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Keeping Furry Guardians at Bay: Preventing Dogs from Blocking House Entry

13/07/2023 - Dog Training Advice

Dogs are cherished companions and loyal protectors, known for their unwavering devotion to their human families. However, occasionally, their protective instincts can become a nuisance, particularly when they block visitors from entering the house. Whether it's a delivery person, a guest, or even a family member returning home, a dog that blocks access can cause inconvenience and potentially create safety concerns. In this blog, we'll explore practical strategies to prevent dogs from obstructing house entry while ensuring their well-being and preserving the security of your home.

Understanding the Behaviour:
Dogs often block entrances due to a combination of natural instincts and learned behaviour. They are territorial creatures by nature, and when someone approaches their territory, they may perceive it as a threat and respond by blocking or barking. Additionally, dogs might have learned that their behaviour is rewarded with attention or reinforces their sense of control, which further encourages them to repeat the action.

Training and Socialisation:
Training and socialisation play vital roles in shaping a dog's behaviour. Start by teaching your dog basic obedience cues such as "sit," "stay," and "down." These cues will provide you with control over their movements and help redirect their attention away from the entrance. Consistency and positive reinforcement are crucial; reward your dog with praise or treats when they respond to the cues.

Additionally, socialise your dog from an early age to ensure they are comfortable and calm around new people. Gradually introduce them to different environments, people, and situations, rewarding them for calm and appropriate behaviour. This will help reduce anxiety and territorial behaviour when someone approaches your home.

Designated Safe Space:
Creating a designated safe space for your dog is an effective way to manage their behaviour when someone arrives. This space should be away from the entrance, preferably in a separate room or a quiet corner. Equip this area with comfortable bedding, toys, and water. Train your dog to retreat to their safe space on cue, using positive reinforcement. This way, when someone arrives, you can direct your dog to their safe space, ensuring they remain calm and out of the way.

Impulse Control Exercises:
Impulse control exercises are essential for teaching dogs to wait patiently rather than rushing to the entrance. Practice exercises like "wait" or "stay" during everyday activities such as mealtimes or when attaching a leash. Gradually increase the duration of their waiting periods, rewarding them for their patience. This will help your dog learn to control their impulses and remain calm even when visitors arrive.

Management and Environmental Modifications:
In some cases, management and environmental modifications can help prevent dogs from blocking entrances. Consider installing a baby gate or a sturdy door barrier to limit your dog's access to the entrance area. This will allow you to answer the door without your dog being directly in the way. Additionally, using curtains or blinds on windows near the entrance can help reduce your dog's visual stimulation, preventing them from becoming overly excited or reactive.

Professional Assistance:
If your dog's behaviour persists despite your best efforts, seeking professional help from a certified dog trainer or animal behaviourist is recommended. They can assess your dog's behaviour, identify underlying issues, and provide customised training and behaviour modification plans to address the problem effectively. Click here for 121 training to best suit your individual dogs needs in Ipswich and Colchester. Click here for 121 sessions that can be done from anywhere in the country. 
If the behaviour escalates, behaviour work may be better suited for the dog so click here for packages with a qualified behaviourist. 

Preventing dogs from blocking house entry requires a combination of training, socialisation, and environmental modifications. By understanding their instincts, employing positive reinforcement training techniques, and creating a designated safe space, you can teach your dog to remain calm and cooperative when visitors arrive. Remember, patience and consistency are key when working with your furry companion. With time and effort, you can transform their protective instincts into a well-behaved and welcoming demeanour, allowing both guests and family members to enter your home with ease.

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