This video by Training Positive is a highly effective tutorial for teaching a dog to greet visitors in a calm manner. The technique used here can be used for any dog breed. The trainer also mentions that this will also work on any dog at any age just as long as there is a commitment of time and patience in addition to following the proper procedure for each step.
You must realize that dogs tend to bark or jump at visitors and this is practically normal. Dogs are usually excited when guests arrive. Due to excitement at simply meeting a newcomer in the house, dogs can go into an uncontrolled frenzy of barking and jumping. But dogs that act like this are the ones that did not get proper training – and some dogs have a very strong habit of this behavior because they have been allowed to act this way for such a long time.
The equipment required for this training is simply a play pen. You can simulate situations by first placing your dog in the play pen. The next step is to get help from friends and family members that do not live at your house. Simulate the situation by letting your friend come in and ignore the dog as soon as it gets excited. This is the proper way because if a person actually acknowledges your dog’s hyper behavior when he comes in, the dog might think that it’s always a good thing and feel like being rewarded by acting as such. The best action is to wait until the dog gets calm and then use a clicker to click then reward it with a treat. Praise your dog verbally as well. Pick opportune moments when your dog gets relatively calm before rewarding it.
The next step is to let your friend pet the dog once the dog gets really calm and quiet. This will help the dog understand that this is the proper behavior to get rewarded. The importance of allowing the dog some time to stay calm will serve as the x-factor in this training process. If your dog fails to stay calm in the beginning, give it some time and also wait for it patiently. In time, your dog will have a faster time to calm down and when that happens, that would be your cue to remove the play pen. Once your dog immediately stays calm when a guest arrives, that is the signal that it has learned the proper way of greeting visitors. It’s all about reinforcing the correct behavior.
Of course, it is best that you also advise your house guests to not tolerate and pet your dog if ever it gets hyperactive upon entering your house. Make it a two-way learning street for the benefit of everyone involved. This command may take time but always keep in mind that patience is the key for dog training success.