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 covered something I call “Claiming Space At The Door.” I did a video on it a few years ago and it can be found in an older blog post. As I was writing last week’s post, I remembered I had footage somewhere from a session I did a couple of years ago. After some rummaging I managed to find it!
Coincidentally, I posted a video from this particular case on YouTube around this time so I figured I’d include it as well. This clip gives a bit more insight on this exercise that I teach all my clients. It’s a great way to communicate to your dog that you own the home and it has more than one application if you understand the concept (I sense a video coming in the future).
I picked up this 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 human-aggressive dogs, I always have them utilize the remote collar version of the exercise because that helps to pacify the aggression 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 2 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 the obedience commands “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 that you’ve heard your dog’s message and are now in control of the situation.
I hope this training session clip helps to clarify a few things when claiming space at the door. This simple routine has a lot of applications that one may not think of right off the bat, but for the true dog whisperers out there, it’s clear as day.
Until next time.
This footage shows how I explain “Claiming Space At The Door” to my clients. Hopefully, this provides some visual aide to help those of you trying to address your dog’s barking at the door. This method is only recommended for dogs that are friendly and overexcited, I now recommend my clients with aggression cases to utilize the e-collar.