Dog Days: Good Dog Door Manners

Good dog door manners should be a top priority in your arsenal of dog training, but how do you teach that? Keep reading for some ideas on how!

Good Dog Door Manners

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Good Dog Door Manners

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Here’s the run down on what to do as a temporary fix as you teach your dog a perfect greeting:

  • Keep your leash or spare leash by the front door
  • Leash your dog before opening your door.
  • DO NOT pull on the leash
  • Greet through a partially opened door (2” will do.)
  • Sit your dog
  • Have treats and stuffed Kongs at the ready.
  • Settle your dog to talk
  • Practice, practice, practice!

Step #1  Dog Door Manners Quick Fix

Keep your leash or spare leash by the front door. When that doorbell rings you know what your dog’s first order of business will be. That’s right! Rush to the front door. As hectic as these moments are the last thing you need is to wonder, ”Where’s the dang leash?” Having a spare leash already at the door, lessens that stress right away.

Step #2 Better Dog Manners at the Door

Leash your dog before opening your door. You can’t begin to train or control your dog if your dog is off leash. This is the step that teaches your dog what you want him to do rather than what he thinks he needs to do.

Step #3 Dog Manners at the Door

DO NOT pull on the leash! As counter intuitive as it is to NOT pull on the leash – understand that it will just cause your dog to pull towards the door even more. So relax and let him go to the door.

Step #4 Better Control of Your Dog at the Door

Greet through a slightly opened door (2” will do.) An easy way to control your dog and not struggle with the leash is to open the door just 2 inches only. Let your dog sniff through the open door. This allows him to know by “scent” who’s there. Just being able to identify by scent “who’s there” will take some stress off your dog. This is where you get to greet your visitor through the 2” space and let them know your intentions which are to step back and sit your dog.

Step #5 A Brilliant, Easy Solution for Better Dog Manners

Sit your dog. This may sound difficult but it’s not if you follow the rules with treats and a stuffed Kong. Gently but firmly, grab your dog’s collar to stabilize him. Next, place your foot on his leash and hold the business end (handle) of the leash with one hand with food treats in the other. Enter your visitor who you’ve asked to take a seat in the family room.

Step #6 The Gold Mine Solution in Training Your Dog

Have food treats and stuffed Kongs at the ready. Rewarding preferred and acceptable behavior is the name of the game. It says, “I like this and give me more of it!” Behavioral science says dogs do what works for them. It’s your job to show them what you want. Now go to the next step.

Step #7:  Final Step to Better Dog Behavior at the Door

Settle your dog

  • As you walk your dog into your family room to visit with your guest – still on leash, keep your dog focused on his stuffed Kong toy. He’ll stay by your side.
  • Sit in a convenient chair with plenty of dog space for you and opposite your guest.
  • Tell your dog to “Settle” and put your foot on the leash as close to your dog’s collar as possible.
  • Now deploy the stuffed Kong.

It seems like a lot of steps but it happens in less than 3 minutes. It’s the most critical 3 minutes of the visit because it will set the tone of the visit for you, your dog and your guest. This process will set your guest at ease knowing that you are working on your dog’s manners and are taking the time to teach him the same. Usually after 5 – 10 minutes your guest becomes “old news” to your dog. At that point he and can walk freely (dragging the leash) to do a courtesy sniff, usually will walk away. But what if your dog is a little more than nosy with your seated house guest and wants to jump? The more you train with friends and family members, the better your dog will perform with that special guest.

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