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The 5 Minute Rule

By Sue, from "It's a Dog's Life" - Training YOU to train your dog!

Roddach Cottage West, Main Street, Cummingston, Burghead, Elgin IV30 5XY

Tel: 01343 831420 email:


Coming in from work, school, hanging out the washing, first thing in the morning, going to the loo (yes, you can manage on your own!) – any time you and your dog have been separated! Re-establish leadership and prevent over excitement and jumping up!

From the dog’s viewpoint…….

Gathering of the pack (which happens a bewildering number of times in a day with members of the human pack coming and going) is cause for great celebration, greeting and welcoming rituals BUT (most importantly) it is also time when leadership is re-established. The leader is always calm, cool and aloof – gives the orders, doesn’t take them – and certainly doesn’t pay homage to (greet effusively) those in the lower ranks.

From the human viewpoint…….

You’ve been out and want to make a great fuss of your dog when you come home. The children have been at school all day and want immediately to play with their dog who is understandably excited to see everyone. He jumps up in great excitement and is stroked and petted. You have effectively trained your dog to jump up and get excited when anyone comes through the door! You are also “paying homage” to your four footed friend which is not what leaders do!

So…………”The 5 Minute Rule” applies:

When the pack reunites (you come home from school, shopping, work, going to the loo, etc) you ignore the dog completely. This means not looking at, speaking to or in any way interacting with the dog. Turn away, avoid eye contact. Because there is no reward for the dog, he will eventually give up trying to get your attention, at which point you call him quietly and stroke him over his head, neck and shoulders. This should present you with a much calmer dog with all four feet on the ground. If he jumps up, turn away and ignore and try again. If your canine chum insists on swinging off the chandeliers, silently leave the room, wait till all is quiet and begin to enter the room again. Any action replay should be met with your retreat from the room (a sort of reverse “Doorways”). You will ultimately be able to enter the room and meet a quiet dog who has learned what behaviour is required to get you to come in!

This exercise re-establishes you as leader and teaches your dog not to jump up at everyone who happens to come through the door.

NB Visitors should be asked to ignore your dog until peace reigns. You, the leader, greets visitors first, not the dog!


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