmly praise him. If he doesn’t, leave the house and try again. You may have to start with simply treating and praising him for keeping his feet on the ground and then work up to the specific command you want him to perform.

Step 5

Once your dog has learned to politely greet you, ask some dog-friendly visitors to help you teach him that this behavior applies to everyone who comes through your door. Have a guest ring the doorbell or knock on the door. Give your dog the command you’ve practiced, treat and calmly praise him if he obeys. Open the door and remind him of the command. If he stays in the position requested, treat and praise him again. Your visitor can pet him calmly and give him a treat as well. Throughout the visit, your guest should only pay attention to him if he is being calm. Practice as much as possible until this new behavior is second nature to your dog.


  • If your dog displays aggressive behavior at the door, contact a certified animal behaviorist to properly diagnose and work with your dog.

Items You Will Need

  • Treats
  • Mat or dog bed (optional)