Join Date: Oct 2010
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 622 Times in 427 Posts
If he isn't getting enough exercise, he's got a lot of pent up energy. That needs to be dealt with. How much exercise is he getting?
Training can definitely help with the door issue. We have Ben trained to always sit at the door, either before going in or going out. He sits and waits at the car. He sits and waits before crossing a street or when a car passes by. He gets intermittent treats when he sits before being asked, which he does most of the time. You can also work on giving him rewards when he passes a person or other dog without lunging at them. Start by treating him frequently as you approach another dog/person. Keep his attention on you. Teach him that strangers lead to more goodies, as long as he looks at you instead of them. It takes time and a lot of practice, but it is doable.
We sometimes use a pinch collar with Ben. Our trainer told us to use it to keep him from pulling us off our feet, which he had been doing. His pulling and jerking was turning walks from fun to dreadful. The collar worked very quickly to calm him down. Now we use it rarely. Never on our daily walks around the neighborhood, where he doesn't get very excited any more, but when we are some place new and exciting, or if we are in a place with a lot of distractions like bicycles or horses. It takes him about 5 minutes to realize that, oh yes, he needs to pay attention to us and not race off on his own, dragging us behind.
Age and training have both helped to calm him down a lot. When we got him at 3, he was definitely a problem child. At 5 he's a sweetheart. Some of it was training, some of it is security/trust, some of it is time.