Door etiquette is for a pup to conduct appropriate behavior when something is going on around the door.
Begin by going to the door and knocking on the inside of door, allowing the pup to react by going to the door and/or barking. It is the pup’s job to alert you that something is happening at the door. Thank the pup verbally for the alert. Then take control of the space around the door, by putting your back to the door and facing the pup, scooting them back to their spot or behind the barrier.
Keep the pup in their place and back up to the door to open it and “let someone in.” Remember to practice this at all doors.
Remember to stay calm; have patience without frustration. Remember to practice often when no one is at the door, then with family, then with familiar people, then with strangers.
Create calm behavior before leashing, opening the door, and leaving home. With your back to the door, face dog and walk “into” them, backing them up. Continue to leash and open the door, pausing at each stage if your pup gets excited waiting for calm.
Typically, waiting for calm is just that—waiting. Standing erect with deep breaths can help, while, if at all possible, ignoring any obnoxious or excited behavior.
Door Etiquette For Taking A Walk
- The walk starts inside.
- Create a calm atmosphere before you begin. Before leaving your home, opening the door or even leashing…
- Take a deep breath.
- With your back to the door, face the pup and walk “into” them, backing them up. You are owning the space around the door. This may take some time.
- It’s important to “wait for the calm.” This is just as important as the walk itself.
- Waiting for calm is just that—waiting. Standing erect with deep breaths can help. If at all possible, ignore obnoxious/ excited behavior.
- If creating the calm takes half of your walking time, THAT IS OKAY. Your pup is still getting a mental workout.
Some pups need to continue the Door Etiquette even after your guest has come in the house and your pup has greeted them. For instance, if you move rooms or leave the room, make sure to have your pup in front of you, encouraging him to come ahead of you so that he is not “left behind” with the guest, which may make him uncomfortable and give him the impression that he is in charge and needs to handle the guest. Completing tricks or commands to show off can also be a great addition to Door Etiquette.
Calming escalated behavior at doors/windows: as your pup gets aroused at doors/windows to an outside stimuli, get up to acknowledge and/or thank the pup for alerting you to the distraction.
Often, you can make up a name for a dog, dismiss them that it is just a squirrel, etc. You can look out the window or go to the door and place a hand on them in a calming manner.
After you acknowledge that you have seen the distraction, put your back to the window/door and face the dog, and then back them up while staying upright and calm. Snapping your fingers or adding “shhhhh” can also help. Do this until the pup calms or can follow another command.
Jennifer Kyzer has been training dogs and their humans for almost 20 years. Jenn now lives in Hanover with her family. They have four kids – two with fur and two of the teenage human variety. She enjoys helping dogs and their families through our Homeschool program. When she’s not covered in dog hair, she’s cooking, mountain biking, and hiking with friends.
For more information visit http://kyzerdog.com/.