Q: Your friend's dog jumps on you and your small children when you visit, scaring the kids. Is it OK to ask your friends to put their dog in another room while you are there?
A: Absolutely. This doesn't have to be a point of conflict. Your kids are your priority. Say that your kids are a bit scared of the dog, and ask if the dog could be kept away. It doesn't have to be locked in a kennel. Ask your host to put it in another room, behind either a closed door or a baby gate.
You could also suggest an activity that's dog- and kid-friendly to start the visit, like a walk around a park. Most dogs settle down if you keep them moving and will be more relaxed when you enter the house later. Or, bring a chewy stick for the dog as a gift, which gives the dog something to do.
We often accidentally encourage dogs to engage in rude greeting behaviors. Instruct your child to "be a tree" and to resist telling the dog no, pushing the dog or running away. Those actions can be fun for the dog and can make him more likely to jump.
KAYLA FRATT, owner of Journey Dog Training and author of "Stop Your Dog From Jumping: Polite Greetings 101"
A: Removing the dog from the room will stop the jumping in the moment, but it's unlikely to have an impact on the dog's long-term behavior or help your kids feel better around dogs. It's a Band-Aid, not a cure. A more proactive solution would be to use the situation as a chance to teach the dogs and the kids.
Suggest that your friend keep the dog leashed when you visit, and then reward the dog for calm behavior. The dog will learn that calm behaviors are rewarding and, thus, will offer those more in the future.
Teach the children what to do if a dog jumps at them: Freeze, cross their arms across their chest, keep quiet and stare at the ground. And have the kids toss treats to the dogs as rewards for calm behavior.
AILEEN STEVENSON, owner of the Perfect Puppy Co.