Halloween begins a busy season in many households. The arrival of trick-or-treaters and Thanksgiving and holiday guests can send many dogs into a whirlwind of jumping up, barking, and over-arousal. Many dogs become over-stimulated by the sound of the doorbell alone. This time of year is ideal for helping your dog develop and practice polite greeting behaviors. Here are some tips to get you and your dog started…
- First, figure out what you do what your dog to do when the doorbell rings. Go to a bed, sit/wait by the door, or just not jump all over people. Set a realistic goal for your dog and figure out the smaller steps to get there.
- It is important that your dog is no longer able to practice the behaviors you don’t want. So, if you have guests coming over and you don’t have time to help your dog, it is best to put them in another part of the house while you manage the traffic at the door.
- When someone is at the door, the priority is getting your dog under control before you open the door. Have your dog’s leash and high value treats to reward successes in an easily acceptable location near the door and have your dog on lead before the door opens. Some people find it helpful to put a small sign on their front door saying “Dog in training, please be patient.”
- Use the buddy system when working with your dog. One person has the dog on lead and reinforces what you want and the other person manages the door.
Next week, we’ll highlight more tips to get your dog on their way to being a better door greeter.