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Old 05-27-2012, 05:19 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
and Spy.
 
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Default Need Ideas

So Spy is a super easy keeper and very well mannered except in one area - barking at the door. Now this is not just barking, when someone knocks, the doorbell rings or people just come in, he goes CHARGING at them, barking ferociously the entire way until he reaches them at which point he acts friendly. It has progressed to the point now where he sometimes really scares our guests and this behaviour absolutely has to stop.

I have thought about teaching him to go to his closet (he sleeps in a closet... Don't ask ) when people arrive, but there are several problems I see with this.

A) It's not just like the doorbell rings, sometimes it is knocking and sometimes people just walk in... There is no clear 'signal' so to speak that I can use as the cue for the behaviour I want.

B) When I do hold him back or lock him in another room, he still barks and when he is released several minutes later he still goes running out and kind of growls/barks a little. So it's not just the initial arrival, it is the first time he is meeting people in the house.

As soon as he gets a sniff or within 2 feet or so he is fine and friendly, but the initial charging and barking/growling is too rude to continue lol. I don't want to lock him away when guests are over because that would be almost constantly and he does really enjoy attention from them after the initial sniff. Ideally I would love him to calmly, politely and quietly greet guests.

If someone could give me some ideas or help me form a game plan for how to solve this I would be so appreciative! He really is a great dog, this is his only vice and the one thing I do not like at all.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:36 PM
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Fran101 Fran101 is offline
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Ok, this might not be the proper way to do it.. but here's how we started with ours. (who now know to go to their crates when the bell rings/someone knocks)

It started pretty simply. Somebody would knock, and we would catch them and put them into their crates, treats falling from the sky into the crates lol when they stopped barking and calmed down, they got more treats and basically we ignored them after that until they were calm and THEN maybe (not always) they would be allowed to greet guests.
If they started barking/going crazy when they were let out..they went back in. so on and so forth until they were calm and greeted guests nicely.

We practiced (door bell, go to crate, treat. knocking, go to crate, treat. People coming in, go to crate, treat.)
after a while, they didn't need us to take them there, they would just go in expecting treats at the sound of someone at the door.
Right now, they bark on the way to their crates and then sit expectingly waiting for goodies.
We didn't stop train to stop the barking, because really.. we don't mind them alarm barking. we just HATED HATED them rushing at guests and wanted them OUT of the area when people came over.

Hope it helps worked for us.
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Old 05-28-2012, 01:33 AM
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ihartgonzo ihartgonzo is offline
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I used classical conditioning to associate knocking and the doorbell with being quiet and doing a down, like in this video. It takes a while & it's best if you have some one else to knock and ring the doorbell outside... but it's worth it to teach a conditioned response for LIFE. I don't like making them go to their crate or a mat, but a place command would work too if you'd rather do that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33laJFKlVsg
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:26 PM
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Bailey08 Bailey08 is offline
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I think your idea for him to go to his closet (Bailey has a "go to your bed" command) could work -- I'd use a verbal cue, though. Then you wouldn't have to worry about the varied entry methods. Plus I suspect it would go a long way towards helping him greet visitors politely at the appropriate time -- it takes a good amount of self control for a dog to go to his bed rather than greet visitors. At least it would mine, who loves to bark at the door and who has to do a lot of work on impulse control. You can also work in a few exercises (doggy pushups, stays, touches), so he's in the right frame of mind when the time comes to greet visitors.

Alternatively, or in tandem with the above, you can work on his "wait" (or cue it if he already has a solid wait) and polite greetings. Have friends and family members help out by ringing the bell, and give lots and lots of treats for appropriate greetings at the door.

I generally take the latter approach (I want my dog to bark if he hears something, but I also want him to be calm and greet visitors appropriately), but I think either method or some combination of the two would work, depending on what you are seeking.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:37 PM
~Tucker&Me~ ~Tucker&Me~ is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions guys, I appreciate the input and will get to work trying to solve this.
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