Time To Tackle A Big Issue... Visitors!

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by brodys_mom, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. brody_smom Experienced Member

    With summer over and wet, cold weather approaching, I can't avoid this any longer. We have basically kept all visitors out of the house due to Brody's "habit" of releasing his anal sacs whenever someone comes in. If I ever have to let someone in the house, I no longer put Brody in his crate, as he can still see the door from there. I call him down to his mat on a lower level, give him a treat and shut the door. The room is just off a short stairway, only 6 steps high, and very close to the kitchen where our main entrance is. This has worked fine for when we had a mobile nurse come for an insurance policy, and the mobile lawyer for our mortgage renewal. But it's been a while since we had any real visitors who have stayed more than an hour.

    We have managed to have visitors before that didn't seem to bother Brody at all. They came in with my daughters, quietly, and he didn't even notice they were there, or that he didn't know them. I think in one case, he was eating from his Kong Wobbler and barely looked up when she came in. From that point, he was a little shy, but she was able to feed him treats and pet him. She ate dinner in our kitchen while he was lying on the floor nearby. The other girl stayed overnight, and moved around the house, and he was okay with her. Both of these visits were back in April/May. Since then, Brody has bitten two girls who came to the door.

    My daughter has a friend who would like to come and stay with us over Christmas break this year. I have the time to do this properly, so I could really use some advice on the best way to get him used to having strangers come into the house and stay a while. ( I know I should have a professional do this with me, but I can't afford one. The only positive-only trainer I can find charges $300+ per in home session. I found a nice cheap one who wanted to use a prong collar because "biting must be punished") From my research, I have determined that he is fear-based territorial aggressive, which means he will rush a stranger while barking, bite them once, then retreat. If there is a barrier, he will just continue barking, hoping to frighten them away. When we take him downstairs and close the door before letting someone in, he seems to be fine with the knowledge that there is a person in the house, and settles down quickly. I haven't had the courage to try to let him out of the room while the person was still there. I want to make sure that when I do, he has no sense that there is something to be afraid of, so I am a little hesitant to put him on a leash, although I think it is probably the safest way to go.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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