Get ready for Summer House Guests:
We have all experienced the embarrassment of inviting a guest over to our house the moment the doorbell rings our dogs start barking like crazy and rush to the door. Even when we manage to beat them to the door once we open it our guests are greeted by jumping and excitement that can take awhile to finally settle into a nice calm visit. Don’t worry it doesn’t have to be this way! Here are a few helpful tips to have your next visitor seeing what a wonderful dog you know you have.
- Use a ‘House Leash’: In dog training a leash acts as our lifeline to our dogs it is our best way of being consistent and helps us follow through. Anytime you know you will have visitors over about 15min before they are set to arrive let your dog drag a leash around the house. This will give you the ability to have more control once your guest does arrive.
- Set up ‘Practice’ scenarios often: Just like us when your dog is learning something new they need to practice daily in order to really have it stick and show results. So try to have pretend visitors as often as possible. If you have a helper that your dog is used to have them ring the doorbell and just stay outside so you can help calm your dog down without all the distractions of having to greet your guest. Or if you live alone you can knock on the door from the inside to have the same effect.
- Reward the behavior you want: Often times when we are working with dogs we get very wrapped up in what we don’t want our dogs to do and forget to let them know when they do it right. So try doing the opposite!
- Grab some treats and stand by the front door (your dog will be with you because they are excited about the food)
- Stand still for 1sec immediately say quiet and give them a treat (you are rewarding their success in being quiet even though they never barked, what a great life!)
- Knock once on the door from the inside, if your dog barks stay quiet and still until they stop, the moment they stop immediately say ‘Quiet’ and give them a treat, if they stay quiet repeat. (This is an important step this tells your dog nothing happens when I bark but when I stop I get a yummy treat and that means quiet)
- Practice this scenario often, remember practice makes perfect!
Always remember we want training to be fun for you and your dog! Check back next Tuesday for more training tips from Dog School!