This seems like an impossible task: keep your dog extra calm when visitors pass by the house. It is not! Having your dog greet visitors politely, rather than barking and jumping at them, is an attainable and worthwhile goal.
Dogs are natural protectors
As mentioned in How Dogs Communicate with Us, dogs bark when strangers come to the door as an alert to the rest of the family. Your dog is saying “I’m not sure who this is, but I’m here to protect you.”
It’s easy to be a little annoyed by barking, but in your dog’s eyes, it’s for good reason. Your job is to train your dog to do other things when visitors come to your door.
As dog owners, we continually train our dogs through our actions. Whether you plan to train or not, your dog is learning from you. With such an attentive student, you can take advantage of your dog’s eagerness to learn and start teaching him better manners.
Training your dog to obey your commands and be polite is about persistence and time. Your dog won’t be perfect in everything right away. You must be determined to work with your dog, and together you will begin training your dog to follow your commands reliably.
sitting at the door
One thing you can try is to practice with your dog. Inevitably, it can be difficult to actively train your dog if everything goes haywire when a stranger pops into your door. Instead, you can practice beforehand and start reinforcing the right behavior.
Start by taking your dog to the door. Tell your dog to sit down and stay. When he does, reward him with treats, pets, or toys. You’re going to slowly teach your dog to “sit down” at the door exactly what you’re looking for.
The next step is to open the door and see how your dog responds. If he breaks his stay, close the door and try again until your dog can keep his stay when you open the door. If you are concerned about losing your dog when you open the door, put it on a leash at the beginning of the exercise for added safety.
Once you’ve conquered this step, it’s time to knock on the door. You can try knocking and knocking to get your dog accustomed to both. If your dog can stay in place over noise, he’s pretty much an expert. Remember that positive reinforcement is the best way to successfully train your dog. Don’t be shy about giving treats and/or verbal rewards when your dog does something right.
Now it’s time to add a second person. Your dog may stand up, squirm, jump, or bark when the new person approaches. walk slowly. Visitors are asked to be patient until you can successfully get your dog to sit and stay. Don’t let other people into the house until your dog shows obedience, sit and wait when the person approaches the door. Your dog will slowly learn that the only way to meet new visitors is to sit patiently and wait. If you have willing visitors, practice this exercise a few times. You can even give visitors a treat that is carefully held in their hands. While your dog is waiting patiently, visitors can reward him by entering the house and giving him a treat.
When done, issue a release command, such as an excited “ok!” This lets your dog know his work is done.
It’s not a quick fix, but the bonus will pay off when guests come over and notice how polite your dog is. It’s also nice not to have to squeeze out the door to meet the delivery guy because your dog is going crazy in the background.
If your dog likes to jump on visitors, having it on a leash during training will go a long way. Managing your dog’s jumps is as easy as rewarding him for landing on all fours. If your puppy jumps, correct him gently, let him sit and reward him. The excitement of a visitor can be hard to overcome, and gently guiding and correcting your dog on a leash can make the entire scene more manageable and prepare you for a successful training session.
The “go to your place” method
Another training option you can try is the “go where you are” method. If your dog has a crate or bed that is their favorite comfort, you can make it their “place”, their “room” or their “bed”, the command word is up to you! It is very convenient to deal with this technology.
The snacks I like to use at home are from Organix. My dog Ava is crazy about them, it’s a treat that needs to be chewed and I’m always grateful.
Hold the treat in your hand and show it to your dog. Once they are interested and follow your hand, take them to their “place”. If their location is created, you may have to reach for them to enter. Once your dog is inside, reinforce the command by saying “OK to your place!” and give rewards. The idea is to let your dog know that the command word means to go to their safe place and then be rewarded. Once you’ve taught your dog where to go and your puppy obeys reliably, now you can try it out when strangers come to the door.
When someone knocks on the door, your dog gets up and starts barking, saying, “Go to your place!” Hopefully at this point, your dog knows how good this treat will be after going to his place, and he will Gleefully obey. This is unlikely to happen in the first few tries, but if you try hard enough, your dog will learn to enjoy going where they are, no matter what the distraction might be.
Persistence is the key
Dog training takes time, patience and perseverance. If done correctly and consistently, your dog can learn new tricks every day! In just 10 minutes a day, your dog will be a professional greeter in no time, using these commands we’ve taught you in this article.