Training for Good Dog Door Manners

Good dog door manners should be a top priority in your arsenal of dog training.

teach dog front door manners

But how do you do that – get Good Dog Door Manners? You will always bump into the issue of: What do I want my dog to do instead of jump on people?  The perfect greeting for your dog is of course a well-disciplined sit. Here’s a a quick fix solution to work on at the door with your dog until you have that perfect greeting just the way you like it!

A Quick Fix Before You Start Training Your Dog for A Perfect Greeting

The band aid is a leash. But wait, there’s more. Much, much more!

  • We have to plan this process out folks:
  • There’s the leash,
  • Where to store the leash,
  • What to do and not to do with the leash to begin to teach good dog door manners.

Here’s the run down on what to do as a temporary fix before as you teach your dog a perfect greeting:

  • Keep your leash or spare leash by the front door
  • Leash your dog before opening your door.
  • DO NOT pull on the leash
  • Greet through a partially opened door (2” will do.)
  • Sit your dog
  • Have treats and stuffed Kongs at the ready.
  • Settle your dog to talk
  • Practice, practice

So you’re thinking, “This was easy for you to type but how easy will it be to do?” The correct answer is Easy!” Let’s take a look at this temporary greeting fix step-by-step

Step #1  Dog Door Manners Quick Fix

Keep your leash or spare leash by the front door When that doorbell rings you know what your dog’s first order of business will be. That’s right! Rush to the front door. As hectic as these moments are the last thing you need is to wonder, ”Where’s the dang leash?” Having a spare leash already at the door, lessens that stress right away.

Step #2 Better Dog Manners at the Door

Leash your dog before opening your door. You can’t begin to train or control your dog if your dog is off leash. This is the step that teaches your dog what you want him to do rather than what he thinks he needs to do.

Step #3 Dog Manners at the Door

DO NOT pull on the leash As counter intuitive as it is to NOT pull on the leash – understand that it will just cause your dog to pull towards the door even more. So relax and let him go to the door.

Step #4 Better Control of Your Dog at the Door

Greet through a slightly opened door (2” will do.) An easy way to control your dog and not struggle with the leash is to open the door just 2 inches only. Let your dog sniff through the open door. This allows him to know by “scent” who’s there. Just being able to identify by scent “who’s there” will take some stress off your dog. This is where you get to greet your visitor “through the 2” space and let them know your intentions which are to step back and sit your dog.

Step #5 A Brilliant, Easy Solution for Better Dog Manners

Sit your dog This may sound difficult but it’s not if you follow the rules with treats and a stuffed Kong. Gently but firmly, grab your dog’s collar to stabilize him. Next, place your foot on his leash and hold the business end (handle) of the leash with one hand with food treats in the other. Enter your visitor who you’ve asked to take a seat in the family room.

Step #6 The Gold Mine Solution in Training Your Dog

Have food treats and stuffed Kongs at the ready. Rewarding preferred and acceptable behavior is the name of the game. It says, “I like this and give me more of it!” Behavioral science says dogs do what works for them. It’s your job to show them what you want. Now go to the next step.

Step #7:  Final Step to Better Dog Behavior at the Door

Settle your dog

  • As you walk your dog into your family room to visit with your guest – still on leash, keep your dog focused on his stuffed Kong toy. He’ll stay by your side.
  • Sit in a convenient chair with plenty of dog space for you and opposite your guest.
  • Tell your dog to “Settle” and put your foot on the leash as close to your dog’s collar as possible.
  • Now deploy the stuffed Kong.

It seems like a lot of steps but it happens in less than 3 minutes. It’s the most critical 3 minutes of the visit because it will set the tone of the visit for you, your dog and your guest. This process will set your guest at ease knowing that you are working on your dog’s manners and are taking the time to teach him the same. Usually after 5 – 10 minutes your guest becomes “old news” to your dog. At that point he and can free (dragging the leash) to do a courtesy sniff, usually walks away.



Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

Jim Burwell is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 30 years, serving over 11,000 clients. Jim works with you and your entire family in helping your dog be the best dog ever.

4 replies
  1. Jenny Smith
    Jenny Smith says:

    Jim, lime my dogs to race to doir raising pandemonium. When I see it is friend I say “quit it (my term for stop it) and back. That’s it. Usually works. But deters unwanted visitors or burglers.

  2. Teri
    Teri says:

    I understand the concept. I have 4 dogs and two are Danes, so stepping on the leash is not going to halt that behavior. I put two up if I know ahead of time. I’d like to make the ringing or knocking to not be a cue for barking ..

  3. Jim
    Jim says:

    Jenny: agreed, the hard part is getting folks over. One client I had used a pizza party. For 3 Friday nights in a row she invited family, neighbors etc
    over and bribed them with pizza. The same folks for 3 weeks in a row. She made up a “score” card so they could track how much better the dog was each
    time they came over. It worked beautifully. Be creative like she was in getting folks over so you can work your dog. That’s the way to fix this

  4. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    I am getting there, very slowly, as I have few visitors and none to set up scenario. At least now I don’t get flattened coming in the door. When I expect any one, I make sure I have a stuffed Kong handy. Does anyone know how to stop a smart dog from throwing the Kong at the wall to get the last bits out?

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.