2001-Mon Jun 26 13:28:41 EDT 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved. Powered by Brightspot.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
A. This is the most common complaint I hear from pet owners: The sound of the doorbell often unleashes an eruption of barking, racing back and forth, pawing and scratching at the door, and jumping all over any and all guests. Even worse, an excitable pooch takes several minutes to calm down enough to respond to familiar commands. Your situation — where your dog listens well under relaxed conditions but tunes you out when extremely excited — is very normal.
Start by teaching your dog to do a down stay on a mat when a visitor comes to the door. You will need to teach this behavior well in advance of someone ringing the bell or knocking at your door. Mat training should slowly integrate distractions and visitors as your dog's training progresses.
In the beginning, give your dog only limited freedom on the end of a leash when a guest comes to the door; over time, work up to having her off leash when the doorbell rings. Have a leash next to the door that you can easily snap onto your dog’s collar when a guest arrives; this will prevent her from racing around your house, dashing out the door, or jumping on your visitor. Be sure to practice your mat work beforehand with the leash on. Using a leash keeps your dog closer at your side and gives you more ability to direct her to perform appropriate behaviors.
Set up a treat station by the door that is out of reach of your dog, but can easily be accessed when a guest comes over. When a guest comes in, treat your dog for sitting, and then immediately ask her to do another behavior, or simply to stay in the sit to await another treat or petting. You may need to treat your dog more frequently until she learns to behave calmly under the most exciting circumstances. For instance, when you are home alone, you may only need to treat your dog at the very end of a long sit stay when the door opens. However, when a guest comes over and ups the excitement level significantly, you may need to treat her every few seconds to begin with. Involve your guests and reinforce positive behavior in your dog by asking them to treat or pet your dog only when she's sitting.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Bartonella is a type bacteria that can be transmitted to cats, dogs and humans from exposure to infected fleas and…
Want to give your pup yummy, low-calorie treats? We’ve got the skinny on which foods are OK to feed him.
Not sure about food puzzles? Our veterinarian reveals why the payoff for your pet is well worth any extra work.
With these simple dental care tips, you can help keep your canine’s adorable smile shiny and healthy for life.
The friendly and inquisitive LaPerm has an easy-care coat that comes in a variety of colors and patterns.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.