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Training a dog with territorial aggression

(7 Posts)
ToffeeChops Mon 03-Apr-17 11:55:59

Has anyone had success with this? We've had our Border Terrier for 14 months, he was 5 months when we got him. We live fairly rurally so use the internet quite a bit for shopping therefore fairly frequent deliveries.

I've been putting him behind a baby gate in the sitting room just off the hall so he's able to see me open the door and speak to the delivery man. My aim was to treat for sitting quietly but if I'm here alone I can't answer the door and manage the dog and today he was in such a frenzy he practically jumped the gate.

When we have guests for the first time I bring them into the house and we go into the other room until he calms down, then I let him out and he's fine - a quick sniff, wag of the tail and he's happy. It's just the initial meet-and-greet stuff that is woefully lacking and I'm at a bit of a loss to know what to do. I consulted a trainer a few months ago which was when we started the baby gate thing but he's getting worse and worse. Is it realistic to think I can improve his response to people approaching the house or do I just accept it's something to manage and put up with it?

I feel quite disheartened tbh. Our last dog was never like this, but then we had her from a tiny pup and she got used to people coming and going from the start. A friend said at least he's a good guard dog but I don't want a guard dog, I want a friendly pet!

SlB09 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:08:42

My dog was EXACTLY the same! Weve drastically improved things by training her to go 'on her spot'. It does require basic sit/stay obedience. So basically our front door has a hallway into the house so her 'spot' is nearly at the end of the hallway. First practice going to the spot together and say 'on your spot' when you get there give a treat then release. Keep doing this until your dog goes to the spot on this command. Then add a stay in and keep making them stay longer and longer until reliable. Then we added in opening the door with noone there so 'on your spot', 'stay', open door 'stay', close door, you go to the dog and praise/treat, then release. Dont release the dog when the door closes or let them come to you or this contradicts the 'stay' part.
Our dog now stays on her spot when the doors opened with the postman etc. Sometimes she does cheekily try to creep forward but I just tell the person at the door im training her and get her back on her spot before going back to the door. Everyone whoes been has understood and been helpful by waiting.
You can also use this for people coming in the house. Hope that all makes sense!! But it really worked for us x

ToffeeChops Mon 03-Apr-17 12:16:28

Thanks SlB09 that's very encouraging!

We do have a dog bed in the hall which ToffeeDog doesn't use much, he prefers his cushion in the kitchen, so I could certainly train him to go there. I've done a lot of fun obedience with him and we do Agility so he is used to being told to stay, wait etc and he's pretty good. But he becomes so frenzied when people come to the house I fear he would be very severely tested! Did your dog actually behave aggressively before you trained her, and would you say she's over that now?

SlB09 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:39:45

She was incredibly barky which was quite intimidating, she had 'air nipped' the postman which is what prompted me to really get it in check. Shes quite a fearful dog and sometimes resorted to fear aggression but now it seems that anyone we 'let' in the house now as long as she gets a sniff she kind of sits in front of them as if to say OK, you can stroke me now you smell fine!!!
Hardest thing is shes the most adorable looking spaniel so people assume shes going to be a big softie and just go straight in but she likes her space and hates unkowns just reaching for her but she is much much better now

SlB09 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:41:58

She still barks when someone knocks but kind of barks madly then looks at me, then runs to her 'spot' and stays there until told she can leave

ToffeeChops Mon 03-Apr-17 12:46:26

I've just done 10 minutes of 'on your spot' and he's got it - he'll do anything for homemade liver cake!

I'll start adding a 'stay' and try and get that solid before we do anything with the door though! grin

SlB09 Mon 03-Apr-17 12:57:50

Excelkent! Well right on cue the postman knocked, she barked then on your spot and one successful door open with no mamed postman!!

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