Front Door Etiquette

For the best control, keep the leash and collar on your puppy  when he is out of the crate and have him supervised at all times.   Corrections can be done immediately and he won't learn the habit of running away when you reach to handle him.  Remove the leash and collar before returning him to the crate to avoid hanging accidents.


Nylon Leash And Collar

Pupperoni Treats

Spray Bottle Of Water Or Bitter Apple Spray


Master "Quiet"

Master Sit/Stay

Master Sit And Greet

In a domestic situation or in the wild, when a family member or pack member returns, the natural reaction for dogs/pack members is to joyfully jump up and greet each other or to bark and possibly attack to defend their territory. When someone knocks at your front door, these are the typical reactions that an untrained dog will exhibit. Your goal with this lesson will be to train your puppy to react in a mannerly way by sitting and staying when someone is welcomed into your home.

Step one will be to have the nylon leash and collar on your puppy, with the leash dragging on the floor (having the leash handy will help you control your dog better).  The person doing the training will have the spray bottle of either water or bitter apple spray in hand and dog's favorite treats in a handy pocket.

Step two will be for the person that is doing the training to walk to the front door and knock on the inside as if someone is outside knocking at the door. If your puppy barks, say "good boy!" and pet your dog to acknowledge that he has warned that there is a stranger at the door. If barking continues, say "quiet". If the barking continues, either spray water directly into your puppy's face or direct bitter apple spray into his mouth saying "quiet!" at the same time then tell your dog to sit. Once he is sitting and staying, open the front door. If he gets up, close the door immediately and reposition him in to the sit/stay. Opening the door is the reward for his sitting and staying. Once he goes through these steps successfully and stays with the door open, quietly praise your dog and give him a treat. Build the amount of time sitting with the door open then rewarding and releasing with an "o.k." to let him move from his position (it's important to remember that if you let him choose when to get up, he will not sit and stay when actual guests come through the door. Always remember to release your dog with the "o.k." command).

Once your dog has mastered the above steps, he is ready to move to having an actual "visitor" knock on the front door. After explaining the training steps, have a friend or family member knock on the outside of the front door. The steps will be the same as when you were knocking on the door, on the inside. Tell your dog to sit, then open the door. If he moves from position (and he probably will because he sees a person outside now), close the door and reposition him into a sit. Open the door again. 

Once he stays with the door open and the visitor standing outside, have your visitor approach your dog for the sit and greet. The trainer holds the treat while the "visitor" greets your dog. If he gets up, remove the treat and reposition him into the sit. Offer the treat again until the "visitor" stands up and moves away, you can then release your dog with your "o.k. command.

Keep in mind that this is a series of steps of learning, "Quiet", Sit/Stay, and Sit And Greet.  These need to be learned one at a time, then connected together to achieve the desired result.

This lesson will also be handy when you open the front door to walk out, he will not bolt out the door but will quietly wait for your "o.k." to move out of position.

Authored And Copyrighted By Janet Wright

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