Why does my Lab behave badly at the front door?

I had a friend who said that their dog has always been rather barky and excitable at the front door, but recently he’s been nearly unmanageable when someone calls. He’ll barge in front of them, bark and jump at visitors, and generally be a menace. Worse, although his excitement is mercifully, good tempered, the noise levels and his pushiness mean that some of our less animal friendly visitors are becoming frightened of him. Why does he do this? And how can they get him to behave like a civilized member of the household?

BUT–they gave me this WONDERFUL training method I want to share with you!!!

It may be somewhat of a comfort to you that loud, rude behavior, from a human standpoint, at the front door is one of the most common discipline problems. Most dogs have a healthy regard for the front door as the entry to the home territory and place where everyone else in the family treats others well.  After all when the doorbell rings, you usually come running. So your dog is actually responding to your arousal level, and follow your lead, and now he’s taking the initiative. (Annnnd…my Labs know they are gonna get SPOILED always by who comes to the door–but they are very patient and never bother people…they are soooo goooood! You know if you’ve ever visited us!!

The good news is that with a bit of persistence, the vicious cycle of excitement/barking/more excitement/more barking can usually be broken. You need to practice with friends so that, at first, you’re in control of when the knock at the door is going to happen. The idea is to catch your dog with the trigger for him to get another room. So the technique is to offer your dog something delicious at the exact instant that someone comes to the door.

In conclusion, consistency always pays off. When he’s had his treat in the appointed place, and it should always be the same one, lead him to the front door and ask him to sit before you answer it, maintaining control of the situation and relieving your lab of the idea that he must play century.

Actually, this diversion (change the brain gears) method of training comes in handy in other situations as well so keep it in mind!

“Territorial guarding is widespread across the entire animal kingdom. Methods of guarding vary from the elegant to the actively aggressive. Sometimes elaborate displays take the place of an actual contact, from the fearsome chest-beating of the gorilla to the puffed-up, vivid pink dulap of the small green anole lizard. Many species seem to be aware, consciously or otherwise, of the power of bluff.”


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