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Old January 10th, 2010, 10:45 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,528
That sounds typical of many excessively friendly Labs but it sure is not good for your guests. Or for you and dog if she gets out and hurts someone or herself.

My Lab was the same. We worked, and still do, very hard on his obedience. He has a pretty good SIT these days. Until I got a compliant SIT I put him on the leash when people came to the door, or in a pinch, behind my kitchen gates. Yes, we have gates on our kitchen.

I have recently been working him on a new method when folks come to the door. At only 2 years old he still wants badly to see the new person. This idea is from my Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt. There's a good chance I won't explain this adequately so I urge you to check out the book if you think it sounds interesting. I will try though, so here goes.

First, dog must already be clicker or YES trained and know what the clicker means. Second, ask permission from your guest. McDevitt uses what she calls a "look at that" game. I say "Who'zat?" When I do, and indicate the guest, the barest micro, nano-second my dog turns to look at the guest I click or YES. He knows this means a reward is coming and he re-orients to me. Timing must be split second. You must reward the most imperceptible move or look toward the guest. Food reward works best because you can do it much faster than a toy or belly rub reward. While I am feeding I say Who'zat again. You MUST say it before dog does it. Dog will look or move to the guest, you click or YES and the whole thing repeats. Eventually, in about a minute, my dog would not leave my side. He would not go the guest at all. I was left standing in the kitchen trying to get him to go to, or look at the guest and he would not. At that point game over, I went to the guest myself and by now the excitement was over and the guest received a much milder, more polite welcome with my dog all the while checking with me to see if we could do this game again.

One huge disclaimer. McDevitt would have you initate this in a much lower threshold situation and work up to the immense excitement of a guest at the door. I just jumped right in and it worked for me. I suggest that if you cannot control your dog with a leash and a strong SIT, STAY first then not to try this. Plus, I'm not the author of Control Unleashed and I apologize if I have not made this sound plausible. If you doubt, please read the source and don't take it from me.
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