I know I got a GSD.....but............ - German Shepherd Dog Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 157
I know I got a GSD.....but............

I need to find a way to have him relax when people come to the door. I understand he is a GSD and wants to do his "protective" thing. I can (after a 5 minute wrestling match) get him into a somewhat shaky sit/stay but he is NOT happy.

The delivery person, or visitor, is by that time more than a little wary and sometimes downright scared. I have tried to release him and have him come meet the stranger but he just walked by - growling all the way!! Where the H* did THAT come from?? Once when I released him to say hi to my in-law he just circled my brother in law then went to the living room. My brother in law kept his cool, but was understandably unnerved by having this dog circle him!

How do I train him that the person at the door is a friend. I really need help with this. He needs to learn that if we're okay with the visitor then he should be okay with the visitor. HELP!
Deuce'sMom is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 01:03 AM
Crowned Member
Chicagocanine's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,510
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

Have you tried having your husband hold him and going up to the visitor and speaking to them, shaking their hand, etc so that he knows it is a "friend"? I have noticed with my dogs who were inclined to be protective when people come over, (not Bianca, she just wants them to pet her LOL) if I make it clean that the person is *supposed* to be there and that they are a friend, the dog is more likely to relax.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Jubal/Tesla (Beauceron) 3/14/14
Bianca HIC CGC TT (GSD) 4/24/04-10/23/12
Chicagocanine is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:30 AM
Elite Member
Riley's Mom's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Posts: 1,609
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

Holding him back in any way creates the urge in him to move forward. He'll probably try to get around you. It doesn't serve to calm the dog at all, at least not at our house. They may sit, but it's an excited, wiggly, whiney, anxious sit.

Here is what we are doing that seems to be working pretty well and is what we do when we ourselves come and go as well.

When someone comes to the door it's my suggestion that you silently get in front of the dog putting yourself between him and the door/visitor. You're showing him the door is your space not his with this action. By telling him things like "no" or whatever negative you use with your voice you're adding to his level of excitement especially if it's a snappy, angry, frustrated higher pitched type voice you use. Do your best to not get frustrated, they can feel your frustration.

When then send them to go and lay down on the rug across the room from the door. You can start this by backing him up to somewhere convenient across the room, preferrably a spot that will be convenient for this to be "his place" when someone comes to the door.

They must stay down until they are calm during which time we let our visitor in. Other than keeping an eye on them to make sure they stay put, we ignore the dogs. They must remain down until calm AND also until we tell them it's ok to get up which should be a period of time after they've calmed down, not immediately after.

You visitor must wait outside the door until you have this accomplished before entering so they need to be patient.

Waiting until they're calm helps to lesson the excitement in the dogs when the finally do go greet the visitor. The more calm they are the better and the less intense the meet & greet will be.

If one of us is coming/going out the door, it's the same procedure. The one staying home handles the dogs.

Deb • Riley & Nissa
Rainbow Bridge • Damien Katy Crocket Kayla Gypsy Toby

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
German Shepherd Dog Blog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
• web sites for Rescues, Shelters and Pets
Riley's Mom is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 07:34 AM
Elite Member
sprzybyl's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 1,316
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

The other thing that I noticed that works great is if your visitor ignores the dog(s). No eye contact, no acknowledgement (even if there is barking) and they walk right into the room.

Lingering in the doorway has also been something we try to avoid.

-Sarah owned by my long coat clan:
my first love Gretchen vom Alpenhof (aka Riley)- born 3 Feb 2008
my first boy Garth Vader vom Haus Kohl (aka Vader)- born 2 Nov 2010

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
sprzybyl is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 08:54 AM
The Agility Rocks! Moderator
MaggieRoseLee's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Bushkill, PA (The Poconos!)
Posts: 27,477
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

And if every 'stranger' hands him a slice of chicken, liver, roast beef, cheddar cheese????

Does he listen better in dog class with all the other dogs and distractions? Is his obedience perfect there, just not at home?

If so, I'd work with my instructor to see if they could have suggestions and hint to help.

BTW, part of the problem (and brace yourself for this) is that you may have unintentionally allowed this too much cause of the false belief he is 'protecting' you with this behavior. NOT.

It's MY house. It's MY door. And guess who's in charge of who comes and goes in my house thru my door? If you think it's the dogs you are sadly mistaken..............

If I am home (and I am the Queen of My House) and I welcome the person at the door and I say they are ok and I let them in.......then they are ok. Cause I said so. If my dogs have some delusional belief that it's now up to them to NOT believe me, NOT trust me, NOT look to me after I allow the person in... Then somehow there is a breakdown in communication that has made me the follower in the relationship and not to be looked to and listened to.

So what can I do to shift this around so my dog DOES look to and listen to me? That's the real issue. How the heck did my dog start to think they are in charge and I'm just a pathetic nag running around after them, not to be trusted to know good from evil???

I know the more socialization in new places OUTSIDE the house, with strangers and new sights/sounds, helps me in these situation. And again, my dog classes with a great instructor to give help and hints in and out of class.


Miss Osin Blue Wildhaus NA NAJ NF

"Nothing new can come into your life unless you are grateful for what you already have. ~ "--- Michael Bernhard, gratitude
MaggieRoseLee is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Jenkintown,Pa.
Posts: 15,199
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

my GF didn't want our GSD barking at the door. my GF is a massage therapist. she has clients that come to our house. i believe you have to stop or head off certain behaviour before it starts. you know our dogs are going to be protective of the home. you don't wait untill they're 10 months old to start changing unwanted behaviour. you see the behaviour developing. why not think ahead to stay ahead.

we taught our dog not to bark at the door by inviting
people over to meet our puppy. after his 2nd run of shots we invited family, friends and neighbors over to meet our puppy.
i would have our visitors just walk in and greet the puppy. sometimes they would treat the puppy. most of the time it was
praise and petting. because it was convenient i had my neighbors come in 3 to 5 times a day. i made sure i had my neighbors come over while he was sleeping. i wanted my dog to have a neutral reaction if someone were waking him upon entering the house.
we made sure when ever my GF's clients came over they made a fuss over the dog.

whenever anybody visited i use that time to crate train. after a visitor made a big fuss over our dog i would pick him up and say"go to your crate. i carried him to his crate because at 10 weeks old he didn't know alot. i knew if everytime i put him in his crate saying "go to your crate" he would learn the command. i also crated when visitors were here so he would get use to being crated when people visited. i didn't want him whining to get out of his crate when visitors were here.

i think you should invite alot of people over to visit your dog.
have him on leash when people come to the door. let the people in. since at this point you shouldn't let the visitor pet your dog have them greet him and lay a treat in front of him. if he takes the treat have the visitor praise him and leave. you want them to leave on a positive note. i would continue to this for awhile. then i would muzzle my dog and have visitors come over and lay down the treat. i would let them pet my dog and praise him. tthen i would have them leave. once they were out of the door i would take the muzzle off and let him have the treat they left.

if your dog has a negative reaction to the people petting him while muzzled don't push it any further. i'm thinking he'll get use to strangers visitng and leaving him treats. then he'll get use to strangers visiting, leaving treats and petting him.

ask a professional about my method before usuing it. if my method is ok then use it. if my method isn't any good get a profressional trainer or behaviourist. good luck.

doggiedad is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 11:58 AM
Master Member
darga19's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Metro Detroit, MI
Posts: 579
Re: I know I got a GSD.....but............

I have had the same problem with my dog. What seems to work for me is having the dog sit on the other side of the room as 'Riley's Mom' mentioned. Admittedly, my biggest area where I needed to work harder in this area is letting the dog up too quickly. Exactly as you said, many times it's a squirmy, whiny, fidgety sit, not a calm one. Many times I've not been patient enough and I didn't force him to stay put until he's 100% calm.

Another tip for whatever it's worth, is to watch the dog's hackles. If they raise, stop the behavior before it escalates into a bark or whatever else.


The Brat Pack:

- GSD Marshall (10/2007)
- Adopted Collie/Terrier Jack (8/2008)

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
darga19 is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I know it's a GSD forum but.... Charlie W Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! 23 05-04-2013 04:38 AM
I know, I know I am looking for a GSL breeder and have tried the search, but... mbieler Choosing A Breeder 1 08-31-2011 10:28 PM
I know it's not a GSD but... Miss Molly May Favorite Links, Books and Videos! 9 04-10-2011 08:40 PM
Don't know if it fits here but I've got to share Mrs.K Braggs!!! 4 03-16-2010 06:06 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome