Getting Your Excited Dog Out The Door. Calmly

So I’ve had an almost perfect German Shepherd for 7 year now. Well, she started off crazy, but she’s been almost perfect for a few years, lol. My only complaint about her is how excited she gets running out the door, which then leads to barking in my yard. Hello? I’m THE Quiet Dog Daycare Lady! This has been a source of embarrassment for me, my dirty little secret… But enter my new mentor/advisor/friend, Nelson Hodges of the Canine Human Relationship Institute & he has given me a road map for success. Of course if someone came to me with this problem, I probably would have given the same advice! Yet, like most things, it’s easier to give advice than to live it.

At the door day 1

So what was his advice? Here it goes step by painfully slow step…

Step 1: Plan at least a half hour for this first day. Start to get ready to take the dog out.

Step 2: Notice dog gets excited. Sit down.

Step 3: Dog thinks you have changed your mind. Stand up & proceed with your routine.

Step 4: Dog bounces up again, you sit down.

Step 5: Dog thinks you have changed your mind. Stand up & proceed with your routine.

See where I’m going with this? Notice I didn’t once say “give your dog a command”. This is a huge part of the process- DO NOT SAY A WORD TO YOUR DOG. Don’t even look at him. All you are doing is putting on your jacket, sitting down, picking up your sneaker, sitting down, taking a step towards the door, sitting down, grabbing the leash, sitting down, opening the crate door, sitting down. OK, you get my point.

At the door day 10

The first day will be the hardest, so again, plan on taking 30 minutes to do this. Each day will get easier, I guarantee it. Here are my dogs after 10 days of this routine. Note: I did not tell them to lay down. They are just getting so bored with me stopping, they decided to take a nap as I got my act together!




This is how you start the walk off calmly, so they don’t charge out the door & THEN try to settle them down. Do this daily & you will notice a huge improvement on your dog’s reactivity on the walks. I promise.

If you are not in the New England area & are in need of a professional trainer, please visit the IACP International Association of Canine Professionals. Remember not all dog trainers are the same, so if you have not gotten the results you want, please do not give up on your dog. Find a competent, qualified trainer near you. And be sure to tell them Laurie Wagner sent you! 🙂

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