How do I teach Buddy to be calm when people visit? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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How do I teach Buddy to be calm when people visit?

Buddy is so well behaved in almost every area. Outside of our home, he is awesome when meeting new people and other dogs. People rave about his excellent behavior. He becomes a different dog when people come to our home to visit. What I envision as a goal is for him to bark to let me know that someone is at the door, then stop barking. Sniff the new person, and then leave them alone the rest of the time they are here.

Is that completely unrealistic? Right now, Buddy is pretty nuts when people come over. His barking is what bothers me the most. He'll bark when the new person gets up from his seat, or goes to hug one of us. I know I need to work harder with him on the "quiet" command.

Last time someone came over, I kept him on leash and attempted to have him sit calmly (for treats) as they walked in. It was hard to keep him focused on me, all he wanted to do was to get near the visitor (who was my mom, who just had surgery, so I had to keep him away from her, except for sniffing.)

How have you trained your gsd to stay calm when people come over? I know it's his instinct to guard his home and his people, so I respect that, I just want help so that we all can live more peacefully.

I've looked around the forum for other posts that address this and I couldn't find one, so I'm sorry if this has been discussed previously. Just point me to the right thread, please, if it has been discussed.

Buddy von Gaishauser ~ 4/18/09

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his LIFE, his LOVE, his LEADER. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" - Unknown
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 11:38 AM
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i got my pup at 9 weeks old. greeting
people at home or in the street started then
along with no jumping. to stop him from jumping
i simply didnt give a him a chance to jump.
when we met people i held the leash closer to his
head so he couldn't jump.

to teach my dog to greet people and their dogs
at home i invited a lot of people to visit on
a daily basis. before the people would enter my home
i would tell them how i wanted them to greet my pup.
when you enter my house call my pup. when you bend
down to treat him keep a hand over his back so he can't jump.
if he jumps say "no jumping". by letting everyone enter my house,
calling the dog and treating him he thinks
everyone that enters is a friend so he doesn't bark
at people in the yard or at the door.

now when my boy was a little older (4 months)
i taught him "go to your bed". so now you're at the door.
my dog was leashed and i would say "go to your bed".
i walked my dog to his bed and i would tell him
"down stay". now the people would enter my house.
i made my dog hold his position for a while. then i would
release him and he could greet the people. sometimes
i made him hold his position and i would have the guest
walk over to him and have them pet and treat him.

anything i trained my dog to do we worked
on it 4 to 10 times a day. each session last only
5 minutes or so. i invited neighbors, family and friends
over all of the time. my neighbors were into helping
me train my dog so they came over 4 or 5 times
a day.

a lot of times i would go to the 24 hour store
and train in front of it. there's always someone
willing to help train. there's lots of of people to meet and greet.
so you're socializing and training how to greet and not to
jump on people.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 11:57 AM
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but how do you train a dog that is not 9 weeks old anymore?
I am in the same boat as OP. Fanta goes bananas when someone comes to visit. I know I should have done better when she was little but thats hindsight now.

MIKE

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 12:59 PM
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i would start the same way as if my dog was a puppy.
i would leash him when people enter the house. i would
invite lots of people over to help with the training.
when the people aren't there i would teach "go to your
bed" or whatever you want to call it. when people visit
i would work on "go to your bed".

"think ahead to stay ahead".

Quote:
Originally Posted by smyke View Post
but how do you train a dog that is not 9 weeks old anymore?
I am in the same boat as OP. Fanta goes bananas when someone comes to visit. I know I should have done better when she was little but thats hindsight now.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 01:03 PM
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I agree with Doggiedad on the most important point of telling the human how to greet the dog. I have to tell everyone who comes in the house not to look at, talk to or touch my dog until he calms down. When I get home from work, he flips out because he is so excited. I walk into the house, sometimes pushing past him and do not even look at him until he sits down and acts calmly. If he jumps, I turn completely around and ignore him. There are definitley benefits to what Ceasar Milan and Victoria Stillwell teach. He is doing better everyday. Good luck!
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 01:46 PM
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We have been doing that so we are on the right path at least. glad to hear that.

when he jumps on you and you turn to ignore him, does he jump on your back? those nails hurt. LOL

MIKE

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 02:16 PM
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Oh, For sure! He usually gives up after he realizes that he isnt getting our attention. On another note for training, I was recommended a GREAT book on dog training from a lady who has owned Shepherds her entire life. It is called "How to Raise a Puppy you can live with" http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1577790766/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=1577790227&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=079E1SA9G5VPR241JBTBEven though your dog is not a puppy, It is the best training book I have ever read...we never paid for classes with our guy and he was out of control with the biting and chasing cats etc. He is a year old now and he is usually very well behaved....like you, we get a ton of complements on his behavior.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone's help and suggestions!! Thank you! Luckily, Buddy does not jump on us or new people during a greeting. Thank goodness! And he greets people/dogs outside of the home (even in our front yard) very calmly and respectfully. He just turns into a different dog inside of our house, which, again, I understand is his instincts. He is protecting his people. And I want to train him in a way that respects his instincts, while still getting the result that I desire.

We already tell people to not look at, touch, talk to ~ pretty much pretend we don't have a dog, lol, when they walk in. Once Buddy is calm, I'll walk with Buddy on leash up to the new people so he can meet them, sniff them a little, and so he can get a treat when he's calm. And when we come home, he is ignored until he is sitting calmly. That's all his routine and he's used to it. You can almost see him struggling to stay calm while being so excited just so we will love on him.

My biggest issue is when our visitors get up from their chairs, go to hug one of the kids, or tickle one of the kids, Buddy gets very upset and starts to bark at them. How do I let him know that it's ok, that I'm in charge, I know what's going on, and it's ok that people get up from their chairs, or play with the kids? That's my biggest issue. Just the protective barking. I tried his enough command, his quiet command, I even got out the water bottle, nothing worked, he was too worked up.

Now, to be fair to Buddy, when he acted this way, he was neutered 4 days before. So he was off, it was not the best timing to have people over. But we didn't have a choice, it was my son's birthday. He wasn't being exercised (due to his neuter and recovery.) He was basically wound like a string and just releasing 5 days of pent up energy while people were here. Poor guy.

I just want to help him, though. To relax, to be calm, when people are here.

I read a post yesterday about how to desensitize a dog from the doorbell. I think I'll start there. Then I know I need to work on Buddy's down/stay and his quiet commands. There's part of me that worries that the exitement of having people over will override his desire to obey those commands, though. But, like our trainer tells me, I have to believe that my dog will do it before he actually will do it. So, I just have to believe in Buddy's ability to stay calm and stay when I tell him to. He's such a teenager and butthead still, though. lol (He's 16 months.) I love the suggestion, doggiedad, of having him go to his bed and put him in a down/stay. And I wish I could think of people I could recruit to come over on a daily basis to help train him. That's awesome that your neighbors were so willing to help.

Gusto's mommy, thank you so much for the name of the training book ~ I'm going to go out and get that this week.

Thanks, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Buddy and I appreciate your help!!!

Smyke, let me know how Fanta is doing!!! Good luck to you!!!

Buddy von Gaishauser ~ 4/18/09

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his LIFE, his LOVE, his LEADER. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion" - Unknown
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemybuddy View Post
My biggest issue is when our visitors get up from their chairs, go to hug one of the kids, or tickle one of the kids, Buddy gets very upset and starts to bark at them. How do I let him know that it's ok, that I'm in charge, I know what's going on, and it's ok that people get up from their chairs, or play with the kids? That's my biggest issue. Just the protective barking. I tried his enough command, his quiet command, I even got out the water bottle, nothing worked, he was too worked up.
This is my biggest issue right now with Kaiser. He will lay down on his bed when someone comes over but as soon as they get up he barks and moves toward them. I immediately correct him but it doesn't seem to help. LOVEMYBUDDY....have you had any luck in curbing this behaviour?

Hammondview's Kaiser 4/23/09
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2010, 02:55 PM
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I knew Stosh was going to be really big from the start so I asked people not to look at him or pet him until he sat still. That worked for the most part but you know how hard it is to train people!! I've taught the command 'settle' which means the dog has to lie down somewhere and control himself. I started by using a clicker and having the dog in the rug in front of the kitchen sink- he had to go there from wherever I was in the room. Now it pretty much means go lie down away from us and control yourself. Just takes time, lots of visitors who will co-operate. Stosh still gets in between me and anyone hugging me, even the husband.
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