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alright i wasnt sure whether to post this in the puppy section or not so if this needs to be moved, please do.

ok..generally we know when somebody is going to come over so we will crate tyson just to keep him from jumping all over the company. well today the mom-in-law came over unexpected and tyson was out of the crate. when she knocked and walked in he went nuts chargeing at the door!! (keep in mind he is 7 months old) to my knowledge this is too young to be aggressive..? is this going to become an aggression issue or should i just let him work this out himself?
 

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I don't think it's aggression, but I don't think it will work itself out. I think he just needs to be trained what is an appropriate reaction when someone comes to the door. I allow my dogs to bark, maybe 3-5 times. Then loudly I say "OK THANK YOU!" and that's their cue to zip it. When friends come over I ask them to try not to get Coke worked up and give him attention and petting only when he has "four on the floor". Kenya is no problem, as soon as the door opens she backs off and just sits down or goes back to whatever she was doing.
 

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not aggression from what youre saying, more like excitement. crating is an easy solution when you know when someone is coming over, but as you seen first hand it doesnt teach your pup how to behave when he is loose and someone comes knocking out of the blue.

leash, train, practice. get a helper, and i assume you are still treat training, so get some of his faves.

your pup needs to already know the concept of down/stays for this to work effectively.

the key is to keep him in a calm state just before someone knocks or rings the bell. a spot for him to stay in far away enough from the door is helpful so he isnt zipping past you when you go to answer the door. but close enough that he sees you and the door. some folks use an adjoining room doorway as the cut off point for the dog. more than one helper is good too, one at the door, one holding the leash to keep him from darting or you hold the leash and the other helper goes to the door to answer.

heres a senerio: place tyson in a down/stay in his spot, him being leashed. [long lead may work better] your helper is already outside and rings the bell or knocks. you say one minute to your arriving guest [the helper] and settle tyson back on his spot [a bed or floor mat works great] if he rose or walked off. if/when you get him settled again you proceed to the door. if he gets up, before you release him, you stop where ever you are at with answering the door and place him back at his spot in a down/stay. staying calm and relaxed is really important here to keep him calm and focused on what you want. you will have to go back and forth probably many times before you get to the door to even open it at first, but with a good food reward he will learn quickly.

i break it down even more, i just get to the door and turn around and go to the dog and release, then praise and treat. repeat just that for the first 2 or 3 sessions. not more than 20 minutes at a time. if the bell or knock is making it too difficult to get him settled, do sessions without it and just walk back and forth to the door. into the 4th session i do all the steps mentioned but add opening and then closing the door [still no one has walked in at this point]. eventually getting to letting the person walk in and the dog waits to be released before he moves and once released for a job well done, he gets a treat. this is a two part reward. one is his good behavior lets the person at the door come in and then he is released once the guest settles and he gets a reward for listening and for behaving so nicely. having the guest ignore tyson until he calms down is also very helpful to him staying calm.

if he gets up while someone is entering, have them go back outside and he gets no treats for leaving his spot without being released. some dogs can move past this training very quickly others take more time so adjust as you need for your dog.

this was very successful for me with forrest as a pup. i dont place him in down/stays anymore and havent for a long time. but he always greets my guest calmly and never runs past me with a open door.

i would suggest all folks/kids living with you, if any do, have them do this training with tyson as well, so he knows this applies for everyone living in the home.

in the end, you will not get stressed out everytime someone is at the door and your visitors will thank you that they dont have a big dog in their face, everytime they come for a visit.

good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
angie-thank u for that post. i know that with a method like that we can nip this in the butt quickly (and needs to be). i also brain stormed an idea. generally people come through our garage into the house, not the front door. so i thought it would make sense to put a "goodie jar" by the step so that the guests could give him a treat as they come in. i will work your method tho...i love training this boy because he's such a quick learner, its just finding the right method is hard..thanks again
 
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