Teaching a Dog to Calm Itself Down When People Come to the Door

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 27, 2019

Tanner and Sophie - Teaching a Dog to Calm Itself Down When People Come to the Door

For this Omaha dog training session we taught 7 yrs old Black Lab / Rat Terrier mix Sophie (Pictured here on the right with Tanner, a 8 year-old Great Dane Golden Retriever mix) to calm down when people come to the door.

One of the times dogs get over excited is when people come to the door. And just like humans, dogs are more prone to making mistakes when in an unbalanced state of mind. Many people confuse excited for happy when it comes to dogs, but a dog can be calm and happy too. Teaching a dog to stay calm during excited situations can go a long ways toward improving their behavior.

When I arrived for the session, Sophie was a pretty excited dog while elderly Tanner waited a few steps away. I waited outside and waved the guardian off when they went to open the door.

A great way to help an excited dog is by waiting outside of its reach for it to calm down. As soon as the dog calmed down, I reached for the door which caused Sophie to become excited again. As soon as she showed excitement, I stopped the process. I kept repeating this start and stop approach until Sophie started to loose interest and walked away.

I recreated this technique to stop a dog from getting excited when people come to the door in the free dog training video below.

At first it will take some time for the dog to learn to calm itself down with this all positive dog training approach, but just like Sophie did, the dog will start calming down faster and faster.

I recommended the guardians use this secret to helping excited dogs calm down as often as possible for the next 2-3 weeks. Inviting friends, neighbors and practicing with the other family members are all good ways to help the dog practice staying calm when people knock on the door.

We discussed a number of other dog behavior tips to help the dogs develop more self control and respect for the humans as authority figures during this session. To help the guardians remember them all, we filmed a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr