Polite Door Greetings

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Does the sound of the doorbell send your dog into a frenzy? It is natural for dogs to become overly excited when guests arrive. However, you can control the chaos by teaching your dog to be calm when the doorbell rings. The first step in teaching polite door greetings is to teach a few alternate behaviors that you want your dog to do when he hears the arrival sound. These should be simple behaviors that your dog knows well such as place, come, touch, get a toy, and go outside.

Helping a Dog That Jumps

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Have you ever been embarrassed by your dog jumping up to greet a stranger? Jumping is one of the most common challenges that pet parents face—it is also one of the most difficult behaviors to break. Dogs repeat behaviors that earn rewards, and jumping is often rewarded with attention from the person they are so eager to greet. To eliminate jumping from your dog’s repertoire, teach alternative and more appropriate ways to greet people, with four paws on the floor!

Voluntary Check-In and Recall

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Few things are more joyful than unclipping your dog’s leash to begin an outdoor adventure. Off-leash walks and hikes let you spend quality time together in nature and provide exercise, stimulation, and enrichment for your dog. But how do you keep your dog’s attention in the spring and summer when there are so many exciting new scents emerging? One way to help your dog pay attention to you is to teach the habit of “checking in.”

Multiple Dogs and Doors

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Doorways are exciting places for dogs—who knows what is waiting on the other side! As a result, many dogs get overly excited and rush the door, creating a danger for themselves as well as for whomever is entering. Door rushing can be a challenge to manage, especially if you have multiple dogs and your door is constantly revolving. Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent door-rushing behavior.

Target Training: Getting Into a Car

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Many dogs are afraid of getting into a car. This common fear occurs for many different reasons. Some dogs have had no experience riding in a car or associate car rides with unpleasant events (such as trips to the vet). Other dogs may not mind car rides but may be intimidated by the height of the jump required to get into the car. Fortunately, you can counter these fears by making getting into a car fun and rewarding—with targeting!

Set Up a Safe Training Session Outdoors

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Does your dog listen to you when you are at home but ignore you at the park? That’s because training indoors with minimal distraction is very different from training outdoors where you are competing with a myriad of scents, sounds, and other environmental distractions. Before you take your dog out into distracting environments like the park, it’s best to practice training in a quiet, safe outdoor space.

Expanding Your Dog’s Foundation Skills

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Building strong foundation behaviors is an investment that will demonstrate value throughout your dog’s training. For example, targeting is an essential foundation behavior that can be used to teach many useful and complex behaviors, such as guiding an animal to a particular place (into a kennel or onto a scale) or around objects—a foundation for many dog sports.