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behaviour at the front door

shelleyb
February 5th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Molly (18 month old fixed female golden) has terrible front door manners. When someone knocks on the door or the door bell rings she races to the door. She will sit when you open the door but then she's all over whomever is at the door, running around, jumping, not listening.......sometimes I have put her on her leash and that has helped a bit but she's no where near what I would like.

How do I train her to sit, wait patiently, and only greet the person when we say 'ok' and then to greet them by going up to them, not trying to jump on them (altho she doesn't jump up on everyone, just certain people, not matter how many times I tell then not to pet her while she's jumping up on them )

Ford Girl
February 5th, 2008, 01:51 PM
Oh ShelleyB...are you sure you don't have Dazy's twin? 18 month old female golden, lives in Calgary... (If Dazy wasn't the only female in the litter I would think they were littermates) LOL! I could have written your post to a "T". I struggle with this every ding dong too..Halloween was the longest night ever!!! But a great training opportunity!

Dazy jumps on females only, and learns quickly who is passive and who won't put up with it, but she tries to push it...and in public if I say STAY OFF before she gets within a foot of the person she will listen to me. the jumping is getting much better.

What we have done so far has helped alot but we are far from it being habbit. We placed a masking tape X on the floor, that's where we sit her when we go down to open the main door, our friends all know that they need to wait a few seconds longer for us to open the door cuz of the training, and if it's a stranger I really dont care if they have gone before I get to opening the door. We say sit - stay...I then open the top door (not outside door) walk down 4 steps and give her another hand signal meaning stay, she wiggles with anticipation hardly containing herself...I can usually get the door open, but then she barges down the stairs to greet the person...half jumping, crying, stuffy in her mouth...sound familular?

We have asked all our friends to help us train her, thats a huge key to it all, it's easy to fall back a few steps with friends saying.."thats ok, I like dogs"...or if they back up and pet her while she behaves this way, so while you are training Molly, train your freinds too, they play a huge roll in it. We had a friend come and go all day long one day, until she made the right choice and greeted properly, but it didn't seem to continue onthe next day. And, we do not make it an exciting thing, our house is calm...we don't run to the door - so thats not the problem either.

I don't know what else to do...she gets so excited, wiggling and bouncing, barging forward, and once she gets to the person she does a million circles and then lays down for a belly run, back up to bouce around, and will follow and harrass them for a long time looking for attention. Holding them back didnn't help - it makes her frantic...we have tried the door bell desensitizing - rang it non stop all day, works well after a few times, but the next day she was still so excited.

I feel like while I am right there in her face she listens and control herself but the second I am turning away to get the door it all goes out the window, she breaks her stay and the excitment of a possible visitor gets the best of her!!

Anyone else have any suggestion for Shelley??? I could use them too...

bear the dog
February 13th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Me, too, although my situation is a bit different. No matter what I've tried as soon as the door is open and he shoots out like a bullet. It doesn't matter that he's well behaved every other time and comes when he's called--most of the time. He's young and we've just started training. Stay is still a somewhat foreign concept to him. I've tried 'owning' the space by the door, but apparently I'm not doing something correctly. Any tips?

jessi76
February 13th, 2008, 11:51 AM
I'd approach it this way...

pick a day to practice, and get willing volunteers (friends,family,neighbors)

set the situation up - friend outside, ring doorbell or knock...

keep the dog on leash inside. put dog in a WAIT (not a sit or stay - as most dogs won't automatically sit and stay when someone is at the door) but a standing WAIT is a reasonable expectation. I'd enforce it using the leash, and body language. open the door, and if (when) the dog breaks and goes to jump you control the situation w/ the leash and verbally correct the dog. a slight tug of the leash and a stern NO should work. put the dog back in a wait position. (note - I consider a WAIT a calm standing position, meaning that more is to come - a STAY is a firm "stay in one spot no matter what" command. but WAIT means be calm, THEN you may greet the guest.)

you need to practice this repeatedly, on leash until the behavior is corrected. so pick a weekend, use some friends, and train the dog.

when the dog doesn't jump up and greets the person nicely be sure to REWARD that. to encourage the dog to continue the good behavior.

PennyC
February 13th, 2008, 05:02 PM
You its really not that complicated but it works, what you can do is be her boss, you see alot of ppl wnat to be their dogs friends and THEN try to be their boss but the dog will not take you seriously. Take a day and have a friend over to help you. now explain this to your friend obviously, when the door bell rings or someone knocks at the door, put yourself btw the door and your dog... with your finger up make a sshhht noise and hold firm once the dog has backed away and allow your "visitor" to come in. obviously your dog is going to try to continue to get by but keep firm and keep her away from the door and your company must MUST ignore her at all cost. do this for a day as practice with a friend, and then continue to reinforce it as actually company shows up. once this procedure has been fullfilled lets work on the jumping. when the dog jumps on the person make the person turn its back to your dog, you see your dog does not have a boss and assumes that he cannot be controlled so he is demanding for attention. by having your friend or yourself turn your back on the dog she is going to get bored and go lie down or turn her energyu and attention on something else. once the dog is calm and relaxed chewing its toy pat it on the head as positive reinforcement for its good behaviour. she is definetly going to reacte to this but after you reinforce the good behaviour and ignore the bad the dog will realize that if she wants attention she is going to have to calm and quiet. i hope this helps you and if it does not work, let me know i have many tricks up my sleeve for training a dog, This is the one that has worked the best on a poodle that i know who acts the same way as your dog and it worked wonders on my aggressive pyrenise chow chow mix for different reasons and situations. good luck

Ford Girl
February 13th, 2008, 05:13 PM
jessi76 - I have used your/this advise before, months ago, and it does work for sure...but for us, only in the moment, it never sticks for the times when we are not set up to succeed or practice. If I leash her and set her up, perfect - she makes the right choices everytime, but if it's out of the blue...she can't control herself at all. Maybe it's just my dog. :shrug:

Without the leash, all the SHH's and No's, ignoring or leadership skills in the world do not matter to her, all that matters is that someone is here to visit us and so can't wait to see them.

I practice leadership every second of every day with my dog...I don't plan on giving up, but I have yet to find something that sticks for the door bell/manners problem. :wall:

luckypenny
February 13th, 2008, 06:38 PM
FordGirl, I know you have an x-pen but do you have a crate as well?

PennyC
February 13th, 2008, 06:52 PM
lucky penny is right, i dont know if it is because oyu are being to soft or of it is because your dog really is that bad, but if absolutley nothing works, a crate would be a good option, but i will tell you one thing, it wont solve your problem. you can also try another leash procedure, actually the excat same one as indicated but the locatioon of the leash is everything, put the leash/collar, directly behind the dogs ears, this allows you to maintsin control. If this does not work, I would sudgest the gentle leader once again. It is great and never fails (literally) The dog can habe the gentle leader on all day and it will not change the dogs habits. they can eat, drink, bark, bite, everything that they do on a regular basis the only difference is that instead of applying preassure on the frontal porchan of the dog's neck it applies preassure to the back of the head. You a dogs natural instinct is to push against whatever is applying pressure. The gentle contains a nose-band, that roles under the neck and up behind the ears. the nise-band is to indicate to the dog that you are the alpha dog, that is its only purpose, that and to bring the dog's head around towards you while walking. the Neck band is there to apply pressure therefore the dog cannot pull forward without pulling himself back and cannot jump upn without knowcking himself back onto his butt. all you have to do is hold the leash by your side. you want the dog to sit, you pull upwards until the dog sits, obviously giving the command, and then you release rewarding the dog for the good behaviour of sitting

luckypenny
February 13th, 2008, 07:31 PM
The reason I ask FordGirl, is because we have all three of ours crated (not always Ava cuz she an :angel: with guests). Initially, as the guests used to come in, they would be a little wound up but would settle within a minute or two (crates are placed in living room b/n front door and dining room so they can see who comes in). I leave them there another 10 minutes or so completely ignoring them and tending to the guests. Once I'm settled, I let them out but, by this time, they're very relaxed and already bored with the guests :laughing: . New people usually get a sniff or two and friends are asked for a minute or two of attention. I always stress to people visiting to completely ignore the dogs if they get excited. More often then not, it works. We also ask family friends to leave the house for a minute and come back several times thoughout the visit. By the second or third time, our dogs totally ignore them :thumbs up .

Rather than forcing them to sit/stay/wait etc., my motive is to de-sensitize them to people coming and going.

Ford Girl
February 14th, 2008, 01:50 PM
FordGirl, I know you have an x-pen but do you have a crate as well?

Yes, we have a large travel crate. I could try that, I don't have room in the main area, so if I crated her when the bells rings, she woudl be placed in a bedroom or basement away from us. Would that still be ok you think? Would that send the wrong message? Ding song - in the basement. :shrug:

I am willing to try this. She crates and kennels like an :angel:. Everytime, in she goes without hesitation.


lucky penny is right, i dont know if it is because oyu are being to soft or of it is because your dog really is that bad, but if absolutley nothing works, a crate would be a good option, but i will tell you one thing, it wont solve your problem. you can also try another leash procedure, actually the excat same one as indicated but the locatioon of the leash is everything, put the leash/collar, directly behind the dogs ears, this allows you to maintsin control. If this does not work, I would sudgest the gentle leader once again. It is great and never fails (literally) The dog can habe the gentle leader on all day and it will not change the dogs habits. they can eat, drink, bark, bite, everything that they do on a regular basis the only difference is that instead of applying preassure on the frontal porchan of the dog's neck it applies preassure to the back of the head. You a dogs natural instinct is to push against whatever is applying pressure. The gentle contains a nose-band, that roles under the neck and up behind the ears. the nise-band is to indicate to the dog that you are the alpha dog, that is its only purpose, that and to bring the dog's head around towards you while walking. the Neck band is there to apply pressure therefore the dog cannot pull forward without pulling himself back and cannot jump upn without knowcking himself back onto his butt. all you have to do is hold the leash by your side. you want the dog to sit, you pull upwards until the dog sits, obviously giving the command, and then you release rewarding the dog for the good behaviour of sitting

I can promise you we are neither too soft, or she is too bad. I never get to be soft, ever. :sad: She is a good dog, smart, she knows, but it's like a kid that can't help herself, frantic manic behavior...from day one, she use to pee all over the place when she got that excited, that has stopped...she goes nut bar with high energy...she doesn't jump very often anymore, but the rush to the door or person is hard to stop. We do practice calmness in everythign we do, we don't run to the door or ever try to pump her up with excitment.

If I go take a shower, come out 10 minutes later, she has to get up, grab a stuffy, run to me, circle a few times, then she drops to the ground belly up...and this is after only 10 minutes. This is her manic approach to each visitor, even if they just saw her 10 minutes ago, and if it's someone she LOVES she cries all the while too. She is just so happy when she sees people, and I am not makeing excuses for her behavior.

I walk Dazy the way you described, leash up high, works well, she doesn't pull the leash at all so I know that technique. I have a feeling that this will be one of the last manners that clicks with her, that no matter what technique we use it will be a long time before she settles down.

Ford Girl
February 14th, 2008, 01:55 PM
I always stress to people visiting to completely ignore the dogs if they get excited. More often then not, it works. We also ask family friends to leave the house for a minute and come back several times thoughout the visit. By the second or third time, our dogs totally ignore them :thumbs up .

Rather than forcing them to sit/stay/wait etc., my motive is to de-sensitize them to people coming and going.

We do this too, our friends don't ring the bell anymore, they call us from their cells and we prepare ourselves and Dazy. We even had a friend come over and do this several times, in and out, ignore the excitment...it worked while we were practicing, she always makes the right choice if she knows it's a training exercise or practice...but if we are unprepare and someone stops by, she loses her mind.

I might try x-penning her. But then I can picture her freaking out, we would leave her, she woudl eventually settle or flip right out...and even if she was settled - open the pen door and she would do her routine...but I will try that for now.

Renay
February 14th, 2008, 02:00 PM
Ask this friend to try this with you again, but try buying a gentle leader, I'm not sure whether it would work long term, but while your dog is wearing it, if you put a leash onto it your dog will sit/stand by your side without getting all hyped up. It could in the very least provide a short term answer to your problem

luckypenny
February 14th, 2008, 03:57 PM
Yes, we have a large travel crate. I could try that, I don't have room in the main area, so if I crated her when the bells rings, she woudl be placed in a bedroom or basement away from us. Would that still be ok you think? Would that send the wrong message? Ding song - in the basement. :shrug:

No, that wouldn't work :laughing: . She has to be able to see you and the guests. After 10-15 minutes, let her out but very calmly; don't look nor speak to her. Have your guests ignore her too. She will most likely get worse before the behavior "extincts." The trick is to continue ignoring her.

We do this too, our friends don't ring the bell anymore, they call us from their cells and we prepare ourselves and Dazy.


Rather than have your friends call you from the cell phone, tell them to call from home before leaving. Don't crate her as soon as you get off the phone though because she sounds smart enough to associate the phone with being crated :laughing: . Wait a few minutes, set her up in her crate with a Kong or something to occupy her. Other than putting some beer in the freezer :D, don't go into a 'preparation' state. It should all be carried out matter of factly or she'll sense something's up.

Ford Girl
February 15th, 2008, 10:14 AM
So last night, we tried this with Voo's mom. Voo was over, she was picking her up, so there was a bit of excitment/distraction added to it. *C* knows that each time she comes in, we use it as a trainign methods, so she listens for what I am doing...

The dogs heard her coming in the first door in to our porch, it took me several minutes to get them both to sit before I told her to calmly told her to come in...but once I said those words, she's looses her mind...I can't turn to opent he door and control the dog...

*C* walked in, I told her to ignore Dazy completly, no eye contact or talk or anything, and for that matter, ignore your own dog who's also freaking out and jumping. *C* is one of my female friends that Dazy jumps on, so we had double the trouble. :)

*C* and I continued to chat, and Dazy circles, cried, jumped on the couch, jumped back down, stuffy in mouth, roo roos and growling, did mini jumps on her (which we thwart but turning/pushing her off - hands free, no words) Big dogs are harder to get off you without contact...it's very tricky. (*C* is a push over in general, she knows what she has to do to get dazy to stop jumping on her, but never musters enough autority to put a stop to it)

It took 14 minutes of this behavior before she sat/floped down at *C*'s feet, semi-calm, she never gets to the full calm with a visitor. I didn't x-pen her cuz Voo was over.

Questions - should I give her a command while this is going on? Cuz if I say sit, she will - all be it wiggling hard, but isn't the talking to her considered attention? (not completely ignoreing her) And if I sat STAY OFF, she will. Without those commands she just contimues to lose her marbles...

When I try the pen...would it go like this...ding dong - put dog in pen, answer door, completely ignore the dog till she settles, once settles - let her out - do I place her back in if she gets excited again?

I know this all sounds confusing, but we have tried it all, and it seems every situations calls for a different approach. I really do not want to use a leash, it makes her pull/push/struggle even harder. And I was told to not hold them back by several trainers, it only accentuates the energy.

I like the pen idea, but want to ensure we use the same actions each time to be consistant.

Ok, I need a drink....:laughing:

jessi76
February 17th, 2008, 08:21 PM
lol.... I think I need a drink after reading that! I've certainly had moments w/ my own dog & company that go EXACTLY like that, so rest assured, it's not just you, or just your dog.

have you considered bribery? keeping a special "guest" cookie jar at the door? heck, hang a basket, bucket, or whatever, up off the floor if need be. Like a "post box" but for dog treats instead. you can even go all out and make a nice one w/ a hinged cover that reads "take one when entering". have guests bribe the dog to sit. and the dog only gets the treat if all four are on the floor.

Instead of viewing the leash as a "tug of war", use it like an emergency brake. When you are expecting company, put the leash on the dog and let it drag. If you can, step on the leash to prevent jumping and wild behavior. Just use it as an e-brake if necessary. it may jar the dog a bit when you step, but that "tug" may be just what's needed to remind the dog of manners.

Is there anything your dog doesn't like? i.e.... my dog hates water. So merely shaking a water bottle is enough to make my dog go lie down and not move a paw for fear of getting squirted.