“Doggone Relax Already!”
Below is page 27, and the topic is relaxation around the house. If this page does not appear correctly you can simply read the synopsis of page 27 at the bottom of this page. All material is ©2010 Debby McMullen.
Directly above this page is a list of other pages you can read from the book, How Many Dogs!?
Doorway/Entry Way Relaxation
While your doorway is not a hangout spot, this is an area of your home where your dog should learn to relax. But be aware that relaxation at the entry way to your home does not come without hard work in many cases. For specific details on training specific cues that can assist you with this and other issues, see Proofing the Pups. Multiple dogs are harder to train for doorway calmness than a single dog is so there will be several options offered here. I won’t lie and say my dogs are the best at this situation. They are loud and intimidating if they don’t know you. I have not bothered to train this for strangers because simply put, I don’t get many visitors that either my dogs or I don’t know or that are not dog people (we all stick together) so it doesn’t matter to me.
When I do have “normal” people visitors (and it’s usually rescue-related such as someone coming to adopt my foster dog), then I use a baby gate to keep the dogs in the next room. This way, the dogs can see the visitors and know what is going on but they don’t get to come in. One of my dogs is a barker in this situation but it is important to me that he is mostly aware of what is transpiring (again, rescue-related) so I do use calming accessories in this situation as well. If he still insists on barking, a “time out” where he has to go into the yard alone usually does it as he really wants to be central to the action. He doesn’t want to risk banishment after the first time.
Regarding service people and others who are only going to be at your home on a very irregular basis: it’s simply not worth the effort to integrate your dogs with them. Just put the dogs in a different area of the house. Unless of course, they are perfectly behaved! But if they are anything less than this, just give them all something wonderful to occupy themselves with and let the service person do his job.