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Dog Training/Anxiety in pug


Hi barb,

I have a 8 month old male pug who I love to pieces. He is generally a very good dog, playful, smart etc etc. I have been having problems with him barking and not sure what to do.

Today a girl guide cookies girl came to the door and my pug was loose, and I picked him up and opened the door and he was instantly barking and making screeching sounds, jumping up on her excessively, and that girl was calm and didn't even mind him doing what he was doing, but it was really bothering me. My dog was loud and it didn't matter if you picked him up or set him down, he just would not stop barking and jumping all over that girl. And when she left he was right by the fence jumping up and down until she got in the car. Other times I have tried leaving him in the kennel when I know someone is going to come to the door, and he just barks in the kennel no screeching, but constant barking. And I have tried a collar and leash, and that restrains a little bit, but does not stop him from barking. Or trying to get to the person at the door. Anytime someone in the family comes home or my sons friends come over, he acts the same way. He gets absolutely out of control, and I don't know what to do. Quite honestly it looks like my dogs lost his marbles when someone comes to the front door, and I can't even have a conversation with anybody, he's always barking. I walk him everyday, I just got him neutered a week ago, I'm at home all day so he's not stuck in a kennel or alone,We pet him, play with him, he has a decent little back yard to roam around. I can't get him to lay down, and when he is just sitting sometimes he starts falling asleep, and still won't lay down. . Any suggestions? It's frustrating because I'm doing what I can to burn off energy, and I'm not noticing a difference in energy levels.
Thanks for time!

Hi Haley. Excitement at the door is a huge problem for many dogs. Thanks for taking the time to detail your pug's issues. Here are some ideas for you.

First, don't allow your dog access to the front area until you have practiced many times with family members. Tether the dog to a chair or table leg where he can see the front door area, but not reach someone walking in the door. Whoever is playing the visitor should simply walk in the door (no doorbell yet) and wait for the dog to sit or lie down, then approach to greet.  You won't be telling the dog to sit, you'll simply wait for him to offer the behavior. If he gets up, the visitor backs away. When he sits again, the visitor approaches. Any barking or jumping up makes the visitor retreat. Once he can successfully do this with all family members at the front door, add the doorbell and repeat the same process.

Teach him to run to his crate when the doorbell rings as a separate exercise. Plant smelly, high-value treats in the crate when he's not looking. Have someone ring the doorbell and you should excitedly lead him to the crate and open the door. Again, repeat many times until he's running to the crate as soon as he hears the doorbell.

You should also practice the dog being in the crate while you're in other parts of the house. Give him something to do, like a stuffed Kong or an edible chew that he likes. This will be rehearsal for when he must be crated while you're attending to the front door.

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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