Teaching a Protective Rottweiler to Move Away Instead of Guarding the Door

By: David Codr

Published Date: February 20, 2019

For this Omaha dog training session we showed the guardians of 4 year old Rottweiler Abigale, how to teach her to move away from the door and shared tips to stop her from acting aggressive to new people.

Abigale was very worked up when I arrived for the session so I asked the guardians to wait before opening the door. If you interact with a dog in an unbalanced state of mind, the likelihood of mistakes happening is quite high. After a few minutes, Abigale calmed down enough for me to come inside.

Once inside I could see she was not an aggressive dog, she was overly stressed and insecure about having a new person in her home. I spent the first hour of the session gaining her trust using soft body language, lots of positive reinforcement and time. Sometimes it’s what you don’t do that helps a dog develop confidence. By avoiding eye contact, limiting my movement and offering many delicious treats and chew items, Abigale first sat down, then laid down and was eventually taking treats out of my hand.

I spent a few hours going over all the small things the humans were doing to unintentionally contribute to Abigale’s aggressive dog behavior. Adding in some rules like staying out of the kitchen and consistently enforcing them, petting with a purpose and passive training will all help shift the leader follower dynamic and allow Abigale to relax instead of offering protectively aggressive behavior around guests.

One of the times Abigale is the most aggressive is when people knock at the door. I had to walk the guardian through this exercise as I had only just established trust. To get up and move around would have certainly set her off. Stopping door aggression in dogs is all about helping the dog see the humans as having the situation under control and helping them feel comfortable. You can watch as I coach the guardian through some door behavior techniques.

Abigale has two guardians, but one of them is who she feels most attached to and protective of. When she was trying to claim the area around the door, she was a little slower in her movements and this caused Abigale to simply move around her. This link shows me doing the same technique. Best of all, you don’t have to specialize as a Rottweiler dog trainer to do it.

Because of how agitated Abigale was, I will need to come back in a month and build on the progress after the guardians have an opportunity to flip the leader follower dynamic. We need to set Abigale up for success by first helping her relax and develop respect for her human’s leadership.

To help the guardians remember all the tips we shared in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video that you can watch below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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