Dogs okay with visitors as long as they don't move

Posted by lucybell1
Mar 22, 2011
I have four miniature schnauzers which is a difficult training situation since they do everything together and don't want one to get more attention than the other. The problem I am most concerned about is when (which is rarely) we have company, after the barking and whining is over, and they are allowed out of the other room to see our guests, they are long as the guest does not get up from their seated position and walk. The run after them and bark, I don't think they are nipping at the persons heels. After the person sits back down, they go lay down or go about their normal business. They were not really socialized a lot when little, they are almost 3 years old now, and that is my fault because I worked and never went anywhere. I had them from babies. They are very territorial and bark at everyone who comes to the door. I usually put them in the next room with a baby gate so they can at least see who is here. They all have their little quirks, one is scared of people, one is nervous and a little hyper, and one is pretty good. The other is their Mom is she is not too bad. All in all they are good dogs, don't destroy anything, listen pretty darn good, and are great companions. I just need to work out some of the kinks.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Mar 25, 2011
Hi lucybell,

This might be a bit tough, 4 dogs as once is a handful. I'm not sure if you should try working one on one with them, or as a pack since that might be how they are most comfortable. Seperating them may or may not just add to their stress, but you could try it and see how it goes.

What happens if you leave the dogs out to "greet" people as they come in the house? Do they hang around and bark or do they scatter from the room (especially the nervous ones?)? Try seeing what they do if you leave them in the room as your guest enters. Let them approach your guest, not the other way around. The guest should just ignore them until they calmly come up to have a sniff.

If they go into a tizzy when your guests arrive, keep using the babygate technique, and let them out as you have been, once the guest is seated. Again though, the guest should ignore them until they are calm and coming up to say hello.

You pretty much need to desensitize them to guests moving around your house, so its best if you have a friend who's willing to come help you out. Alternatively you can see if there are any dog trainers in your area who work at peoples homes and give one a call.

Your guest should come in and sit down, and start of with just standing up when the dogs are present. You being in the room tell them to "be quiet" as soon as they start to show ANY signs of excitment over the person standing up. Once they are quiet, they get lots of praise, maybe a treat all around, and the guest sits back down. Wait a few minutes, keep conversing, etc. Then the guest stands back up and you repeat the process. Keep working on this until they become desensitized and dont take notice.

Itll be a gradual process, working with just standing, to standing and taking a couple steps from the seat, then returning to sit. Then maybe walk across the room, walk out of the room, walk to the door, etc. Just break it down into steps that your dogs can get used to in a time line manner. It'll be even better if you have a few friends that dont mind coming over and being barked at, and standing up and sitting down a few times

I hope this makes sense and its something that works well. Again, if all 4 dogs at once just isnt getting anywhere, try two at a time or on their own. And remember, be patient! They'll get the hang of things I'm sure, itll just take time Keep us updated on the progession!