Friday, January 8, 2016

Ding-Dong, Who's Here?!? Door Manners!!

So I had a recent comment about improving canine manners at the door :). First, I will say at my house my dogs are babygated away from the door so they are not allowed to practice bad manners. I employ this management technique and haven't actually done much door manner training, mostly because we really don't have visitors. This solution fits our lifestyle and works for us :), but it might not work for you!

When training door manners, I love using the 'Go to Mat' behavior. It's easy to use, universal (you can take that mat anywhere so can use at any house), and very black/white for your dog. But with this post I am not going to reinvent the wheel :). I'm going to take the lazy approach if you will, LOL! There are two AMAZING resources already for this behavior and they cover everything that I would write anyways.

Rookie demonstrating his Mat behavior
Please, please, please do yourself a favor :) and check out Denise Fenzi's Pet Dog Blog (just in general because it has great information!). But she does have a post up about teaching the 'Go to Mat' behavior:
Teaching your dog to “go to mat” is one of the easiest ways to solve an enormous range of typical puppy behaviors, ranging from jumping up on guests, to excessive barking (dogs don’t like to bark when they lie down), … Continue reading 
The other resource is a video from Dr. Sophia Yin. The Treat & Train (which is now called the Manner's Minder) can be a great tool in helping to teach the 'Go to Mat' behavior and getting them to stay there through some of the harder distractions (like someone at the door!). You still have to progress to that level of distraction through all the steps but it does help it move quicker in general. Check out her video here. We have a Manner's Minder and we LOVE it.

And that's that :). LOL, that's like the easiest blog post I have ever written (probably because I didn't actually write much!!). Happy Friday! :)

Have you trained a 'Go to Mat' behavior? If so, how/when do you use it? If you haven't, give it a try and let me know how it goes!


  1. I've pretty much allowed our dogs to get out of control when it comes to door manners. We have so few guests that it's just never been a priority. I need to make a spot for several go to mats. I also like the idea of blocking them from the door.

  2. My dogs do "go to the mat". I learned it in a CGC class and it is so much fun to see them scoot to the mat for a treat. My dogs will do just about ANYTHING for a treat. What fun!

  3. I have a walkout basement with a dog door. If I am expecting company, I close the door that leads to the basement staircase, circumventing this. Because my dogs get quite excited when someone shows up.