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Very excitable puppy

June 18th, 2008, 12:53 PM
I have a 9 month old terrier. He is very excitable, and kind of loses it when people come in the door. Waiting for hiim to calm down before letting people in or before letting them greet him (or him greet them) doesn't seem to have a lot of effect -- if I have him on a leash he squirms and squeaks and wags and generally goes nuts, and even if I keep him away from whoever it is for quite a while, when I release him he shoots off like a rocket and well, the whole exercise seems to have been in vain. Even making him sit before people greet him doesn't lessen the excitement or the energy. I know he'll calm down as he gets older, but in the meantime....

So. Any suggestions for calmer greetings?

June 18th, 2008, 01:08 PM
my 8 month old, Molly, is similar, even when we are walking towards someone on the leash. Its like she can't wait another second to go and pounce on them for attention! One tactic that seems to work for us is always having treats in our pockets. when someone comes to the door, or walks towards us, I direct Molly's attention towards me and ask her to sit. I hold the treat in front of her to keep her attention on me as the other person approaches, and I use the command "wait". Make sure it's a really yummy treat, though! Also ask your guests to ignore your dog when they first enter, and you do the same too each time you enter. Your dog should only get your attention once it is settled and calm.
Hope this helps. :pawprint:

June 18th, 2008, 01:18 PM
I've been trying that, to no avail so far. And although he is VERY motivated by treats, he can't seem to decide whether he'd rather have a treat or go nuts over visitors. Yesterday the treats won, but by a VERY small margin (and only when I made him think he was getting the whole bag), but then the little bugger escaped from me and ran to the door anyway -- and this was when they were leaving!

June 18th, 2008, 01:21 PM
do ALOT of greeting. and by ALOT, I mean ALOTTTTTT. this is something that needs to be practiced regularly. decide what you want from your dog - do you want him to sit and wait while you open the door? do you want him to lay on a spot (i.e. mat) while you open the door? or is he allowed to happily greet as long as all four paws remain on the floor? (no jumping or assaulting guests).

You should decide what you want the end result to be, then work in baby steps to accomplish it. use positive methods to train it (I chose to clicker train my dog, using a clicker and training treats), and keep at it! the dog will learn, but you have to be consistent - each and every time.

I allow my dog to greet, however, my rule is ALL FOUR ON THE FLOOR. absolutely no jumping on anyone is allowed. I found it ridiculous to try to get my dog to maintain a sit or down while a guest was at the door (I choose my battles now). instead, I allow my dog to greet WITH me, but he will be ignored until the guest initiates a hello to him. any attention getting behavior is quickly corrected by me. my dog is older now, so a quick 'aht-aht. OFF." is enough. but if he were still 9mths, I'd keep him on leash for greetings until he learned to behave better.

June 18th, 2008, 01:27 PM
Well as I said, keeping him on leash only works as long as he's on the leash. The minute I release him he's off like a rocket again. Of course, I do realize that he's still a puppy and that he's only fairly recently discovered the joys of the front door.

June 18th, 2008, 01:36 PM
9mth old pups are fun, aren't they :rolleyes:

just some thoughts....have you tried leaving the leash on? you can tether the leash to your belt loop so the pup needs to follow your lead around the house. you can also drop the leash, and keep it attached as an "emergency brake". I did that alot w/ my own dog. this way the leash was on so i could quickly grab it if need be, or step on it to prevent horrendous behavior... like seeing him wind up to jump on someone, or getting ready to bolt out the door.

but as you describe, he's off like a shot when the leash comes off... this is why I choose to let my dog greet WITH me, but he must do it in an acceptable manner. this way the excitement is controlled, he gets to say hello, and the drama of the greet is over. he's off to find a toy or his bone or something.

another idea, keep a jar of treats at the door. have guests take one, but the dog only gets it if he's well behaved. a calm sit would earn the treat. if there's jumping and barking... ask guests to ignore the dog and turn away. even if it means doing it 5x in a row. most guests are happy to help and understand you're trying to train the dog.

June 18th, 2008, 01:36 PM
Going through the same thing here, ( not today, Abby is in recovery stage) but the wild,, love you love you, pet me pet me,, love you love you thing is a fight. She goes really crazy when we see my mom and doesn't matter how calm downed she gets, the min. mom ( or anyone else) goes to greet her she starts all over again. I really am hoping by keeping up the trainning,, and aging the problem will get cured. Hope continues trainning and ageing fixes your problem too,

June 18th, 2008, 01:52 PM
It's funny though, he only does that with visitors. When the people who live here come home he runs to greet us, but generally remains quite calm (we've always made comings and goings very low key anyway). But anyone else and he goes mad.

June 18th, 2008, 03:47 PM
You need to get the cooperation of your guests as well. People have a tendency of exciting the dogs as well with their cooing and never's human nature! So this is what I did...I posted a paper on my door and reminded every guest that came in to please ignore my dog completely! You can write something like " DOG IN TRAINING-Please act like there is no dog here!"
What would be even better is if you re-enacted a scene: Get a friend to ring the doorbell and come in...if your dog starts dashing to the door to trample them, they close the door and leave. Keep doing this until the dog is just sitting at the door waiting, and when the person comes in, and only if he's finally calm, they may come in completely. If not, they disappear. Your dog will quickly learn that being calm and sitting will bring the visitors not the other way around! Always give your dog attention when he's on all 4's, same goes for your guests.

Good luck!

June 22nd, 2008, 11:04 AM
im going to give the cesar millan answer here....

have someone who lives with/near you come to the door and start knocking, a lot.

then claim the door area, just stand in front of it, and block your dog from running past whatever imaginary boundary you want to use. also, use a leash so your dog cant run away from it entirely.

eventually, (trust me, my dog took up to 10 minutes sometimes to relax) you can get the dog to sit down and wait away from the door area wherever you decide far away enough is.

then make sure to follow through once you let the person in, allow no jumping or barking, just continue to block him from the guest until he relaxes (may take a good amount of time. but eventually he will give up and calm down.)

then have the guest come over and give a few pats and even a treat.

thats what i did, and now all i do is snap my fingers, and say "uh-uh" and cash goes and sits away from the door.

June 22nd, 2008, 11:43 PM
Have I mentioned that he's very excitable? Yesterday I took him to the vet. We had to wait 45 minutes. He didn't stop squirming, squealing and wagging his entire body the whole time, and this was after a very energentic one hour walk.