Written by Christine Durrant, Professional Dog Trainer and Pet Care Consultant
Does your dog jump, bark and rush to the door when company arrives at your home? If so, you may consider taking the time to teach your dog a replacement behavior. This means deciding what you’d like them to do instead. The best place to start is to teach your dog to sit, then to stay. That way, you can have them sitting nicely while your guests enter your home. The time you spend training now will last a lifetime.
Next, it’s important to determine WHY your dog is reacting. If your dog is simply excited; follow the steps below. If your dog is afraid or nervous, you’re going to want to change their mindset from fear to excitement. Basically, turn the arrival of guests into a party instead of a dread. Remember, it takes time and patience to help your dog change their feelings about people, especially if they have had bad experiences in the past.
Please note: This post will not cover aggression. Aggression is an issue that requires in-person, professional intervention and needs to be addressed prior to this type of training. If your dog shows aggression towards humans they should not be greeting guests at your door right now. Please consider a professional, positive reinforcement trainer in your area. A good resource for this is The Association for Professional Dog Trainers at: https://apdt.com/
Once you have mastered sit/stay, here are some ways to better manage the problems you may experience when guests arrive:
Start training NOW. Don’t wait for someone to come to your door. As a matter of fact, please don’t expect your dog to succeed until you have practiced this many, many times in advance.