One dog parent complained that his dog gets all hyped up. He barks, growls, jumps, and wags his tail all at the same time when someone is at their door or when a vehicle stops at the house.
The bewildered parent tried dismissing this behavior of his dog, reassuring him that there’s no cause for alarm, or rewarding him when he fails to bark but none worked. It’s difficult to distinguish whether our dog is excited, terrified, or threatened when the actions contradict each other. My advice is to err on the side of danger.
Even if your dog wags his tail while barking, do not dismiss it as affability. It’s challenging to make them understand situations correctly. After all, reacting to the unusual is what dogs do best. Strangers are perceived as threats, so dogs become defensive, and to overcome this overly defensiveness, you’ll need a dog trainer’s help.
If you prefer doing it, yourself, at least ask someone to help you.
- The first step is to train your dog to do something other than bark. One example is going to a spot in the house.
- Once accomplished, ask someone to come up to the door.
- As soon as he barks, tell him to go to that spot with a reward.
- Do this repeatedly until a connection is established.
Outdoors, instruct your dog to be nice when strangers approach. Repeat this with corresponding treats until the strangers have gone. Persistence is key!