1. Help your nervous dog feel more confident around visitors with ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser

    • ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser releases appeasing pheromones to create a safe and secure environment.
    • Plug in the diffuser ideally 24 hours before house visitors arrive, near your dog’s bed, or if it’s a regular occurrence have a diffuser plugged in at all times.
    • Vet recommended calming solution.
  2. Introduce guests to your dog

    • Keep guest numbers low at first, you do not want to overwhelm you dog.
    • Allow your dog to approach visitors in their own time, sniff and familiarise themselves.
    • If visitors are staying for a while – e.g. weekend stay or vacation- keep ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser plugged in at all times.
  3. Reward a good dog!

    • When your dog is able to sit calmly, that deserves a nice treat.
    • You can consider ADAPTIL Chew, calming and delicious chews as an additional support during the stressful time. Your dog will see it as a treat due to their delicious flavour, a WIN WIN!
    • Our trainer's tip: Even better if your guests give treats to your dog, they will soon become best friends! ! If your dog is not keen about approaching the guests, they can throw the treats in their direction instead. 
  4. Try using their lead

    • If you struggle to stop your dog from jumping on your guests, and/or leaving them alone, have them on a lead when your guests arrive, and reward all paws on the floor.
    • Alternatively your dog may be happier in a different room initially, and then welcome your guests later once the initial excitement of their arrival has past. Babygates can be useful for this.

We recommend:

To plug-in near your dog's bed, ideally 24 h before guests arrival

Offer this delicious fast calming treat to your dog when visitors come

  • Recommended by Vets

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  • 20+ Years of expertise



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Why is my dog nervous of visitors?

Having a dog that is worried about visitors can take some work and practice to overcome. Always make sure, if you are worried, you have spoken to a trained professional on how you can help tackle this fear.  ADAPTIL Calm is a perfect support tool to help support your dog. 

Visitors from Your Dog’s Point Of View

Our vet explains: Visitors are a break in the normal routine. Depending on your dog, visitors might be perceived as friends or foes, but in both cases they are a change, which can be stressful for dogs. Dogs won’t always understand what’s going on when all of these new visitors enter your home. It might result in nervous dog barking at visitors, or even your dog acting aggressively. If your have a dog reacting in this way, it's important you look into extra support straight away with a behaviourist.

Some other dogs will bark and jump on guests, in a more friendly manner, but which as a behaviour is less than ideal. It’s common for dogs to react poorly to things that they are unfamiliar with. Doorbell sounds, visiting guests and unfamiliar scents can all be alarming to your pet if they are not used to them.

For more, read Why does my dog bark and growl at guests.

How to calm an excitable dog when visitors arrive?

You might wonder how do I get my dog to leave guests alone. The secret is to create some normality, practice and comfort for your dog during this special moment.

Ask guests to ignore your dog completely at first, this includes no petting, talking, looking at them or giving treats.
Your dog can be fearful if the visitors come straight in and want to interact with them. Ask your visitors to only interact with your dog when your dog has gone to them or when you are all sitting down after a while and the dog looks calm; never force a dog to interact.

If it's too difficult for your dog to calm down, consider placing your dog in a separate, calmer room, like a 'safe haven'.

Give Your Dog Extra Support

Some dogs just need extra help when visitors are in the home to feel comfortable!

  • If you haven’t planned ahead for the guests visit, we recommend that you use ThunderShirt: easy to wrap around your dog’s body, it will quickly calm your dog by applying a gentle, constant pressure.
  • If you know in advance that your friends or relatives are coming over, plug in ADAPTIL Calm Diffuser, ideally 24 hours before they arrive, near your dog’s resting place. Or, if you have a generally anxious dog, having this plugged in at all times can be beneficial.
    The ‘appeasing pheromones’ of ADAPTIL will help your dog feel calm and secure during the visit.

Train your dog to cope with visitors

Gradually socialising your dog on walks, classes, and in everyday situations can help them learn to stay calm around new and unfamiliar people. Familiarising your pet with the sound of the doorbell - rewarding calm behaviour, and ignoring aggression or barking, may help if the sound of the doorbell is a trigger.

When visitors are over it’s important to teach your dog what you want them to do. Give your dog clear instructions and remember how you want them to act in the situation e.g. no jumping up. Read why is my dog nervous of visitors? for more tips.

If you are ever worried about your dog, its important you get additional support. Visit your vet to check if you dog is in pain,
and speak to a behaviourist / trainer to help you put a plan into place to re-train your dogs current fears safely.


  1. Don't let your dog see guests enter the home

    • When the doorbell rings unexpectedly, put your dog in a place out of sight of the entry (another room, the backyard...).
    • Then let visitors in and settle in the home.
    • Only after, let your dog out and allow them to meet the new guests!
  2. Help your dog stay calm when visitors show up with ThunderShirt

    • Before opening the door for your visitors, wrap ThunderShirt around your dog's body.
    • ThunderShirt patented design provides a fast calming effect by applying a gentle, constant pressure.
  3. Introduce them with treats! (If your dog wants to interact)

    • To make sure your dog knows that these new people are not a threat, use super tasty treats to make the experience positive.
    • Long lasting bones, licki mats etc can be a good addition to keep your dog positively entertained while guests are over.
    • Equip your guests with calming tasty bites such as ADAPTIL Chew, to reward your dog, and they will become friends in no time!
    • ADAPTIL Chew can be a good last minute addition to use for surprise guests. Give your dog the required amount, they
      only take 30 minutes to start helping! 

  4. Watch closely... Is your dog or guest uncomfortable?

    • Keep observing these initial interactions between your dog and new people
    • If uncomfortable, it is best to bring your dog to their safe haven in the home during the visit.

We recommend:

To wrap around your dog's body when 'surprise' guests come to your home

Offer this delicious fast calming treat to your dog when visitors come


See how ADAPTIL helped these Dogs:

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