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AJ my miniature schnauzer is going on 2 years of age.When people come to the door he barks growls and jumps on people like he will eat them up.Once they get in the house he will growl and watch them and their every move for about 15 minuted before finaly try to show a bit of friendliness but they cannot do any sudden moves.How can I stop him from doing that I have had him for only a week and a half now I thank you in advance for your time

Answer

Hi Claudette,

I understand your problem, and can see how disturbing it must be for you whenever you have visitors in your home.

Your dog's aggressive behavior to visitors didn't begin yesterday, so you're dealing with an engrained habit. It's going to take weeks or possibly months to train your dog out of this habit. You may be able to train your dog out of this habit or maybe lessen it, but it really depends on your skills as a dog trainer. You must be persistent and consistent with the training. Getting angry, yelling or harsh physical corrections aren't how dogs learn! Dogs learn by reward and praise to reinforce whichever behaviors you're teaching. If you don't feel you're making progress with training your dog, it's then time to consult with a profession dog behaviorist or trainer.

You didn't say if your dog knows the sit or stay command. If he doesn't, this is a good place to begin. Read about teaching the sit/stay command here:

http://www.dog-obedience-training-review.com/training-a-dog-to-stay.html

http://caninegoodcitizen.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/teaching-the-sit-stay/

http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_copewithvisitors.php

Have at least two practice sessions with your dog every day. Work your way up to a 2-minute ‘sit stay’ in home. Do not open the door until your dog is sitting nicely in a sit stay. If your dog gets up as you open the door, immediately shut the door and redirect your dog back into a sit stay. Practice this every time you go out an entrance, and once your dog stays as you open and then walk through the door, say ‘Free’ or ‘let’s go’ from the other side of the threshold. ALWAYS give your dog a release word at the end of the stay.
Whenever you expect visitors, put AJ's leash on ahead of time. Carry the leash with you so you can react quickly when the doorbell rings. Have plenty of memorable treats (such as tiny bits of hotdog or bits of cheese) by the front door or in your pocket. These "memorable treats" are great motivation for your dog! When the doorbell rings, walk your dog to the door, and ask for a sit far enough away so that you can open the door without it touching your dog. Do not attempt to open the door until your dog has stopped barking and is sitting somewhat calmly. If your dog gets up when you start to open the door, shut the door! Ask your dog to sit and stay again and try to open the door. Every time you start to open the door and your dog gets up, shut the door. This will teach your dog that he must stay sitting in order for mom or dad to completely open the door, and for the really fun people to come through and pay attention to him.

It may also help to start desensitizing your dog to the doorbell. Start by ringing the doorbell many times a day for no reason. When you go out to get he mail, when you come home from wok, when you come inside, when you come in from your evening walk, while your dog is eating, etc, so your dog will learn that the sound of the doorbell ringing doesn’t necessarily mean someone new is coming through the door.

Once your guests are in your home, if your dog’s isn’t relaxed, your guest should completely ignore him. Some dogs do best when crated or contained in another room.

If you'd like some help from a dog trainer, your vet's office might be able to give you a referral to a trainer in your area, or you may be able to locate one here:

https://apdt.com/trainer-search/

http://www.animalbehaviorcollege.com/dog_trainer_search.asp


Best of luck,

Patti

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Patti

Expertise

To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.

Experience

My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

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Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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