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What are some dog behavior and obedience tips for keeping your dog safe with workmen in your home?

We were up in Lake Worth installing an underground, out of sight dog containment system yesterday.  As we were finishing up, a neighbor came over and had a dog behavioral training question for us.  “I am confident that my dogs will be fine when guests come over, but I am not confident that they will act the same way when strange workmen are in the house. Is there anything I can do to make sure they will behave and not go after the workmen or “bug them” so much that they can’t get their work done?”


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The one thing that our dogs want more than anything else in the world is to be safe and secure.  As their leader; their boss, their teacher; it must be your main goal to make sure that they always feel safe in any situation.

Let’s look at the situation where friends and family might stop by. These are people that you know and you have a good idea how they will behave with your dogs.  If they have been to the house with the dogs before, you have a relatively good idea how your dogs will act and respond to them.  Are they “good friends” or “I think I have met you before” friends?

When you answer the door, greet them with a relaxed, safe body language.  Your dogs will read this interaction and determine that you are in charge and in control.  Everything is fine.  Since your guests have already met your dogs and have already socialized with them, they shouldn’t give off any inappropriate body language that would send inappropriate messages to them.

When you have people visit, you are with them most of the time. Because of this, you can constantly assure your dogs that everything is fine and they are safe.  You can also demonstrate the appropriate way for your guests and dogs to meet to determine the level of interaction that would be appropriate between the two.  When you have guests over, you should always stay in control of the interaction between the two.  You must plan for the worst and execute to maintain the best.  If you do this, everything will be just fine.

Let’s change direction now and talk about having contractors or workmen in your home.  You have the workmen over because something is broken and you are already stressed over that situation.  As you greet them at the front door, you are probably greeting a stranger.  At this point, you are trying to determine if they are someone you really want to let into your home.  From your dog’s perspective, your body language communicates that you are not completely confident and that you have a little bit of a “defense mechanism” in place.  All of this puts your dogs on warning that they might need to come to your rescue.

You also have no idea if the workman is scared of dogs.  You never know, but he might have dogs, but beat them on a regular basis.  He will display that aggressive/disrespectful body language to your dogs.  Or, he might love dogs and your dogs might just want to be with him and play while he is trying to work.  All of this adds confusion to the situation and distracts your dogs’ focus on your leadership abilities.

After reviewing all of this, the bottom line is that it is best to put your dogs in a secure location in another part of the house when workmen are over.  This allows you to be in control of their experience to maintain a clear and consistent role as leader.  It also allows your workmen to get done as quickly as possible and get out of the house.

Have your dogs in your office with you or in the back yard playing with you.  This allows you to control their attention if they start to become too focused on the sounds the workmen are making.  It is your way to confirm “It’s OK, you are with me”.  Maintain your leadership and role of caregiver and you will secure your dogs’ love, obedience, and respect.  If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact us at The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers and Dog Trainers in Parkland Florida and South Florida.