We have training techniques to help you with “happy” hellos. It is all about managing the behaviour by having a solid base in obedience.
Your dog needs to have a solid “stay.” Our goal is to have our dog sitting on his “spot” when someone comes to the door and then when that same person goes to leave.There will ultimately be no more frenzied greetings by the dog and no “ushering out the door as fast as he can”! The dog will have to sit and stay on his “spot” until released.
The first step will be to teach our dog to “stay” & go to their “spot and stay” on command.
- Do this on leash and lure and reward with food. Tell the puppy to “go to your spot” and lead him to the spot and ask for a “sit-stay”.
- Teaching a solid stay: Start by training “stay” with no distractions. Then add distractions such as clapping hands and jumping up and down. Squeaky toys and food on the floor make the exercise even harder. Your dog should be taught the “stay” means just that – stay under all circumstances. You should be rewarding your dog a lot for not moving (praise, treats). *one tip* you will get a much more solid stay if you continue to go back to your dog to reward him. If you only reward after the break of the exercise, you are only rewarding the end of the exercise and not the actual stay.
- Do this many, many, many times intermittently and unexpectedly. Always reward lavishly and then break and let the dog go on his way.
- Once Puppy understands the “spot” routine, then you are ready to have him “go to your spot”, “stay” while you walk towards the door. If he stays, open and close the door, return to the dog and “break” and reward. If at any point he moves, be quick on your correction: remind him to sit, stay and walk towards the door. Do this many, many, many times!
- Once your dog allows you to open and close the door, then you are ready to knock on the door and then open it. Get prepared to correct him back into position.
- Once you can do this, then you will leave the dog, knock on the door, open the door and say “hello” to the air and get ready to correct. Do this many, many, many times!
- Once you can do this, then you are ready to have a real person on the other side of the door. At this point, you will set your puppy up in his “sit, stay” on the “spot”, have the person knock on the door and get ready to correct the dog. Leave the person standing on the other side of the door until you can leave your dog. DO NOT have the person enter at this time. You will get to this. Close the door on the person and repeat. Be sure to have the dog seated on his spot before the person knocks.
- Once the puppy can handle this, then you are ready to have the person enter through the door. The dog must stay seated while you greet the person and let them move into the other room. Once your “guest” is seated, you may break and reward your dog. Have the “guest” be ready to greet the dog after they have been released and the guest should only reward if the pet comes to be greeted nicely by a sit never a jumping dog. Now repeat this process many times.
- Once the puppy is very familiar with the routine of letting people into the house, you are ready for the “unexpected” knock at the door. When the knock occurs, get ready to lead him “to the spot” and follow through all the steps as above. The main difference here is that the dog is not set up and so the momentum of the unexpected knock or doorbell will have to be overcome. This is where the practice of the above will come in handy.
Patience, perseverance, and consistency will be the keys to success with this exercise.
Written By: Centennial Animal Hospital