How Do You Deal with Workmen Around Your Dog?

May 20, 2011  

Since it’s Dog Bite Prevention Week, we asked our Facebook fans: ’How do you set your dog up for success when workmen or other strangers visit your home or yard?’

Some people keep their dogs in crates, in another room, or in the yard, but most times it’s only to keep them from kissing the workmen to death!

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

My dog is afraid of hats. So I let the UPS man or whomever know she is scared and they gladly oblige. Otherwise she has no issues with anyone. She just wants to love them like crazy.

~ Bethany Fox

I have trained my dog to know strangers since a puppy. We embraced the mailman, the guy paving the driveway, etc. He now barks when they come around so he can go outside and say hello. Workers around here even know his name.

~ Carol Bryant

My dog only gets cranky when workmen or strangers won’t come pet her, as long as they say hi to her before they move too much around the house she’s a super happy camper.

~ Laura Latini

If the work area permits, we set up a pet gate so the dogs can watch, but not steal any tools.

~ Natalie Hagan

He greets them at the door with a toy in his mouth and ready to play.

~ Christina Mahesse
I confine my dogs to my bedroom with stuffed Kongs. ~ Coleen Hill

I put my kiddos on a leash or kennel them. Unfortunately as friendly as they are, many individuals are intimidated by their size and appearance.

~ Paulina Kieliszewska

I have to put her in a different room so they can get work done otherwise she won’t leave them alone because she believes everyone’s job is to play with her.

~ Jonathon Marino

If they’re going to be inside I typically crate my pup, so that they’ll be able to get their work done without him in their face. Otherwise I’ll let them know I have a rambunctious pup and he may jump up on them, most people are like, “YAY, a puppy!” Especially if it’s a man, my pittie loves men! If they’re outside instead of putting him in his crate again, I’ll walk him out on leash so he can meet them and get his excitement out.

~ Britney Holland


I first ask the visitor if they are comfortable with having a dog in the house or backyard. If they are comfortable and don’t mind, I always, ALWAYS facilitate a productive and respectful meet and greet between the two, and then everyone moves on. If they aren’t comfortable with a dog, then I throw a massive chewy-bone into my room, and let my dog enjoy some alone time on my giant bed.

~ Michelleswork Bandach

I hold my dog back until they confirm that they are OK with dogs. If they are in the yard, I take him out on leash so he doesn’t bother them. Once he greets the person, he typically goes back to whatever he was doing or lies by their feet. He knows our mail lady and talks to her at the door when she comes. I think it’s important for puppies or new dogs to receive treats and/or praise from strangers.

~ Lauren Egier

I put them on leash and introduce them to anyone who is going to be around for more than a day. Anyone who is stopping by for a one-time thing or working inside the house I just keep them crated. I don’t think any of them would bite, but I would rather protect them than have some bizarre situation prove me wrong on that.

~ Brandy Duncan

I put mine in their crates. Otherwise they would be all over them thinking they have a new friend.

~ Chelsea Molitor

Here’s a video Animal Farm Foundation made to help mail carriers who encounter dogs in the community.

~ Animal Farm Foundation

I put Juno on leash and use it for training. I want her to know that she can relax when I tell her it’s okay to. I also use treats and let the workmen give them to her if they want to pet or greet her, after she is relaxed of course. Juno and I make a very good team!

~ Robine Yvonne France

It depends…if someone is only going to be in the yard, the dogs stay inside. If they are coming in only briefly, I’ll confine one or two. If someone is coming for a large part of the day, or several days, I’ll leash them and see how it goes.

~ Crissy Wilson Tadlock

My biggest problem is that sometimes I want it known that ‘we have a pit bull,’ just to make sure any strangers don’t think of us as a potential target, but then the dog goes and ruins it by being super friendly. The only reason I would ever need to put our dog away is that sometimes it makes it hard for people to do work when they are getting kissed all the time. And speaking of mailmen, I always introduce the dog, even all the foster dogs, to the mailman!

~ Cinnamon Mcgeehan

My dog has no concept of “strangers,” only “new friends.” If someone comes to the door, I’ll have her stay in a “wait” by the stairs so I can open the door and take care of it without her bounding all over them. When a repairman or new person comes inside, she’ll bug them mercilessly for attention so I usually end up having to put her outside just so they can do what they need to do.

~ Laura Cooke

All of my dogs are very social, but for everyone’s safety (especially my dogs), they are all crated or put in another room when someone is at the house working on it.

~ Ashley Scott
I put my dog in a familiar room away from the handy man. ~ Marie Campa

I have had more success with this than with my cats! Depending on the work to be done and stress (noise level) I have locked dogs in room with actual padlock on the door so there is no chance of even a mistaken opening of the door and also have moved dogs to friends when necessary.

~ Dee Dennis

When they have to come inside, Jezebel gets locked in her kennel until they leave. Not that I think she’d bite but just to be completely safe. I have two dogs in the backyard and when workmen need access, I put them in the garage until the workmen leave. They love to jump all over people, they’re so loveable…but they’re too big to be jumping like that.

~ Stacy Switzer

My dog is afraid of strangers, so I ask workmen or new visitors to ignore him (no talking or touching) and give them high value treats to drop on the ground. If it’s nice out, we’ll meet them in the yard where my dog can play ball and is more comfortable meeting (and playing with) strangers. With treats or with a ball around, it doesn’t take long for him to realize the strangers aren’t so scary and then he’s excited to have a new friend!

~ Jessica Dolce

We always supervise all interactions between strangers and all of our dogs-not just our pit bulls. This is to protect our dogs. We don’t know what strangers think is appropriate petting, gestures, noises, etc. They may think it’s funny to yell, throw things – I would hope not, but you really never know. Some strangers may really not want to interact with the dogs, and that’s their right. They’re here to do some task so we let them work in peace. Some may want to pet the dogs, and we encourage that, but we always supervise so interactions are safe and nurturing and wonderful for both the people and the dogs. We always try to throw a little pit bull education in as well.

~ Heidi Humrickhouse

Teach them to go to their “place” when visitors arrive! (see photo below)

~ peace love and pit bulls


(Photo courtesy of peace love and pit bulls)

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