Visitors and Your Dog House Rules

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Did you know that dog house rules keep guests safe and dog happy? Read on to see how your dog should behave around guests and why dog house rules are so useful.

Having a dog is such a fantastic experience.

You get to have furry friends to master non-verbal language, have a heater on cold nights, and always have a friend to wait for you in an empty home and go outside with you no matter the weather.

Having a dog is also a serious years-long commitment.

Owning a dog isn’t only fun and games; it also requires serious time management, financial planning, and a support system when you want to go on a vacation or a business trip overseas, or even to the next city.

Now, you may be a huge canine-lover and animal fan, but it doesn’t mean that your family friends or family will share your point of view.

Some may even be so scared of dogs that they would never cross your doorstep while your dog is inside the house.

Don’t judge those people easily because everyone cares about trauma or a problem that they are dealing with. Maybe a person went through a dog bite in childhood and it left huge scars.

So, if a dear friend or family member wants to see you, but prefers to see you without your four-legged friends, find a dog sitter and grab that drink and talk with your friends, human to human.

Always check if it’s OK to bring your dog with you, some people may not come inside your home, but they might tolerate dogs out in the open, where they can move fast and easily if needed.

Dog House Rules

What about your home and dog house rules? Your home is your castle, and you get to set the rules. Your dog probably knows already house rules, unless he is a puppy and is still on training lessons.

Dogs have their natural behaviors, and some of them are acceptable to people, while some could be unhealthy, dangerous, and even destructive.

By creating house rules, you let your dog/puppy know right from the beginning and what is ok and what isn’t.

Some rules to consider:

  • Where will your dog sleep?
  • Where will you allow the puppy to go into the house?
  • Will you let your dog on the furniture?
  • Who will be responsible for dog duties?
  • What routine do you want?
  • What commands will you use?
  • Are you going to allow your dog a bite of human foods?
  • Are you going to allow table scraps regularly?
  • Should you let your dog jump on people?
  • Are there any rooms or areas your dog isn’t allowed?
  • Will the dog have a safe space?
  • Will there be dog doors? If yes, what your dog must do to go through the door?
  • When you have guests over, do dog stays with you or not?
  • What are your dog’s rules for greeting visitors?
  • Who will exercise your dog?
  • Who is in charge of training your dog?
  • Where will your dog eat their meals?

There are only a few things that can mess up with the routine that you have with your dog, and guests who love to ignore rules are one of them, no matter how much you love them.

Having guests can be fun both for you and your dog, but sometimes even the dearest guests can undo your hard work in training your dog to behave the way you want him to.

If your guests are breaking your dog’s house rules, here is how you can address the situation.

When Guests Break The Rules

If your guests encourage your dog to jump on the couch, your dog will think that the behavior is acceptable.

Kindly remind your guests that jumping isn’t allowed for your dog and them not to encourage it. Most people will understand this and won’t encourage this behavior.

If guests offer your dog food from their plate or from the table, it will eventually lead to begging and certain expectations on food later on. Simply tell your guests that your dog eats specific food that won’t upset his stomach.

Good to know: Communicate this with dog sitter as well if you, especially if a person is dog sitting for the first time

Children And Pets

If your guests are children, you need to know how well they know how to behave around pets. Even if they have dogs of their own, make sure you introduce them to your house rules.

Explain their rules carefully and the logic behind them. Always advise them to give pets enough space.

Children tend to see pets, especially dogs, as moving toys, and they may play rough, which can trigger unwanted behavior in your dog.

Also, children who learn to respect dogs from an early age are less likely to be bitten in their lifetime. Don’t forget: even the calmest dogs can be pushed to their limit.

Children and dogs should always be supervised.

Yes, it will always help if you get a breed that loves people, such as Labrador Retriever or any mix with Labrador Retriever, but you should still provide proper training, and meet dog’s exercise needs.

Other dogs

If your guests bring other dogs with them, you need to think about possible issues. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

If a dog or dogs visiting are known for having accidents, you need to think about treating those dogs and your dogs.

You don’t want to have different smells at home that will confuse your dog and challenge training.

Any visiting dog must be allowed to meet the resident dog in a neutral territory – this way; they will encounter more relaxed.

You can always request that your guests leave their dogs home or outside when visiting if your dog isn’t comfortable with other dogs in his territory.

Do Visitors Ignore Your House Rules for Your Dogs?

Your dog is well behaved when he is alone with the family members?

Does his behavior change when people visit with dogs and kids?

If so, you shouldn’t know that this isn’t a red flag, nor a sign that your dog loves destructive behavior.

This simply shows that dog is just a dog. Dogs are creatures that thrive in packs.

As social beings, dogs will react and respond to the actions of others around them.

If you have a family member whose dog is known for frequent housebreaking rules, or a friend or a relative with small children who scream at the sight of your dog, you need to know how to address these situations.

No matter how nice and well behaved your dog might be, he will have a problem with sudden moves, loud voices, and any rough handling. There are also those who love to feed your dog no matter his diet.

Luckily, these situations can be prevented and handled well once you accept that the solution resides with your visitors and not with your dog.

Here are some of the ideas to help you handle these situations:

  • The dogs that are prone to marking homes should be allowed to visit, as long as they are supervised by their owner; another option is for them to stay outside if you have a nice backyard, and it that case, dogs can spend time being more active
  • The young children that are afraid of your dog or play too rough should be taught how to respect the dog’s space and to know why dogs bark and jump
  • Explain to you guests that your dog isn’t allowed extra food and that you prefer him to follow his diet

House rules are there for a reason, and as such, they should be respected, both by family members and guests. So, none of these activities is your dog’s fault, nor they go against house rules.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to communicate your house rules with guests and explain over and over (if needed) why you have rules and why it’s so important to you to keep house rules in order.

Of course, you should do the same when going to someone else’s home: check if they have house rules for the dog or dogs and follow them through.

Always explain your house rules to first-time visitors, and calmly speak to them, so no one is upset or anyhow offended.

Make sure that you create house rules as soon as you have your puppy over. Training starts from day one, and early socialization will help you have a well behaved and disciplined dog.

Having house rules will only help you keep the dog’s routine in order.

Always communicate anything dog-related, and especially rules, directly, openly, and in a soft voice for people to understand better why following your dog house rules matters so much to you and your dog.