Behaving when someone is at the door is an essential canine skill. Not only does it ensure that your guests will get a warm welcome, but it also keeps your dog taking the opportunity to dash out of the open door. However, it can take some time to train a puppy or newly-acquired dog the proper way to behave around strangers. In this article, we discussed the importance of teaching your dog proper door manners through tips on dog training in Leesburg, VA.
Manage the Door First
Before you begin training your dog on door manners, you must manage the door they’ll be interacting with. Use the available materials at your home. Here are some noteworthy examples:
- Use a barrier: Place an x-pen in front of the doorway to keep the dog from getting out when someone enters or leaves your home. Do not use barriers if your dog can jump over high obstacles.
- Crate your dog in another room: If you are expecting someone to come over, confine your dog in another room to keep them out of the way. Once your guests have settled in, you can take out your dog on a leash to keep them from greeting your visitors boisterously. Crate your canine as well whenever you need to keep the door open for a long time, such as when you’re carrying groceries or moving furniture.
- Keep your canine from the front door area: Keep your dog away from places where a lot of people go in and out. This will reduce mistakes and inconsistent reinforcements during training. If you’re expecting a lot of guests to ring the doorbell, turn on the TV to drown out the noise.
Teach Your Dog Door Manners
Now that you have set up your home for dog training in Hamilton, you can now start teaching proper door manners to your canine companion.
- Secure your dog with a leash. This is crucial, especially in the first days of the training. Otherwise, you may have a hard time controlling your dog when they get excited.
- Train your dog first with the basic “sit” command. Teach the prompt without distractions first. Once your canine can do it on command, practice the prompt with distractions. Do this until your dog sits on command regardless of their surroundings. Reward them whenever they succeed.
Once they’ve mastered “sit,” teach them the “stay” command. Do not open the door until your canine can do both prompts well. Practice at your yard, then do it once you are at the door. Always give your dog a release word for the day.
- Time to train with the door. Open it for just a few inches and leave your hand on the knob. Train your dog to “sit” and “stay” whenever the door moves. It’s crucial that your dog learns this with and without cues, as guests and other household members wouldn’t always give signals before entering or leaving your home.
- Teach your canine to stay put when the door opens. Wait for your dog to sit, then reach for the door to open it. If they start to get up, stop reaching for the door and go back to your previous position. Wait for them to sit again before repeating the process.
- For the next exercise, tie your dog so that they cannot move out of the door. Place something that they like, such as a toy or a treat, on the other side of the door. If your canine remains seated instead of reaching out for the item, reward them with a snack.
- Repeat the previous exercises with the other doors of the house, especially the ones leading outdoors. Practice this also with the doors of your car. Don’t stop until your dog never fails to stay put when a door is open.
- Once your dog has mastered these exercises, replace the leash with a light-weight rope in case your canine, against their training, tries to go out a door. Go over the “sit-stay” exercises again until they totally stay put. Practice again with no rope, until you can guarantee that they will always behave accordingly, with or without your prompting.
Make Sure Your Dog Behaves at the Door
Training your dog to have proper door etiquette is an ongoing process. You need to be consistent with your reinforcements and behavior. Follow these tips and practice patience and perseverance. In time your dog will become more behaved and restrained when it comes to door-related events. For more pet etiquette pointers, consult your Leesburg dog training company!