Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

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Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

Post by StephT » Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:30 am

In December, my husband and I started fostering a really great dog named Murray (bichon, cocker spaniel, poodle mix?). He had been found as a stray in Kansas and then lived at the shelter for over eight months before we rescued him. When he got to our house, you could tell he had never been inside and been a loved house dog. He had trouble navigating simple aspects of a home, had no concept of what to do with toys or nylabones and was very underweight. Adding to all of that, he was so scared of everyone. It broke my heart!

Fast forward 6 months, we quickly fell in love with Murray and decided to adopt him. He now LOVES toys and trots around the whole house with at least one, loves playing with our other dog and is just such a happy guy and great dog. The only place we are still struggling with training Murray is greeting guests who are coming into the house.

When he sees someone outside the house and he is inside, he goes nuts. He starts barking like crazy (looks aggressive) and will even snap at our dog during his barking. If a person rings the doorbell or knocks, same reaction. When the person/people try to enter the house, he barks and kind of runs at them. He’ll stop short of them, bark for a few seconds, and usually try to put his two front paws up on them. Then within two-three minutes, he is just fine. He calms down, will sit with them on the couch, bring them a toy and enjoy them being there. It’s a complete switch from his initial demeanor at the door.

This door etiquette is the only place in Murray’s training where we feel frustrated. I know it’s a fear thing, especially given his past, but I just don’t know the best way to approach training in this area. I’ve tried treating him when he doesn’t pay attention to the person outside and he is sitting nicely. Initially when we were still working with Murray, we would have every new person he met give him treats so that he learned new people can be a really good thing. He approaches people outside our house no problem, but when they’re coming into our house is when Murray reacts.

I am pregnant and due late October. If we can get Murray to a better place by that time, I will be jumping for joy! Any advice or training suggestions you can give is greatly appreciated! With Murray’s background I am so appreciative of all of your positive training ideas!

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Re: Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

Post by gwd » Thu Jun 13, 2013 12:51 pm

the snapping at other dogs when he's aroused is not uncommon at all. dogs will redirect! he's ampted up by the arrival of a new person. you've got the barrier frustration working in that the door separates him from the excitement........and he choses the outlet of lashing out at another dog because he's not quite sure what to do or what is expected of him.

getting him past this will be partly training and partly management. you can give him something to do.........give him a 'default' behaviour that is something you'd rather he did than barking and leaping at the door. perhaps a mat to go sit on nicely.

break all of this down into baby steps.

first introduce the mat. make it a happy place! lots of sits and treats on the mat. make the mat a high value place to be. then desensitize him to the knocking or doorbell.........those noises things mean treats and calm behavior.........then combine the two. to the point where doorbell means run to your mat and collect treats. ........all of this can be done without having to recruit a 'visitor'

once he's good about staying on the mat for doorbell or knocking..........then get someone to 'visit' and practice all the things he's learned in a more real life situation.

does that make sense?

sounds like you've come a long way with the little dude........this problem is easily sorted!

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Re: Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

Post by StephT » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:42 am

Thank you SO much! I will definitely give your suggestions a try!

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Re: Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

Post by doggiedad » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:53 am

invite lots of people to visit so you can teach him how to meet and greet. i think socializing
may help with the barking at people and other dogs when they walk pass your house. set up
the situations to socialize and train. be consistent in your training and socializing.

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Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:48 am

Re: Help Needed: Dog Greeting People Coming Into House

Post by nanciunderwood » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:50 am

I have this exact problem with my daughters dog Kona, who visits often. She is very aggressive to anyone who wants to enter the house and all who are in the house and enter the room she's in. It's extremely frustrating because she absolutely loves and trusts only three people in her life. She was a 6 month old rescue mutt from Tennessee, now 2 years old. We have worked with a trainer, no luck. She is very timid of men especially. She knows my husband and dad, (whom lives with me) but she still reacts that way to my husband 95% of the time. I'm so upset by this behavior and it startles the heck out if me when she barks and charges him or anyone. It's difficult not to get angry, but that is how most people react when a dog charges them. PLEASE help with any suggestions. I have over 25 years of dog experience, i own and operate my own pet sitting business, but this one tops the cake! I just love her so much and I know my daughter does also.

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