Robin and I were at a Home Dog Training client in Flowery Branch the other day working with their Golden Retriever named George. It seemed that George never paid too much attention to our clients, would jump on everyone, and always bugged anyone in the house that he wanted to play. We immediately recognized this as a problem regarding George’s understanding that he was not the boss. Within a few hours, George was very respectful of our clients and everyone was very, very happy. As we always do, we finally asked if there was anything else we forgot to cover or anything our clients had remembered about George’s behavior that needed to be addressed. Our clients then remembered that over Thanksgiving, George would run to the door every time a guest would arrive and then shoot out when the door was opened. This was a new thing with him and initially caught them by surprise. They had just started to put George in a back room when guests would arrive. They wondered how they could make it so George could be there when people come to their home.
Dogs running out an open door is a very common and really annoying problem that most of our clients initially face when they call us. It is a huge issue because is gets our clients angry, damages their relationship with “their best friend”, and poses a safety risk for their dog. So, what is going on here?
Robin and I always tell our clients to try and see the world through their dog’s eyes. Their dog watches their body language to always try and figure out what they are saying and what they are allowing him to do. We always teach our clients that a large portion of body language is posture. One aspect of posture is directive focus. Is our client facing their dog or to they have their back to their dog?
When the client faces their dog, they are in a dominant stance. They are telling him that they are in charge of him. They are saying that he needs to watch them and wait for their commands telling him what to do. When they show their back to their dog, they are telling him that they are subordinate and even playful. Their dog often interprets this as a “follow the leader” game. Thus, they will try to “chase” the client out the front door.
Now let’s figure out what our client’s dog is seeing when they go to the door to the garage. Normally, they say “goodbye” to their dog. They are correctly facing him as they are doing that. They pick up their keys and then walk to the back door. Now what? Our client turns their back to the dog as they reach for the door knob. They are now in a submissive, play mode. They are telling their dog that they are no longer in charge so their dog can do what ever he wants. They are also communicating to their dog that it is fine to play. No wonder their dog isn’t listening to them and running out the door. Chat can they do?
They have to let their dog know that they are in charge as they are leaving. This is done by facing their dog and backing up to the door. If he begins to move towards the door, they need to tell him “no” in a low and absolute time. Also, they can hold their hand out like a policeman telling a car to stop. Then, they can continue to move back slowly to the door.
Once at the door, they need to slowly open the door as they continue to face their dog. If he starts to move towards him during this process, they should correct him again. Now they can step through the door and close it slightly. In a high voice, they can tell him “good boy” as the door finally closes shut.
The above exercise simply changes some of the inappropriate signals that our clients send their dog when they leave the house. From submission and lack of control, we have modified their stance during the “leaving process” to dominance and leadership. Their dog naturally responds to the signals they universally understand and respect. Leaving the house is now a happy and safe experience,
Please call Robin or myself at (770) 718-7704 it you are in need of any dog training help. We have a lot of good dog training advice at Best Dog Trainers Flowery Branch Georgia. Find all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Flowery Branch Georgia.