Tips to Stop a Santa Monica Heeler from Getting Too Excited When His Guardian Comes Home

By: David Codr

Published Date: June 8, 2018

For this Santa Monica dog training session we helped 8 year old Tri-colored Queensland Heeler Cody stay calm when his guardian returns home.

Cody is the first dog for his guardian and she has been doing a great job in many aspects. I shared a few tips on exercise as well as going over the importance of structure, especially for herding dogs.

Next we went over ways to add structure to petting and providing attention. Many people think of petting as just petting, put petting at the right time and for the right reason can help tremendously. In fact, petting right after a dog does a desired action is a great way to train a dog or reinforce positive behaviors.

Cody’s guardian thought he was tinkling on a couch near the window by the front door. In actuality, its likely drool from the dog either from being over excited or stressed with some separation anxiety.

I recommended the guardian teach Cody how to teach Cody to stay so she can start helping him practice being alone while she goes into another room.

Next we were ready to address Cody’s behavior of being so excited when people come to the door. One dog behavior tip I mentioned was to stop making a fuss out of coming and going. When we do this, we increase the dog’s arousal levels at times where they are already pretty stimulated. Because we amplify anything a dog is doing when we pet it or give it attention, this often exacerbates the problem.

To help the guardian communicate she will only interact with Cody when he is calm when she returns home, I showed her how to use what is known as a negative punishment, ie deducting something the dog likes when it offers behavior that is not desired.

Because Cody’s goal is to get together with his guardian, having her step back outside the door immediately as soon as he starts to show excitement, then watching through the window until he calms down before trying again, she can help him learn calm behavior is what attracts her. She will need to make sure she doesn’t let him sneak out the door and that all the windows are closed first, lol.

This is a really great technique as it allows the dog to learn through trial and error and learn on its own instead of the guardian telling him what to do. No one has time to micromanage their dog 24/7 so finding ways for a dog to learn on its own is a very important part of using dog psychology for canine rehabilitation.

If the guardian practices this negative punishment each time she returns home, she will find her dog calms down or stays calm when people come to the door.

To help the guardian remember all the dog behavior secrets I shared with her in this in home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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