Why is doorway etiquette important?
We have all visited someone who has “that dog”. You ring the doorbell, hear the dog going nuts, hear the owner telling the dog to get back (usually to no avail), finally see the person you came to visit open the door one inch and say “Give me a minute to put the dog away.” So, you wait. Once inside, and the dog is let out, your private parts are sniffed, you are jumped on, and you are hanging onto furniture to prevent yourself from getting knocked over. While we all love dogs, a rude, pushy dog is no fun. That is the practical part of doorway etiquette. There is also the dangerous part. A dog who doesn’t respect a doorway is very likely to bolt out of a door. This can result in the dog running off or even getting hit by a car. We take doorways very seriously.
Doorways represent excitement to your dog. The doorbell rings and something good is about to happen. Could be the UPS guy, could be a visitor, could be a friend, but it rarely means something bad. No wonder our dogs lose their minds. Heck, I get excited when the doorbell rings. The art of doorway etiquette is teaching your dog what is expected when he greets someone and practice. How hard is it to teach dogs to walk backwards when the doorbell rings versus rushing out an open door? Isn’t it just about what we reinforce?
Even when it is us coming home, the calmest dog gets love and affection. A wild, excited dog should never receive attention. Has this meant that I had to struggle through a doorway or two in my day? You betcha. But if you ignore the excitement and praise the calm dog, you will get a calm dog.