Ask the Trainer with Lisa Collins, CPDT-KA

Collins Canine, Inc.

QuestionI have three children and two dogs. My young children want to have friends over but when people come in the door, the dogs go temporarily crazy, though they eventually calm down. How can we help our dogs greet people using good manners?

AnswerAs a mother of a five-year-old with two large dogs, I completely understand. This will involve teaching your dogs they must be calm to get attention. Train the dogs separately until each one has learned the behavior. Put one dog on a leash to maintain control. Have a family member stand across the room from the door while holding the leash. Then have a guest come in the door and approach the dog. Work with adults at first to avoid possible injury to a child. If the dog jumps, your guest will walk away from the dog, avoiding eye contact. When the dog has four paws on the ground, the guest should return and give calm attention. If the dog jumps at any point, the person will again step away from the dog.

If done consistently, the dog will learn that when all four paws are on the ground, they will get attention, and when they jump, people go away. Once each dog has mastered this individually, you can work with them at the same time, but still on leash.

Lisa CollinsAbout the Trainer:

Inspired by her work with The Anti-Cruelty Society, Lisa Collins decided to pursue dog training professionally. She became a certified pet dog trainer in 2004. All Collins Canine trainers are CPDTs. Through the years, Collins Canine has successfully trained thousands of dogs in a variety of breeds with a variety of issues. Their goal is to keep dogs out of shelters and in happy homes.

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