Teaching a Pair of Cane Corso’s the Relaxation Protocol to Stay Calm When People are at the Door

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 14, 2021

For this Omaha dog training session we worked with a pair of Cane Corso’s, teaching the 3 year old mother Moët the relaxation protocol and sharing tips to help her son, 9 month old Dro.

The dog’s guardian called me in for help after an unfortunate incident where Moët mouthed the arm of a guest when the primary guardian wasn’t home. After hearing about this single incident, It appears this was simply the case of a bad combination of circumstances as Moët is a wonderful dog.

I met the dog separately and outside which is a wonderful place to meet dogs as the distractions of an open environment usually sets them up for success. Moët was a little slower to low up warm up, but both dogs were engaging and certainly enjoyed getting some love and attention from a new person.

I shared some tips on how to physically and mentally stimulate the dogs. Being the winter in the Midwest, scent games, treat puzzles like Kong‘s and lick mats can be real lifesavers. The average dog needs an hours worth of exercise every single day, but it’s best if it sprinkled in shorter sessions every hour or few. While the dogs guardian was taking them out for daily walks, adding in a few other activities and feeding out of snuffle mat‘s should help keep these two characters stimulated and happy.

It’s very normal for dogs to get excited when people come to the door. I would say that the overwhelming majority of dogs jump up on me or bark and mouth and nip when I arrive for the session. But when you have a giant breed dog like a Cane Corso, many people are biased and interpret the same behavior that they demonstrate as aggressive where other dogs are just simply looked at as being excited or overly friendly.

I wanted to share some tips to help the dogs calm down when people knock on the door. Earlier in the session I suggested that the guardian start asking the dogs to earn affection by sitting before they are petted, the leash is put on, food is presented or a door opened. You have to help him dog practice things in multiple different scenarios as dogs don’t generalize well. Incorporating structure into these day-to-day task is a great way to help the dogs practice desired behaviors as well as develop more self-control.

Another great way to teach dogs to stay calm when people come to the door is to practice the relaxation protocol. This is a series of practice sessions that conditions the dog to stay on a place like a dog bed while the guardian gets up and moves around in progressively more pronounced actions.

You can learn how to do the relaxation protocol to stop dogs from getting over excited when people come to the door by watching the free positive dog training video below.

It was great to see how quickly Moët responded to the relaxation protocol. You can tell this is one smart dog. I think her only real behavior problem is the fact that she was under socialized as a puppy, prior to being adopted by her current guardian. This means that she takes a little bit longer to warm up that other dogs but that is hardly a unique situation I have found after working with over 4,000 dogs.

I’d like the guardian to spend the next week or two practicing the relaxation protocol with each dog at least once a day. It will be important for him to make sure that he maintains a high success rate before he progressions to the next level. Anytime that either dog get up and move away from the dog bed means that he will need to back up a step in practice at an easier level.

I have seen dogs that are as crazy as you can imagine learn to sit on a dog bed calmly while people ring the doorbell, move around the room excitedly or vacuum the floor, as comfortable as they can be. Due to the dedication of thier guardian, I have no doubt Moët and Dro will be masters of the relaxation protocol in no time.

It was a real pleasure to work with the dog’s guardian as I haven’t run across very many people who are as dedicated dedicated to the betterment and well-being of their dogs. This isn’t surprising considering he is breeding Cane Corso‘s and has done an amazing job with them. At the end of the session he proudly walked me through pictures of the puppies from his last litter going in great detail on their lives after they left his kennel. I look forward to hearing progress reports on how Moët and Dro progress after this in-home Omaha dog training session.

To help the guardian remember everything that we discussed, I recorded a roadmap to success video summarizing the details of our session. You can check that out below

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This post was written by: David Codr

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