This footage shows how I explain “Claiming Space At The Door” to my clients. Hopefully, this provides some visual aid to help those of you trying to address your dog’s barking at the door when a visitor knocks. This method is only recommended for dogs that are friendly and overexcited, I recommend clients with aggression cases to utilize the e-collar.
Last week I described how I would go about introducing dogs when it’s cold outside or if you don’t have a yard. One of the methods I covered is something I call “claiming space at the door,” which falls under dog boundary training. It’s essentially a way of preventing your dog from barking at the door when someone knocks.
I did a video on it a few years ago, and after rummaging through some files I managed to find it! Coincidentally, I posted a video from the same case on YouTube – which you can watch above – around the same time.
The clip gives a bit more insight on how I teach my clients this exercise. This technique is a great way of communicating to your dog that you own the home, and it has more than one application if you understand the concept (I sense another video coming in the future).
How Claiming Space at the Door Teaches Your Dog to Respect Boundaries
I picked up this particular dog boundary exercise from Cesar Millan during my early days of dog training and utilized the method very effectively. During my internship with Richard Heinz, I learned his version of this same exercise, but he had adapted it to the remote collar.
I prefer to utilize the Cesar method myself because the dog understands it’s coming directly from me. This shows the dog that I can speak his or her language through physical touch and presence, which to me, communicates to them on a much deeper level that I am an authority figure.
However, for my clients with dogs that are aggressive toward humans, I always have them utilize the remote collar version of the exercise because it helps pacify the aggressive behavior more effectively.
It also allows them to address the dog from a distance without having to worry about running to catch the dog. Whether the dog is two feet or 20 feet away, it doesn’t matter; the remote collar will make the connection.
I found some footage of Cesar demonstrating the method of claiming space. Unfortunately, the touch is not in the view of the camera and he resorts to using basic obedience commands, including “Sit” and “Stay,” which he did not do in his Dog Whisperer days.
Due to the bad media he was getting, he’s since switched his approach to appease certain groups, but the message is the same: touch followed by presence to communicate you’ve heard your dog’s message and are now in control of the situation.
I hope this training session clip helps explain how to properly claim space at the door. This simple routine has a lot of applications you may not think of right away. But for the true dog whisperers out there, it’s clear as day.
Until next time.