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    1. #1
      House Broken
      Melly's Avatar
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      Acts like Cujo when people come to the door

      So here I am with yet another question (issue). Forest is so sweet and gentle, EXCEPT when someone comes to the door. He acts like Cujo! Barking and growling with hair raised and trying to jump on them. It's embarrassing and rather concerning. I truly believe this is all bluster because within about 30 seconds to a minute, He is fine with who ever it is, and becomes his usual sweet, goofy self.
      I'm not sure what to do about this. I have tried putting him on the leash, and making him sit, and praising him and offering treats for sitting quietly. As soon as someone walks through the door my highly food motivated boy, could care less about those treats.
      We will be attending obedience classes but those won't start until the end of August. He needs to understand that this is in NO way acceptable behavior.
      Help!

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      smartrock's Avatar
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      Hi,

      First, I would just point out you haven't had him very long and he's only a year old. It's a combination of learning the rules and he's just a crazy puppy, despite being a crazy puppy in an adult sized body.

      My first question is whether you use a crate for Forest or if you have a place you confine him when you leave the house. If so, you can prevent him from coming to the door and "greeting" newcomers by putting him in his crate or behind the baby gate or whatever you use until the visitor has come in and Forest has had an opportunity to calm down some before letting him come out to meet them. When you let him come out, the visitor should IGNORE Forest, no petting, no talking to him, no looking at him until Forest has a chance to sniff and walk around them some.

      Others teach and train the dog to go to their place, a bed or small rug, and have them lie down and Stay. This won't work on the first visit, you have to teach them in steps, 1) go to your place, 2) lie down, and 3) stay and practice it over and over, first without distractions, then with increasing distractions which could start low with you walking around while they're in a stay, one of the kids walking past, one of the kids running past, one of the kids and one of the kids friends walking past, etc. If he breaks his stay, you have to take him back to his place, put him back into a stay, and start over again. This is a slow, step by step process that will be useful for lots of things but it isn't as quick as putting the dog into a crate when a visitor comes over. If he learns this, when someone comes to the door, you tell him to go to his place and Stay, let the visitor come in, the visitor will ignore Forest as above, when Forest seems calm you let him up to wander around. The visitor should continue to ignore Forest until he's acting calm.

      You can help them learn not to be so Cujo-like at the door, too. You need someone to help you practice this by being the "visitor" and coming up to the door and knocking or ringing the bell and practicing over and over. Like you've tried, you go to the door with "Cujo" on a leash. When the doorbell rings have him sit and start to open the door. As he lunges toward the door, which you haven't fully opened, you slam it in your dog's face and put him back into the sit. He wants to get out to say hello, jump, act idiotic and you have to keep him from getting what he wants. This also takes lots and lots of practice.

      Our dog Lark is 4 years old now and she acts OK when others come over. We used the crate for her when others came over. As she got older she would calm down more quickly and could be released more quickly, especially if she already knew the person. With strangers or workmen, I still let her go into her crate and may or may not let her out- usually leaving her confined for workmen like a plumber or electrician. If it's a friend/visitor, I play that by ear.

    3. #3
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      Melly's Avatar
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      Yes I do crate forest. He sleeps in it every night and if we can't watch him like a hawk, he is in his crate. I am working on teaching him sit and down stay. He can do a 30 second sit stay and a 30 second down stay with me about 6 steps away from him.

      I like the idea of teaching him to go to his place. That is a great idea! Thanks for the ideas, as you've given me some good stuff to work on.

      I want people to enjoy Forest as much as I do.

    4. #4
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      Labradorks's Avatar
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      My two dogs are adults, have their CGCs and additional obedience, rally and field titles and I train all the time yet they still cannot manage themselves when someone comes to the door. It's just over-arousal and it's normal.

      I put my dogs in a crate until they settle and then when my guests are ready, let them out. In the summer I just have people walk into the garden separated from the yard where the dogs are by a short gate and let them get their crazies out, then when they settle, we walk into the house.

      It's not ideal, but I decided it wasn't where I wanted or needed to spend my time and energy. I don't have guests often and the vast majority of them are dog lovers anyway. So, I manage but I don't train for it. Your situation may be different.

    5. #5
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      Quote Originally Posted by Labradorks View Post
      My two dogs are adults, have their CGCs and additional obedience, rally and field titles and I train all the time yet they still cannot manage themselves when someone comes to the door. It's just over-arousal and it's normal.

      I put my dogs in a crate until they settle and then when my guests are ready, let them out. In the summer I just have people walk into the garden separated from the yard where the dogs are by a short gate and let them get their crazies out, then when they settle, we walk into the house.

      It's not ideal, but I decided it wasn't where I wanted or needed to spend my time and energy. I don't have guests often and the vast majority of them are dog lovers anyway. So, I manage but I don't train for it. Your situation may be different.
      Different behavior and breed...but same thought. A friend of mine used to have a Golden Retriever who had to be put outside for a short while every time someone came to the house...she had uncontrollable urination and an apparently large bladder. You do what you have to do.
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    6. #6
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      Thanks everyone. I see that this is normal. It has been a very long time since I've had a young dog. I had an ACD years ago but he was very well trained (CGC) and greeted everyone no matter where we were, very politely. Even the Catahoulas I had didn't act this crazy when people came to the door lol. I am going to start crating him for now when people come over, and work on teaching him to go to his place.

    7. #7
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      We either crate or they go outside until they're calm when people come over. Like Labradorks, other training takes precedence over calmly greeting people when they come over.


      Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Melly View Post
      Thanks everyone. I see that this is normal. It has been a very long time since I've had a young dog. I had an ACD years ago but he was very well trained (CGC) and greeted everyone no matter where we were, very politely. Even the Catahoulas I had didn't act this crazy when people came to the door lol. I am going to start crating him for now when people come over, and work on teaching him to go to his place.
      Labs and Goldens are often the worst when it comes to over-greeting. My dogs are perfectly fine in public, it's just when someone comes over that they go insane. And, like I said, I don't have company often enough to deal with it (my point of view). Linus actually jumped my garden fence once when I tried the dog/human separation thing the first time, which came to me as a surprise at the time (this was before I found out he could easily jump on my kitchen counters). Luckily the person stopping by was a trainer and before he got to her I said, "Don't you dare even so much as look at him!" and she followed directions well! So, no big reward. I just marched his yellow butt back to the other side and then she came up to them to say hi. He hasn't done it since. When my non-dog training friends come by they always say, "Wow, I thought you did obedience all the time?", which makes me laugh since a lot of obedience dogs (who do really well) actually can have the worst pet dog manners!

      There is an online class called Overgreeters Anonymous which starts in October if this situation is something you would rather train for than maintain. I would think that it would be a good class if your dog is also this way when out and about, not just when you have company.

    9. #9
      Best Friend Retriever
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      We have company all rhe time and Gigi is like it some times not always once people are in and she has had her proper expertise .
      But on the other hand when they are not known to her and are new she looks rather intimidating . We actually prefer this as I travel and she sometimes home with my wife and kids .
      She looks scary with all her hair up and dark and menacing behind the door .

      I would be worried if she is aggressive to people . I think a dogs duty is to give that visual deterent atleast.
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    10. #10
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      My dogs live in the basement and away from the front door. And I crate them if I know people are coming over. There ARE ways to train to make them manageable with the door, but you will need to probably work with someone who can come to the house and see what's going on. We have 6, it's easier to keep them away from the door because despite training, pack mentality will kick in every time.
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