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Discussion Starter #1
Let me preface my questions with this info: Jack and Bodzin are rescues. I got Bodzin at 5 months because he was too shy and Jack at 13 months because he was too "rambunctious." Bodzin passed basic obedience with flying colors, I don't think Jack has been taught much... but I have already got him sitting and laying on command in the month that I have had him and he no longer counter-surfs.
Here are my questions:
For Bodzin: He will always bark at and sometimes growl at our guests to the house. We have people over frequently, so it isn't like this is new for him. He will not let them touch him unless I ask him to sit and he will shake for them, but then he scampers off. He has never acted aggressively towards the guests other than the low growl from a distance. I have tried having the guests give treats, but he is reluctant to take them from the people. If he is on a leash or in another place, he will go up to people or let people come to him no problem. I really want my guests to not fear Bodzin.
For Jack: He is TOO friendly to our guests in that he likes to come up to them and grab their shirt, hand, belt, purse.... with his mouth. He doesn't ever bite real hard, but it is annoying. He also sometimes wants to jump up to greet the people. He won't do this with me anymore at all because I say NO or DOWN and he gets it.

So I have a dog that is afraid of guests and one who wants to play bite and jump on them. ARGH... this is somewhat frustrating and I have looked online for answers but if anyone has had a similar situation I would appreciate help. Should I have treats and have both dogs have to sit to get one? I would think this may help, but I don't know that Bodzin will stop barking long enough to do this. Do you put a note on the door and run upstairs or to the door every time to make sure that the introductions go the right way? Will I have to intercept visitors at the door and give them dog instructions for the next 10 years? :)

Oh... and Bodzin isn't shy towards our very frequent guests who live next door... but he will forget you if he has been hanging out with you for an hour or two, you walk outside for something and then come back in to start the process all over.
 

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What you describe is exactly the behavior we had in Tanner or not in 2 dogs just both behaviors in one.

We have been working with a trainer at our house on guest/stranger greeting behavior and it has helped alot. Tanner has had his basic and intermediate obedience but working with a trainer in our home has made so much difference...I highly recommend it.

There are several commands that help.

Sit (of course)
Stay
Go to your place
Touch

We always make sure Tanner has a leash and collar on before going to answer the door. Also, it is important to be calm. Tanner is moved away from the path of the guest thus he is not threatened by them. He is told to sit and stay. You can work with staying longer and longer periods of time and your dogs should have a place reasonable close to your entrance where they must go when guests arrive.

Secondly re treats. We have taught Tanner the "Touch" command. He will touch with his nose what every we tap and he gets a treat. With guests and strangers, we ask them to put their hands down, palm up. We put our hands in theirs and say touch...he touches and we give him a treat. Tanner will now touch strangers hands and gets a treat. Now this is a dog that would circle them and just bark and bark. We don't want strangers giving him treats...it is safer if we give him his treats.

Giving commands like sit, stay, go to your place and touch give him something to focus on rather than getting all worked up over visitors. Having said this remember Tanner is almost 2 yrs so we are correcting behavior that we have allowed for a long time. I think you should have really good results if you practice daily and are consistent.

Most important is that they should not be allowed to greet or get near guests until they are settled and calm.

Hope the above makes sence.
 

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I went through this too with both doodles

Max started being protective of the house and me as he matured.
NOW if he doesn't know the person esp if its a Man,he will bark and not go there near unless i say it's okay.

Peanut will follow max's suit but she's more apt to be overfriendly.

HOWEVER NEITHER Doodle jump anymore or are mouthy. Some of it is age related and the other is training related.

1.In their younger months: they'd get crated if they didn't settle down and let back out in 10min

2. I have all family, friends that are regular visitors IGNORE my doodles till they are calm and quiet and say NO Jump to Peanut if she starts getting too happy :wink: and walk away, turn head, making no eye contact.

NOW within about 2 -3 min they are good (ok sometimes it's 5min) :wink:
only problem we still have: if anyone sits on staircase landing Max and Peanut will lick them to death w/doodle kisses
(we're working on it presently)
 

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I saw Ceasar Milan do a show with the Nate Burkus (I have probably spelled all these names wrong!!LOL). Nate is Oprahs decorator. He was having huge issues with guests coming to his home and his dogs going nuts.

Caesar had some awesome techniques for calming the dogs. Maybe you could find it on Youtube or one of his DVD's.

I remember one of the big tips was that he told Nate to NEVER let the dogs go to the door ahead of him. He was to stand in front of the dogs, back to the door, and control them by having them sit and stay before he even opened the door.

He told Nate that he was giving power of the house to the dogs by allowing them to go to the door first and opening it before the dogs were calm. He also told him that he should stand between the visitor and the dogs and greet the visitor FIRST.

It was a really cool show and I think it was on Oprah, not on Caesars show. I think in that episode he also told Nate to ignore the dogs when he first got home from work. He should come into the house, put his things away and sit down BEFORE he even acknowledged the dogs. Because coming in the house and playing with the dogs first was teaching the dogs that they were Alpha and more important than anything else.

Anyway, if you can find it, it might help. It is a wonderful thing that you rescued the dogs!

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks...

So far I have had the most success with getting them both to sit, knowing that I have a treat, and then opening the door and standing with the dogs to greet. I have then offered for the guest to give the dogs a treat and then I release them from the sit. I am still putting a nylabone in Jack's mouth for introductions, and he knows now that he isn't allowed to greet unless something is in his mouth. Thankfully he isn't a chewer because he grabs my sandal a lot to have something in his mouth. :)
I am thinking that a lot of patience will prevail here, but I still get annoyed that Bodzin barks like the world is ending when someone walks by when he is outside. His electric fence is about 3 feet away from the neighbor's driveway and I feel so bad when he barks at them, but he loves them when he is on a leash.
 

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Windex -

I have to echo what others have said here. Even though we have only had Gunner two weeks, we have made great strides already by following what others have said in this post:

1. Gunner remains on leash while in the house. He has already learned that when he has it on he knows a certain level of behavior is expected. In his former environment he acted like a maniac when anyone arrived (barking, jumping, etc.). When he is on leash he is calmer and we can respond much faster if correction is needed.

2. We follow Cesar Millan's advice as Cissy K explained it. Since Gunner is already on leash, when someone comes to the door we are prepared. We make Gunner sit and stay far away from the door. Then we greet the guest as we are the pack leaders. Then we ask the guest not to speak to, touch or make eye contact with Gunner until Gunner is calm and submissive. When Gunner is ready, we allow Gunner and the guest to meet.

We have not tried the "touch" command that AnnieG recommends but I think it is great and I will start working on that one.

The suggestion to pratice coming in and out with friends and family members is also a great one. The more practice he gets and behaving calmly when people arrive, and the more you reinforce that he is to be calm as people come/go, the better he will get at it. You being consistent is the key (as always)
 
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