Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

#156 Strangers at the Door & Mastering Calmness : Effective Training Tips for Multiple Dogs: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP

June 20, 2024 Will Bangura, M.S., CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult Season 5 Episode 156
#156 Strangers at the Door & Mastering Calmness : Effective Training Tips for Multiple Dogs: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
More Info
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
#156 Strangers at the Door & Mastering Calmness : Effective Training Tips for Multiple Dogs: Dog Training Today will Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP
Jun 20, 2024 Season 5 Episode 156
Will Bangura, M.S., CAB-ICB, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult

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Want your dogs to remain calm and composed when the doorbell rings or guests arrive? Discover proven strategies in our latest episode that will transform chaotic greetings into peaceful welcomes. We'll break down the essential steps of one-on-one training, revealing how to effectively use leashes, maintain consistent management, and prevent undesirable behaviors before integrating your dogs together. Whether you're dealing with one dog or several, you'll gain practical insights to create a serene and welcoming atmosphere for both your pets and visitors.

Uncover the secrets of successive approximation as we guide you through a step-by-step approach to training your dogs to stay calm amid distractions. Patience, consistency, and short, frequent training sessions are pivotal in this process. We'll help you start with simple tasks and gradually increase the level of distraction, ensuring success at every stage. Don't miss the heartfelt wrap-up where we express our gratitude for your support and remind you to visit our website for more dog behavior tips. Tune in and take the first step toward a more harmonious household!

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Want your dogs to remain calm and composed when the doorbell rings or guests arrive? Discover proven strategies in our latest episode that will transform chaotic greetings into peaceful welcomes. We'll break down the essential steps of one-on-one training, revealing how to effectively use leashes, maintain consistent management, and prevent undesirable behaviors before integrating your dogs together. Whether you're dealing with one dog or several, you'll gain practical insights to create a serene and welcoming atmosphere for both your pets and visitors.

Uncover the secrets of successive approximation as we guide you through a step-by-step approach to training your dogs to stay calm amid distractions. Patience, consistency, and short, frequent training sessions are pivotal in this process. We'll help you start with simple tasks and gradually increase the level of distraction, ensuring success at every stage. Don't miss the heartfelt wrap-up where we express our gratitude for your support and remind you to visit our website for more dog behavior tips. Tune in and take the first step toward a more harmonious household!

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

One thing that always amazed me is when I walk into a home that has multiple dogs and they're completely out of control. I mean you walk into the house, they've got two, three, four dogs. They're barking like crazy, they're jumping, they're trying to get to you. The dogs are kind of fighting with one another because there's all this stimulation happening at the door and the pet parents are basically doing nothing other than vocalizing with their dogs, barking back at their dogs, trying to get control, and it is complete and total chaos. How to deal with that and more when we come back?

Speaker 2:

Raised by wolves with canine DNA in his blood. Having trained more than 24,000 pets, helping you and your fur babies thrive, live in studio with Will Bangura answering your pet behavior and training questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host and favorite pet behavior expert, will Bangura. Would you?

Speaker 1:

like to go on? Okay, y'all ready for this? Good day, pet lovers. I'm will bangura.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for joining me for another episode of dog training today. If you're listening to your audio podcast wherever you get your audio podcast do me a favor please. If you like what we do, if you you love, if you listen to this podcast, just take a second. Please give us a five-star review. It means so much to us and your reviews are what help us to rank higher, which means that more people can benefit from what we're talking about.

Speaker 1:

But today I want to talk about the craziness that some of you have when the doorbell rings. Somebody knocks on the door, somebody comes over and maybe you've got multiple dogs in the house and it's just insane, and a lot of you. That's what you have. The doorbell rings, the door knocks, you've got abell rings, the door knocks, you've got a couple dogs and now you've got this insanity of dogs barking and going crazy at the door and you've got no control over them and for guests coming over. It's miserable. Maybe, maybe you take your dogs and you put them up somewhere, but dogs are going to do what dogs are going to do. Dogs are going to do what you. Let them do. What you let them do, what you let them get away with, is what they're going to do, because that is what they're going to practice and what they practice, what they rehearse, that's going to get more and more habituated, that's going to get more and more ingrained and that's going to get more and more conditioned and going to be difficult to train out and condition those behaviors out of your dogs when they've been practicing that for so long, out of your dogs when they've been practicing that for so long. They get so excited when the doorbell rings, when there's a knock on the door, when anybody comes over, that people don't want to come over. You're embarrassed to have people over. You're embarrassed to have your dogs. How many of you put your dogs up when people come over because you can't manage and control them? Many of you, and for the rest of you, your guests have to deal with it and you probably don't have people over that much. As a result and I'm not talking about I'm not talking about dogs that are aggressive or reactive, just dogs that are unruly.

Speaker 1:

So what can you do about this? Well, first of all, if you have multiple dogs, the thing that you need to understand is that you need to train one dog at a time and get that one dog reliable, get permanence and reliability in the training with the one dog before you start working with the second dog. And then you get your second dog individually trained with reliability and permanence. And now you bring those two dogs together that were trained individually and have a level of reliability in their training, and you bring those two together because now it's more difficult when you've got two dogs, two together, because now it's more difficult when you've got two dogs. And if you've got more than two, if you've got three dogs, you train that third dog separately. Again, get that third dog to a level of permanence and reliability in the training, and then you bring two dogs together and then three dogs together.

Speaker 1:

But you can't try, listen, if you've got two dogs, if you've got three dogs or even more, and they're unruly, and all of a sudden you're like, okay, I'm gonna train all these dogs to be calm and relaxed and to do something else, go to their better place rather than be unruly. When the doorbell rings, door knocks, someone comes over, I'm going to have them do something else. But you're not going to have success if you've got multiple dogs, whether that's two or more, and they have little to no training or they've got little to no reliability in their training. Especially when the doorbell rings, the door knocks and there's excitement and new people come over, you've got to work with one dog at a time. Get them reliable with the distraction, with the excitability of having a stranger come over. One dog at a time, Get control of them. So what are you going to do? Well, one of the things is how? About use a leash?

Speaker 1:

Many of you are struggling with your dogs and you don't need to be struggling as much as you are if you'd put a leash on your dog. If your dog is unruly, yeah, it's okay to put a leash on the dog inside the house. People, I don't understand what the the challenge is with that. Put the leash on the dog so that you can manage and control your dogs your dog's not jumping, your dog's not going crazy so that you can help manage your dog. Now, when the doorbell rings, when the door knocks, you know and you put your dogs up. You do so because you can't control them and you don't want them to continue to rehearse behavior. So the first thing you need to do is stop allowing your dog to go crazy, whether that means putting them up to begin with and listen. I'm not saying avoid training them. I want you to train and deal with the problem. And I'm going to talk about that because there's two things. One is gradual and systematic desensitization to doorbell ringing and door knocking and people coming over.

Speaker 1:

Differential reinforcement having your dog, training your dog to do a different behavior other than going crazy. Train your dog to do a different behavior. That's rewarding that your dog is motivated to do that. If your dog's committed to that behavior, it would be incompatible with going crazy when somebody comes over. So if you're teaching your dog, for example, to go to its bed, to go to its place and to stay there, if somebody comes through that door, your dog has a choice it either breaks the command or it stays on its bed in place.

Speaker 1:

It's our job to work on teaching the dog what we want it to do. You know we're so obsessed with what we don't want our dogs to do. What about what we want them to do? And then here's the other thing how about setting up sessions, training sessions, short training sessions five, 10 minutes where I'm proactively working on having somebody knock on the door, having somebody ring the doorbell. Where I've got a leash on my dog, I'm training my dog to go to its bed or its place or its spot using high value food rewards, really motivating the dog, making going to its better place more interesting, more exciting, more rewarding than seeing the stranger that might be coming through that front door because the doorbell rang or somebody knocked on the door.

Speaker 1:

Now if your dog goes just crazy ballistic when the doorbell rings or somebody knocks on the door I mean really difficult to control dog you may have to start with getting your dog to calm down and desensitize the sounds of knocking and doorbells. What I mean by that is you may have to start with having somebody help you and they may have to knock really low, really quiet, and you reward your dog. If your dog's not reacting, stop knocking, stop rewarding, get your dog on its bed or its place. Have somebody help you, get a helper. Have them start knocking real low If your dog is calm and quiet, reward your dog on place. If your dog can't handle that sound and can't stay on place and it's going crazy, it's too loud, have them knock quieter. I don't know if you can hear that, but have them knock quieter. Have them knock quieter Until you can manage your dog and control your dog and keep your dog on place and reward your dog, and you want to do that over and over.

Speaker 1:

Have your helper knock very lightly and begin to reward your dog if your dog is calm, ask your dog to go to its better place, guide your dog there with the leash and, if you have to, even lure with food and reward your dog for staying on its bed, staying on its place while your helper is knocking very quietly. When they stop knocking, you stop feeding, you stop rewarding. When they start knocking, you start feeding and rewarding. How long do you feed? For how long is the knocking? The knocking is happening for about one to three seconds and you are feeding the whole time. Your dog is not reactive and is staying on its better place. Now, if your dog again won't stay on its better place but will when it's quiet and there's no distractions, hey, you're just working too high a level of distraction too soon and that means the knocking needs to be quieter.

Speaker 1:

Now, with the doorbell, you may have to start with recorded sounds of the doorbell very, very low ding dong. If it's too loud the dog's gonna go crazy. Right, that's too big of a distraction too soon. So you're gonna start with a quieter sound of the doorbell ding dong, ding dong. You listen recorded sounds. You can find just about anything on YouTube that's recorded and it'll sound like your doorbell. There's all kinds of sounds of doorbells on the Internet. Get on there and find it. Start playing it at low volume. Get your dog to go to its better place. Reward your dog when your dog's hanging out there. Reward your dog when it hears the sound out there. Reward your dog when it hears the sound of the doorbell.

Speaker 1:

Start desensitizing your dogs, one dog at a time. When you're doing this, you're doing about a five minute, a 10 minute training session. You're going to do this like five times a week Short sessions, five or 10 minutes, having a helper knock on the door, very, very quiet, getting recorded sounds of doorbells, Playing it very, very quiet. And when your dog hears the knocking, when your dog hears the doorbell, you've got a leash on your dog. You're guiding your dog over to its bed or its place and you're rewarding your dog for that or its place and you're rewarding your dog for that. And if your dog can't stay focused with you, won't take the food won't listen to your commands if your dog is way too interested in the knocking of the doorbell.

Speaker 1:

The knocking of the doorbell sounds are too loud, too soon. Bring them down and work one dog at a time. Get each dog that you have in your house individually reliable on this. And when they're very reliable and the knocking is really loud, really loud, and each dog individually, when you work them by themselves they're not breaking, they're not taking the bait of the distraction. You can keep them on their bed. You can keep them on their place.

Speaker 1:

Because you started with very low level knocking sounds and very low level doorbell sounds and little by little, over time, gradually, systematically, you brought the volume up. But you didn't work at a level that was so difficult that your dog couldn't have success, where your dog kept failing over and over. If your dog is failing over and over, you're working too hard, too fast. Dial back the distractions a little bit. Now we've only been working with doorbell knocking and doorbell ringing. Now we've got to add to that the component of having a stranger come in. We've got to add to that the component of walking over to the door and rattling the door handle and opening it up.

Speaker 1:

Listen, before somebody walks through that door you need to know that you've worked on and practiced and you can walk away from your dog that's on its bed or place and walk over to the door. You need to practice that proactively in training sessions where your dog's on place on its bed and you can walk to the door handle and then go back and reward your dog. Do that over and over Just walking to the door while your dog is on its better place and touching the door handle and going and rewarding your dog for staying there and then opening the door slightly an inch or two and rewarding your dog for staying there. If your dog gets off, get your dog and recommand the dog, put it back on and maybe you go halfway to the door and if your dog doesn't break from its bed or place now, you reward the dog, reward the success, help your dog know what it is you want it to do by providing opportunity for success. Rewarding yes, it needs to be challenging. You need to challenge your dog. That's why I want you to walk away from your dog's better place and start training your dog that if it stays there and you move, it gets rewarded. Your dog that if it stays there and you move, it gets rewarded. If it stays there and you move towards the door and touch the door handle, it gets rewarded. If you open the door an inch and your dog stays on its better place, it gets rewarded Little by little.

Speaker 1:

Keep working on this. Open the door more and more, but hey, if you can't open the door all the way and there's a stranger there, well, break it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces, what we call successive approximation, and teach your dog what you want. Again, it could be taking two steps towards the door, stopping rewarding your dog and doing that a couple of weeks, and then maybe it's four steps towards the door for a week or two, and then maybe it's hey, we finally got to the door and we can touch the door handle for a week. And then it might be hey, we can touch the door handle and open the door just an inch or two, and we spent a week on that. Maybe we've got a dog that's so excitable we've got to break it down into little, tiny, bite-sized pieces. But we can have success. We can have success, but again, one dog at a time.

Speaker 1:

Then you start working on having strangers coming in the house. Yes, they knock, they ring the doorbell. You walk over to the door, you open it. They are standing there, your dog's calmly, staying on its better place. You're rewarding the dog. You've got to train this like. Five times a week, spend five or 10 minutes doing it every day. Many repetitions during that five or 10 minutes. How many times can you have somebody knock or ring the bell? How many times in those five or 10 minutes can you walk over to the door and open the door? Now, when you do that, your guests or your helpers need to be calm to begin with. Calm, calm. Walk in the door calmly, getting your dog to stay in its better place, rewarding your dog for hanging out there At any point in time your dog is stay in its better place, rewarding your dog for hanging out there.

Speaker 1:

At any point in time your dog is unable to have success. You are just working too fast, too soon back up to the point where you had success. Spend more time there, conditioning that. Then take a small, bite-sized piece forward that might be opening the door just a couple more inches. Now, if you get to the point where you could open the door and there's a stranger there and the person's calm, then start having that person walk in the house, calmly, rewarding your dog. Little by little, start having, as your dog's, having success. Have that helper be more animated when you open the door. Be more excitable. But if your dog again breaks from its place or bed, have them calm down, not so excitable. Help your dog win and have success. Hey, go back and reward your dog for staying on its better place. Little by little, over days, over weeks, start having your helper be a little more excitable, not so excitable that your dog always loses and never wins and always breaks off its better place.

Speaker 1:

Use a leash, guys. I watch people try to do this when their dogs are not reliable without a leash and it's just crazy. They go to the door, a dog comes off of their better place. They try to grab the dog because they have no leash. They try to grab the dog by the collar. The dog's super excited because it just can't handle anybody coming in. And it's even worse when they got two dogs, three dogs, four dogs, many of you. This is what you live with. It's insanity. You don't have to. You don't have to.

Speaker 1:

You can have success having dogs that are calm when the doorbell rings, when the door knocks when people come over. But the thing is is that you try to deal with this mayhem reactively, reactively. Reactively when you don't know someone's coming over or you know they're coming over but you've done nothing to prepare your dogs for this. You need to be proactive. Proactive three to five times a week better, five times a week, five to 10 minutes a day. Practicing this proactively with the doorbell ringing, the door knocking, with strangers coming in Little by little, gradually, getting your dogs to be calm when the doorbell rings, when the door knocks, when people come over, when one dog can do it well and when each of your dogs if you've got multiple dogs can do it well and be reliable.

Speaker 1:

Now bring two dogs together but dial back the level of distractions. Help the two dogs win and have success. If you're working two dogs, you had success with each dog individually and now with two dogs you're not having success. Chances are. You just need to bring the distraction level down a little bit. Knock a little bit quieter. Have the recorded sound of the doorbell a little quieter. Have the helper coming in. Be less animated. Don't walk all the way to the door if the dogs are breaking before you get to the door.

Speaker 1:

Work on the areas and the levels that they can succeed in a little more. A little more conditioning, a little more repetition there I guarantee you, if you do this, you're going to have success. And then you start having success with two of your dogs. Put a leash on the dogs. I guarantee you, if you do this, you're going to have success. And then you start having success with two of your dogs. Put a leash on the dogs. Please Put a leash on the dogs so you have a better way to manage, a better way to control them Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

And then, if you've got more than two dogs, start working with the third dog individually. Get each dog to a level of reliability. Work with two dogs. Dial back the distractions little by little. Get things more excitable with two dogs and then introduce a third dog. And when you have three dogs together, dial back the distraction levels. Every time you add another dog, go back, go back. Go back to a level where you had a lot of reliability, where your dog was doing really well.

Speaker 1:

Maybe your dog individually can handle a lot of excitement, but then when you get two dogs together, it's not so easy. Bring it down to a level where you can manage them and reward them over and over and just gradually bring up the distraction level. You're just working too fast, too soon. You're just working too fast, too soon. Listen, getting a dog to be reliable, especially when there's heavy distractions and a stranger comes over, that's difficult stuff. That doesn't happen in a day, it doesn't happen in a week. It usually doesn't happen in just a couple weeks. It takes repetition, it takes conditioning, it takes you working with your dog every day reliably. No, you don't have to spend an hour, you don't. That's your biggest mistake. You don't need to spend an hour training your dog. Five to 10 minutes, five to 10 minutes a day. It's that daily work. Short sessions, but daily. Short sessions, but daily. That is going to really make a difference Right now.

Speaker 1:

If your dog is crazy when the doorbell rings and knocking, you have to put those dogs up. I don't want them rehearsing this crazy behavior at the door. If you've not done the work, put them up. I don't want them going crazy at the door, crazy when strangers come over. I don't want them rehearsing that behavior. I don't want that to continue to get habituated and conditioned more and more. You need to begin the process of teaching your dogs to be calm, to be relaxed. When the doorbell rings, somebody knocks on the door when people come over, so it's not crazy, so you don't have to deal with that insanity. Your guests don't have to deal with that insanity. Take the challenge, take this challenge. Spend the next 45 days working on this with your dogs. I guarantee you. I guarantee you it's the best thing that you will ever, ever do. I guarantee it.

Speaker 1:

Well, ladies and gentlemen, that music means we are just about out of time. I'm Will Bangura. You've been listening to Dog Training today. Do me a favor, please, if you love what we do, give us a five-star review. Hit that like button. Please share this with your friends and families and also please subscribe. Hit that subscribe button so that you never miss an episode of Dog Training Today. Hey, and visit my website at dogbehavioristcom. If you've got a problem with your dog and you're looking for help, you can get all the help you need at dogbehavioristcom. I'm Will Bangora. Have a great week, everybody. I'm out of here.

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