Virginia Simpson and Chance

Ask The Trainer

Front Door Excitement


I have a long-haired female German shepherd ( 2 years)and when we brought her home she used to nip a lot so we always put one of her toys in her mouth when she got excited but now every time someone comes through the front door or even if she enters, she will grab our shoe and hide it somewhere around the house !
    ~ Abby



Hi Abby,

Thank you for your inquiry at Cincinnati Dog Pages!

Usually puppies/dogs will nip playfully or may get mouthy when they are excited or escalated and you trained her to put something else in her mouth whenever she gets excited. She has learned to put a toy/shoe/or other item in her mouth when she is excited like when you come in the door. I’m going to assume that would like this behavior to stop so a couple of ideas.

As a quick fix, you might be to have a basket of her own toys close by the front door so you can toss one of those to her when you walk on the door, but you could also give her an alternate behavior like going to a place command or running her through some tricks maybe. Spatial control exercises like a down/stay or a place command teach self-control and will teach her how to calm her mind down when she starts to lose control or get excited. You have to practice and master these initially when she is calm and build up to higher and higher level distractions, like when you walk through the front door.

Thank you for contacting Unleashed Canine Obedience through Cincinnati Dog Pages!

If you have any other questions or would like some help with training, please feel free to contact me any time!


For more information, please feel free to contact:

Virginia L. Simpson, CDT
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
4955 Creek Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242