Step 4a:

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Next, have a family member, friend, or neighbour stand outside your door and knock while you follow the same steps outlined above. You might need to bring the mat closer to the door and start from level one again because the change in criteria is huge for your dog…they won’t see YOU knocking – it will be more of a cold trial, which is more difficult. 

Another option is to have them tethered with a leash (attached to you or a secure piece of furniture or door) near the mat as you work through this level.

I like to set up a phone call between the trainer and the “visitor” and use a headset/earbuds to communicate. Have the “visitor” ask you if you’re ready for another knock and you say “no” if you need more setup-time and say nothing if you are ready. That way, you are not predicting the knocking on the door by saying “yes”. Very clever! Another way is to put both phones on silent and send texts.