When your visitors arrive, you should already have your dog in a secure area away from the front door – crated (if your dog is happily crate-trained), in a room with a closed door, behind a secure baby gate that your dog cannot jump over, in the backyard. If you have unexpected visitors, that is where the aforementioned training plan comes in handy. Otherwise, you will need to escort your dog to a safe confinement area.
You will want to be sure that your dog is comfortable in that secure area for the same length of time that a typical visitor would stay. You can work through a training plan in our online course called “Crate-ivity” which helps you do exactly this, even if you do not use a crate – you can follow the same plan for a safe confinement area.
Once your visitor arrives and you have completed the Doorbell/Knocking Routine, have your visitor enter the home and arm themselves with the highest value treats that are easy to toss.
You can bring your dog out to the largest area of the home and have the visitor sit in a chair, armed with the food, ready to play Treat/Retreat. Your guest should be well-versed in this game prior to playing.