There’s nothing like coming home to a furry friend who’s excited to see you. While it may not necessarily bother you that your dog launches at you with a huge amount of gusto the moment you enter the door, your visitors and guests may feel differently. And if it’s happening at home there’s a high probability that your dog is also exhibiting this behaviour when you’re out in the community.
Alleviating this unwanted behaviour starts with prevention. When arriving home, calmly acknowledge your dog in the doorway. Don’t make your arrival home a party, adding to your dog’s heightened excitement will make your dog more inclined to lose self-control. If need be, have a lead handy at the door and use the park technique (see below) until your dog calms.
The key to calmness is rewarding your puppy or older dog, when they have four feet on the floor. Here are some methods to encourage calm, four on the floor greetings.
Four on the Floor – When your dog has all four feet on the floor, say ‘Yes’ and reward with a treat or gentle calming touch. He’ll soon learn that by being calm and quiet with all four feet on the floor, he gets what he wants.
Park Technique – Place your foot on the lead on the ground and hold the lead handle in your hand. Your dog may try to jump, but your foot on the lead will mean it’s difficult for him to get his feet off the ground. If you have an excitable dog, this method is very effective when you’re out walking, and a well-meaning stranger approaches. When he is calm, say ‘Yes’ and reward with a calm, soothing stroke.
You will find more kind training techniques like these in the ‘NOSE to TAIL: Workbooks’. The series of 6 workbooks are practical, interactive and fun. They are the complete package providing everything you need to get started training your dog. www.louiseharding.com.au/shop