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- Provide him with alternatives: By that I mean condition him to do something different at the door. Dogs that obey the Sit, Stay, and Down commands are much easier to control than dogs without a clue what those words mean. Yelling at him, pulling on him, and putting him in another room are not going to change his behavior. If you haven’t already done so, it’s time to teach him Sit, Stay, and Down (Quiet, and Leave It too), practicing several times a day, every day, when you are without visitors. Solicit the help of a professional dog trainer, or get assistance from friends, neighbors, or associates with well trained dogs.
- Attaching your dog to you with a Training Leash will help you keep him under control and off guests while he’s learning his obedience commands. As you work with him at the door, request visiting family and friends ignore him when they enter and have them walk past him, pretending he’s not there. Practice and repetition will speed up his understanding of what is expected of him. Practice without the Training Leash only after you are sure he understands that Sit means sit, and Stay means stay.
- Stationing him is another option. Ignore him if he’s boisterous; reward him with calm greetings when he has settled down. Ignoring his unwanted behavior deprives him of what he’s after--everyone’s attention. Having everyone walk out of the room, leaving him alone until he quiets, will help get your point across. Return and remain in the room with him only when he is calm. You may have to repeat this many times, but he will get the point.
- A favorite chew toy or bone will give him something to focus on. Always make sure you give him something to do while he is stationed.
Judith Joseph, D.O.I.
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