Doggie Doorbell

It's that time of the year again – the Christmas holidays are approaching. For many people their pets will play a different role during the holiday. Some people I know they wouldn’t dream of spending Christmas away from their dogs while others seek out boarding kennels as they feel that it is better for them or their dog due to the high volume of visitors and family members visiting.

Recently, a few owners have being asking me questions as to what I would suggest so their pet is not overlooked during the holidays and also about specific concerns they have. So below I thought I would share ideas on how to deal with one such concern.

“Too Much” barking at the doorbell.

There may be lots of reasons why your dog is doing what he is doing and we may not know exactly why. However I will outline a non-specific training plan that I hope will help.

If the dog barks as soon as the doorbell goes off and they keep barking then I would suggest you try the following:

1. Have some ring the doorbell
2. As soon as dog barks say “Thank you”
3. Then drop a small handful of treats by your dogs’ head, a little distance away from the door.
This handful of treats should be tasty enough and plenty enough so that the dog want to eat them and not carry on barking and also enough to last while you walk over to the door and let the person back in.
After a number of repetitions you should find that as soon as you say ‘thank you’ your dogs becomes quite and looks for the treat. Repeat the above until your dog is able to do this.
4. Once your dog is doing this, repeat step 1 and 2 then this time wait for a second after you say “Thank you” if the dog goes quite, mark that quite with a click (if you use a clicker) or “good dog” then reward your dog.
Now you are feeding your dog for becoming quite when you say “Ty” and not just feeding after you say the word.
5. You can now teach your dog to build duration of remaining quite after you say “Ty” by saying “Ty” then expecting 2 seconds of quite before he gets the treat and so on (don’t start expecting too much too fast).
6. If the doorbell goes off for real, make sure you do the same thing as you have being practicing while answering the door. For this you may need to have a pre- prepared bowl of goodies in the hallway.
7. Note how I talk about practice, setting up the situation and practicing will mean that you can train far more then you would, if you were only doing this when the doorbell went off for real and also it should be much easier in real life as it has being rehearsed over and over previously in a non stressful situation.
Remember to keep sessions short but have lots of sessions through out the day.

Let me know how you get on if you give this a go.


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