dog behavior by Jim Burwell

Multiple Dog Chaos

“Thank goodness you’re here Jim!”  “My dogs are in chaos.”

dog behavior by Jim Burwell

He met me as I was just coming up the sidewalk. A dead give-away there is a lot more to work on once I get inside.

I was on the mark.

Two teen-aged dogs immediately charged, barked and jumped.

I am used to and expect to get some barking on entry. But this!

Tex, his Red Bone Coonhound/Mix was at full ear-piercing baying that made my teeth hurt!

Take Two on the Multiple Dog Entry

See what I mean Jim?

“I get it!” I said.

Let’s Try This Again But With Better Control

My instructions were clear:

Leash both dogs and:

Be ready to give both dogs, a “pre-stuffed” Kong at the first peep of the doorbell sound.

Timing is critical.
In Ed’s case with his two dogs I stood outside and rang the doorbell while Ed and his wife fed the dogs exceptionally high value food treats used only during this exercise.

This is important

We did about a dozen set-ups.
Now it was time to ring the bell and let myself in the house while they controlled the dogs.

There it was!



Peace and quiet.

They still have a lot of on-going exercises and work to do to insure peace and quiet when the doorbell rings unexpectedly. But it’s already so much better.

Practical solution that cured their dogs to seek them out for a stuffed Kong instead of charging the door. Much less stress and chaos.

Would that would be nice in your home?

With Multiple Dog Chaos, Practice Makes Perfect

Without establishing order using consistent rules and boundaries, you will continue to have multiple dog chaos.

We both know that most every dog owner with more than one dog (and many with only one dog) have difficulty at some time controlling their dogs when house guests arrive.

Here’s what I recommend that has worked with many, many dogs in the past. You might be surprised how simple it is.

Chaos to Calm

The very first thing is to understand that you should only train one dog at a time.
Secure all but one dog and train that dog.

Here’s the process for you:

  • Take your iPhone and record your doorbell ring. Make sure you put the phone next to the doorbell sound device on your wall.
  • Make sure that your recording does NOT have barking dogs in the background!
  • This pre-programmed ring will help you to get in the repetitions needed to begin re-programming your dog’s brain.
  • Get your first dog for training, get some very high value treats he only gets when he hears the doorbell.
  • Play the doorbell recording – feed your dog. Repeat this until he no longer barks at the sound.
  • Next, have someone hold your dog on leash and play the doorbell recording then you call your dog to you from across the room, praise/treat.
  • Repeat this until he’s getting really good.
  • Have someone actually ring the doorbell while holding your dog on leash until you call him to you.
  • When you hear the doorbell, call your dog. Praise/treat when he gets to you. Repeat.
  • Next, have one person take your dog to another room he might typically be in while person two rings the doorbell.
  • When you hear the doorbell, call your dog to you. Praise/treat when he arrives. Changing your dog’s starting point (different locations) helps him to generalize that no matter where he is, when the doorbell rings, he is to go to you.
  • Finally with your dog off leash, practice with random doorbell rings and with your dog in different rooms.

Don’t Forget the Basics

Make sure you put all your dogs on a Learn to Earn program in your home.

Require a sit for everything: their food, love and affection, going out doors and much more.

Begin 3 – two minute training sessions daily of sits and downs with each dog separately.

This allows you to develop a strong working relationship with each of your dogs.

If chaos is reigning at your house, begin the process to create calm.

Your dogs will be less stressed knowing exactly what you expect from them each and every time the doorbell rings.

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.

I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back. We’ll work together at your speed and both you and your dog will have fun every step of the way.

6 replies
  1. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Something motivates your dog. Maybe it a happy “Good Dog!”, but something motivates your dog. A food treat does NOT have to be a dog treat. I can be a small piece of a hot dog, or
    a piece of baked chicken. You just have to find out what it is.

  2. Darla Berry
    Darla Berry says:

    So two questions: 1) what if you’re not home but someone else (who may or may not be informed about the training) is or 2) what if no one is home? Thanks, Jim!

  3. Tamara
    Tamara says:

    This sounds like a great plan, but I have one dog who is not motivated by treats, no matter what you give her. She does not play with toys either. It is almost like she feels it is her job to guard the door. She does not jump on guests when they come in and calms easily, but she does bark incessantly until the door opens.

  4. Linda
    Linda says:

    All very well ,but,what if you have three large dogs and there is just tiny little you?Havoc is tremendous.When people come in they are jumped on then they finally settle after five minutes.They also have been known to fight when treating one without the other.Or giving one more attention than the other.

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