charging at the door and neighborhood

Posted by Paula-D
Jan 15, 2013
I have a 3 year old lab who has been through training and goes to daycare at the same place and is the best dog in home, calm and trained but he charges people and barks like a lunatic and very intimidating when someone comes in the house or at people when I walk in my neighborhood. He knows all the commands and will do the down, stay. He knows heel and walks by my side, EXCEPT with distractions.. mostly in my neighborhood. When someone comes to the door and knocks or rings bell he does not bark. I can say down, stay!! and he will but as soon as I open the door to let someone in he charges barking like a lunatic right down to the door and if I grab him he still goes crazy.. very intimidating.. As soon as the person is in most of the time within 20 seconds he is calm and over it. He does the same thing when I walk him on leash around my neighborhood if I see another dog or person he barks loud and pulls. I cannot seem to get over this hump for some reason and don't know what else to do to get him to stop. I was going to try to leash him in the house when people come but I think he will react the same and worse on leash. and I don't want him to associate a bad thing with people coming in. It stresses me out walking in the neighborhood because people will think he is aggressive when he really is not. I don't think he would ever bite but I'm afraid if someone reacts mad, defensively or scared he may act different. I do make him sit and wait before he eats, wait to go in and out doors, tell him to get out of way, walk well on leash...its' the distractions I cannot get through. At some times my husband was not following all the rules and I don't know if that makes it worse but he tells me he now is following them.. Any input or help would be appreciated. I have a trainer and they tell me if I can get him to walk on that loose leash my problems will go away but I can't seem to get him to do it when I see a person.

He does not do this so much when I walk at the park with him although there are certain times one or two random people might set him off and he will bark or huff but not for the most part.
Posted by hailey-arnold
Jan 27, 2013
Paula-D, I have a boxer that charges at the door when people come in also. I started putting him on a leash when I knew people were comming. I stood in the living room w/ him on a leash while my husban answered the door. After quite a few times of doing that he' quit charging the door. Hope this helps!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Jan 29, 2013
Hey there,

Another tip for charging doors and going off at the sound of the doorbell - start ringing your own doorbell randomly at home. If he starts hearing the noise more often and its followed by nothing (no guest or excitement), it should help him desensitise to the sound and stop reacting in the future. As far as when people come in the door, try the lead technique like hailey-arnold did and see if it works. If not, try putting your boxer in a time out when he gets rowdy over people.

As far as charging on leads, I had a similar problem with my dog, and I solved it by giving him a big jerk on the lead (not to hurt him, just to get attention), telling him "no", then having him sit. Once he sat, I would snap my fingers and keep talking to him to keep his attention focused on me. In the beginning I had to take my dog off the walking path and off to the side of things a bit to get him to focus, but the more I did it, the better behaved he became. I'd suggest trying something similar on your walks, just be sure to do it everytime someone comes close, and try to get your dog into the sit before the other person is right on you
Posted by Paula-D
Feb 11, 2013
thank you .. so I got the charging at the door to stop I started by pretending someone was at the door and would make him do a down stay over by the couch while I went to door and pretended someone was there and talking and after a few times he stayed and never got up and because no one came in he remained calm. As I had people come over eventually he stopped. I can now go and answer the door and have the person come up without him getting up.. still working on when I give him the ok to say hi he goes over a 100 miles an hour but we have made big progess..

still having the issue while walking and him lunging and barking at people and dogs in the neighborhood so still working on that. I can get him to stop by pulling out a cookie which I do use that method if I have to but I would like to not have to rely on that for the times I don't have any.