Stop Bad Dog Manners at Your Front Door

Stop Bad Dog Manners at Your Front Door

Let’s face it; bad dog manners at your front door are irritating, obnoxious and embarrassing!
Stop Bad Dog Manners at Your Front Door
Plus, the bigger your dog, the more problematic and embarrassing his behavior problem becomes.

Does this sound familiar?   “My dog goes into wild behavior when people she loves visit. She won’t stop jumping in their face. She is so big, that even with a leash, I can’t effectively control her! So I am forced to crate her.”  I hate it!

If The Shoe Fits, Wear It

See if any of these touch a “sore spot.” Let’s start with some of the most obvious issues these bad dog manners create:

  1. Friends and relatives don’t want to come back and visit.
  2. You can’t take your dog anywhere.  Since he behaves like this at home, no way are you going to take him out somewhere. As much as you would love to take him to cool places like PetsMart, or sit with you while you sip your favorite Latte at Starbuck’s; all of this is out of the question!  
  3. Your dog’s spiraling bad behavior makes training seem like an impossible task.
  4. You’re secretly envious of all the other dog owners enjoying their well-mannered dog in public.

How did you wind up like this? More importantly, how do you start over?

It’s Got to Be the Old 80/20 Rule

What I mean by that is: 20% of these dogs are performing good manners 80% of the time.

That’s why their owners take them to Starbucks and sit out with their Latte!  

The Secret?

These dog owners probably started daily training with their dog since they got their dog.  Reality:  It is not hard work it just takes consistency every day.

That leaves 80% of the dogs only performing good manners 20% of the time, and then probably only for cookies. Those dogs stay home because of a serious lack of or no consistent daily training, which leads to bad manners, just like those at the front door.

Is your dog in the 20% or 80% Bracket?

If you are reading this article, I’ll bet it’s because your dog is in the 80% bracket and you’re looking for answers. If so, read on.    

Say Good-Bye to Bad Door Manners Even with a Big Dog

Now leashes and stuffed Kongs are probably nothing new to you. You use your leash for walking your dog and the Kong toy is what you stuff for your dog on occasion as a treat.

Huge tip!  Start using your leash inside. Greet your visitor with your dog on leash and keep some distance from the visitor so you can control your dog.  

Now you may say, “I do that but my dog is so big and powerful I still can’t control my dog!”

I’m going to give you 2 tips that will help you control your dog.

Tip # 1:  Train your big dog on a Gentle Leader to get maximum control.

With a Gentle Leader, you are back in control because you can now easily control his head. This does require getting your dog use to wearing the Gentle Leader but don’t be discouraged. He will eventually come around.

Tip # 2:  If you’ve been stuffing your dog’s Kong toy with something very boring like a Milk Bone cookie, you’re missing the boat.

It can’t compete with a visitor.

Instead, “Kick it up a notch!” Stuff your dog’s Kong with a Hot Dog! Or stuff it with Lamb Loaf. Both are fresh and need to be kept refrigerated but are really high in value!

The Procedure

The settle routine:  put your dog on a leash, go sit in your favorite chair or on the couch.  Put your dog in a down stay, give him the stuffed Kong and place your foot on the leash.  Allow enough slack in the leash so he can move his head and enjoy his Kong but cannot get up.  

Practicing this “settle routine” without visitors each evening will get you your desired results much more quickly.

Next time you have a visitor, once your visitor is seated, settle your dog down by your side, give him that premium-stuffed Kong toy and remember to put your foot on the leash so he can not jump up but is comfortable going after the Kong.

I know, personally, that the difference will be night and day.

If you want a dog that makes you proud, train smarter – not harder. Use your leash and a Gentle Leader, for optimum control of your dog in your home.

I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me.  Do you deal with this situation with your dog?  Comment below with your frustration  about this.

Remember:  “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”

Jim Burwell is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients.  Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make it work with your family and dog.  He gives you the ability to get the same great behavior from your dog.

13 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Emily Johnson: There are a couple of views or training philosophies on using the stay or not. One is using stay as traditionally taught in many obedience classes.
    The other is “Sit” until told otherwise or redirected to another behavior.
    You could, for example teach your dog that “okay” is their release to get up from a sit.
    If you tell your dog to sit and get a sit, then say “Good” ,, pause and then say, “Okay” to release.
    Either way works if you follow your trainer’s teaching program.

    Many dog owners are of the mind set that they have to say stay. But your dog is quite able to learn either way once you make up your mind with way you feel more comfortable

  2. Emily Johnson
    Emily Johnson says:

    What is your perspective on teaching the “stay” command rather than just using “sit”/ “down” and expecting them to stay until released? I’ve read different opinions on this. I have a 1.5 yr old terrier who only stays on her own terms and I really want to work with her on this! I just didn’t know if the word “stay” was confusing or complicating things. Thanks so much for your articles – they’re very helpful!

  3. Barbara Zimring
    Barbara Zimring says:

    I have a 3 yr old rescue pitbull that we have had about 2 years now. She has gotten very attached to my husband and I actually believe that she thinks he is her husband! I have been reading your website and I must say that it has helped a great deal. My problem is when company arrives at my door, She is so ill mannered with the jumping and doing the 360’s around the dining room table. She is not vicious but hates when anyone goes around my husband including me. Please please some pointers would be helpful!

  4. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jaymie – glad you found the site useful and full of information for you to use. Happy to use my 30 years of training to help you with other issues with your dog.
    You can either do in home lessons with me if you live in Houston or we also do tele-coaching and video coaching (brand new). You can find more info on products
    we have for sale under the DIY Products on the front page.

  5. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    It’s a soft treat that I use in my training. It comes in “loaf form” and I cut it into tiny pieces to train with. It’s made by Pet Deli. I believe
    they have a site online and can ship it to you. It’s made here in Texas and one of their distributors delivers it right to me.

  6. Jaymie Derden
    Jaymie Derden says:

    Just discovered your site today. We’ve got a 13-month old labradoodle who was rehomed at six months (change in his owners’ work situation). He had been crated 8 hours/day, 5 days/week from age 4-6 months when we got him. He was housebroken, could sit and fetch. That’s about it. He was 50 pounds, exuberant, and over the top! Totally out of control with separation anxiety to boot. We’ve come a long way in 7 months, but some issues are still pretty tough. Guests at the door is one of his triggers for sure. We practice the sit or down for everything, but it is really tough at the door. He’s now 82 pounds and when he sees the distraction of a guest, he is so excited, he “can’t hear” my cue to sit. I am thinking we just need to practice more around distractions, especially guest distractions. I do like the Kong idea — he does love a good Kong. I’ve also been training him to relax on his mat — shaping this behavior and hoping that it will eventually work at the door and other situations when he is very anxious. Thanks for any other suggestions you might have!

  7. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Jaymie. No, I would not leave the gentle leader on the dog all day long. Do controlled set ups with your dog to teach him a preferred behavior when people come to the
    door—that is when you would use the Gentle Leader- during that training. Unless you teach a preferred behavior you are not giving you dog the option to “choose” that
    behavior – you are simply continuing to “react” to the behavior you do not want. Hope that helps. Jim

  8. Jaymie Derden
    Jaymie Derden says:

    Do you recommend leaving the gentle leader on throughout the day while in the house? We use it for walks and outside time, but not in the house. Our dog is awful when people come to the door!

  9. Leila Martin
    Leila Martin says:

    Wendy: There are a few articles on the site about digging. Go to home page, click on blog and enter the word digging in the search bar right hand side

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