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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:31 AM
happyhounds happyhounds is offline
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Lab goes crazy when someone comes to the house

Our 5 year old lab goes completely nuts when someone comes up the drive way. She barks and when I try to open the door she is frantic to get out, pulling, jumping, pushing her way through the door. If I try to pull her back she either pushes me out of the way ( she is over 85lbs) or gets loose from her collar and she will run toward who ever is there, barking with her fur up, then pick up a stick for them to play with her. She is very friendly and I don't think she would hurt anyone, besides giving them a heart attack when she charges them.
She is a great friend and mentor to our young lab but I certainly don't want the baby to pick up her terrible habit. I really don't know who to cure her of this unacceptable behavior and any advice is appreciated
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Old January 8th, 2010, 05:50 PM
packrat packrat is offline
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We have a 3 1//2 year old yellow Lab. She's a rescue so we really don't know her history. She was doing the exact same thing when anyone came to the door. That, and other alpha behavior.

On day I was thinking, hmmm wonder how she'd react to a spray bottle of water. So one day I took the bottle, sneaked around to the front door and rang the bell. She went nuts of course. I threw open the door and sprayed her full in the face. She took off and hid in the bedroom.

Since then we always keep a spray bottle by the front door. When someone comes we just point they spray bottle at her and she won't come come within 10 feet of the door.

We also enlisted the help of friends and neighbors. I would meet them outside and give them the spray bottle. They would ring the bell and when my wife opened the door they would zap our dog with water.

Now, the dog thinks that if she goes to the door she'll get sprayed.

Problem solved
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Old January 8th, 2010, 08:11 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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I think we all have different views of training, YOU need to find what works for you. I personally have to disagree firmly with spraying an animal to keep undesired behavior at bay.

The first thing you need to recognize is that barking when someone is approaching your home is a very, very natural thing for a dog to do. She's warning you that someone is coming, and warning them that they are on her turf.
I know I wouldn't like water thrown in my face if I was trying to explain something to someone; I certainly wouldn't reccomend doing this to your dog either.
I personally am GLAD that my dogs bark when someone comes. Its their way of warning the entire family. But I also expect them to be respectful of guests, of myself, and *stop* barking when I tell them thankyou.


Has your lab mastered the sit/stay command? Does she have a bed, or a spot she can sit on (a specific rug or blanket) that you can direct her to when someone is coming?

It also sounds like her collar is either too loose, or you need to invest in a different style like a martingale. When a dog slips out of a collar, this is entirely dangerous for the dog and everyone involved.

The second thing you want to do is practice through the day ensuring that she realizes that the door is YOUR space and not hers. Try to map out a little area around the door that she's never allowed to walk into unless you ask her too. Whenever anyone in your family notices that she's lingering in your front entrance, or going to the door, make sure someone tells her to get back and away from the door - even blocking her with their body.
It's important for her to understand that the door is not something she can barge - regardless of whether or not someone is there.

It will take patience and consistancy, but if you give her a few firm rules and expectations, this is something that can be overcome.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
The first thing you need to recognize is that barking when someone is approaching your home is a very, very natural thing for a dog to do. She's warning you that someone is coming, and warning them that they are on her turf.
I know I wouldn't like water thrown in my face if I was trying to explain something to someone; I certainly wouldn't reccomend doing this to your dog either.
I personally am GLAD that my dogs bark when someone comes. Its their way of warning the entire family. But I also expect them to be respectful of guests, of myself, and *stop* barking when I tell them thankyou.

Has your lab mastered the sit/stay command? Does she have a bed, or a spot she can sit on (a specific rug or blanket) that you can direct her to when someone is coming?
I most certainly agree with Bailey.

Here's a wonderful way to teach your dogs the "place" or "bed" cue that doesn't use aversives and can be lots of fun to practice. You can replace a clicker by using a verbal "yes" or "great."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQzXd...eature=related

Start working with each dog separately. The more you practice, the quicker they'll get it. Once they've got it without distractions, have friends/family help you out by coming to the door. You can also put up a sign by your front entrance, "Please be patient, dogs in training" so visitors don't ring the bell or knock repeatedly.
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Old January 8th, 2010, 09:24 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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I knew LP was going to answer this post

Pennyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy !
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:09 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Oh, and if you have friends like Frenchy who get down on the floor and talk high pitched and excitedly to your dogs while tickling their belies....umm, the exercises won't work .
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:15 PM
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Frenchy Frenchy is offline
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Oh, and if you have friends like Frenchy who get down on the floor and talk high pitched and excitedly to your dogs while tickling their belies....umm, the exercises won't work .
Penny makes me do it
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:18 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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Penny makes me do it
i'll back you up Frenchy, she made me do it too when i was there..
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Old January 8th, 2010, 10:21 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Sorry happyhounds, a little off topic here .

Frenchy, Aslan....Penny says you make her do it . We're still working on heavy distractions .
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Old January 9th, 2010, 10:11 AM
happyhounds happyhounds is offline
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Question

Thanks for the advice. The only problem I see is that Honey, our yellow lab, loves to lay by the door and look out the side window. we have a very long driveway and as soon as she see a car she starts to bark ( not bad because I like to know if someone is coming ) but I will try to train her to go sit some place else when I acknowledge that someone is coming....Is that possible?
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Old January 10th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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That sounds typical of many excessively friendly Labs but it sure is not good for your guests. Or for you and dog if she gets out and hurts someone or herself.

My Lab was the same. We worked, and still do, very hard on his obedience. He has a pretty good SIT these days. Until I got a compliant SIT I put him on the leash when people came to the door, or in a pinch, behind my kitchen gates. Yes, we have gates on our kitchen.

I have recently been working him on a new method when folks come to the door. At only 2 years old he still wants badly to see the new person. This idea is from my Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. There's a good chance I won't explain this adequately so I urge you to check out the book if you think it sounds interesting. I will try though, so here goes.

First, dog must already be clicker or YES trained and know what the clicker means. Second, ask permission from your guest. McDevitt uses what she calls a "look at that" game. I say "Who'zat?" When I do, and indicate the guest, the barest micro, nano-second my dog turns to look at the guest I click or YES. He knows this means a reward is coming and he re-orients to me. Timing must be split second. You must reward the most imperceptible move or look toward the guest. Food reward works best because you can do it much faster than a toy or belly rub reward. While I am feeding I say Who'zat again. You MUST say it before dog does it. Dog will look or move to the guest, you click or YES and the whole thing repeats. Eventually, in about a minute, my dog would not leave my side. He would not go the guest at all. I was left standing in the kitchen trying to get him to go to, or look at the guest and he would not. At that point game over, I went to the guest myself and by now the excitement was over and the guest received a much milder, more polite welcome with my dog all the while checking with me to see if we could do this game again.

One huge disclaimer. McDevitt would have you initate this in a much lower threshold situation and work up to the immense excitement of a guest at the door. I just jumped right in and it worked for me. I suggest that if you cannot control your dog with a leash and a strong SIT, STAY first then not to try this. Plus, I'm not the author of Control Unleashed and I apologize if I have not made this sound plausible. If you doubt, please read the source and don't take it from me.
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Old January 19th, 2010, 10:30 PM
Kay9 Kay9 is offline
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Your pup sounds like my little guy.

I point to the living room bay window (where he first sees the person approaching the door) and that's where he goes when I open the door. This training was kind of accidentally-on-purpose; he likes pretending he's a big guard doggie when he's at the window (he's a sweet little twerp in person) so redirecting back to the window when I open the door seems to work for both of us.

Once the person comes in the house however, Buddy does make demands for attention, which is still a problem (for the person, not for Buddy ).
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