Reducing fear of visitors

When someone is going to enter the house, first maximise the distance your pup can be from them while keeping them in sight. Keep your pup on a lead so that they don’t leap forward and put themself over threshold. You then allow them to look at the person, then say their name and give them a treat. You repeat this as the person slowly edges towards you. The person should stand sideways and not look at them to minimise their threat level. They should only take a step towards the room where your pup is when your pup is looking at them but not barking. As they reach a chair in the living room, ask them to sit down but still not look at your pup. Sprinkle some treats in your pup’s bed/give them a chew/a lickimat/a snuffle mat to give them something else to do other than worry about the person. From this point, the lead can be removed and the person can sit with a flat hand with a treat in it. They should not try to instigate contact with your pup or look at them but if your pup chooses to approach them, your pup can take the treat from their open hand. They can repeat this once your pup has taken the previous treat. At no point should they try to stroke your pup. If your pup starts to bark at them, recall them away and repeat the process of giving treats or a chew in their bed. Repeat this individually with as many different people as you can, so that your pup can start to generalise the idea that people mean good things.

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