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  #1  
Old 06-06-2008, 06:42 PM
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Default How do you teach a dog

Not to jump up on the &*$@* window??? Daisy jumps up and barks on the glass window by the door whenever somebody rings the doorbell. There is a curtain there that she jumps on and she has broken the medal thing that holds the rod at the base three times now. I have successfully taught her that knocking isn't something to freak out about, but I have not had that same success with the doorbell. Daisy is a real foodie! Ideas?
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:19 PM
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You could consider trying a Scatmat in the window, just to curb the window-jumping...

I would work on desensitizing her to the doorbell, and to people coming in and out. I started by ringing the doorbell and walking in and out several times a day, and rewarding them for not barking. Then I got family/friends to do the same. Gonzo still alarm barks when he sees some one walking up to the door, but they've gotten much less reactive and excited.
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Old 06-07-2008, 10:25 AM
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Leash her, have someone ring the doorbell, tell her "NO" when she jumps or ask her to "sit" then treat when she does and let the person come in and pet her...if she jumps on the window don't have them come in and try again.
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:39 PM
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How did you desensitize her to the knocking? Can you use the same method for the doorbell??
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:29 PM
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This is something I wrote out for someone on another forum and is the method I used with my yappy Chihuahuas. I personally don't recommend associating the door or people coming to your door with an electric shock (scat mat) or any aversive. The association can be made to the dog, that the door and people coming in are scary and can cause more than just this reactivity. It can go to a more aggressive or fearful response. The following might not exactly match up with your dog but the concepts are the same. Here's what I wrote to someone else: (some people suggested ignoring, some aversives and that is why some of my comments are about that)




Well, my way isn't to correct the barking as in a verbal reprimand type thing. That's telling the dog that barking is a no no. And it's not. The dog is stressed and barking. It may not even be bad stress necessarily, but she's worked up. So, punishment wouldn't be appropriate because it can cause the dog to get more worked up and associate the trigger with punishment. You want to avoid that.

It's confusing to a dog to be able to do something like that sometimes and sometimes not, so a correction could be confusing. So, instead of looking at it like stopping the barking, I'm focusing in my own mind on what the dog is to do and giving him something to do. But first, the barking is put on the "to do" list. (I'll explain in a minute)

And I don't wait for real life situations to come up to do the training...hardly ever in any situation. I set up the environment I want.... to practice and make it easier for the dog to succeed. (at first). At other times, when you can't take the time to train...when someone comes over unexpectantly, put the dog in another room or crate away from the door first before opening the door. Be calm.

Ignoring the barking which goes on and on doesn't work because she is being self rewarded. It's satisfying to her to bark. And a few "thank you" barks are a good thing to let you know that someone is out there. The window between her and her trigger is a barrier and it causes frustration. That's why she's OK outside.

Besides the training, you'll need to address and take into account any underlying socialization deficits, lack of exercise or any lack of mental stimulation etc. Resolving the underlying cause is the main intervention.


Here's the method/sequence I've used and it works if you're consistent:

Put the barking on cue...say "speak" or "bark" (whatever cue you want, just keep it the same) You can use a hand signal too if you want. I open and close my fingers against my thumb like my hand is imitating a mouth, like you'd do with kids when they talk too much.

Immediately after you cue (not more than a second or two after, get the dog to bark by having someone knock on the door or whatever else will make him bark.
Dog barks.


Praise..."gooooood!" (no treat, just a little praise)


Give cue...."quiet" or "enough" (I use enough, but whatever you choose, just make it the same.) And immediately after, show a high value treat (real meat...small) to prompt quiet....hold the treat in front of his nose...get him distracted until he is quiet. Hold the treat for 3-5 seconds and then give it to him.

Repeat with less and less visibility of the treat prompt but still give it to him after perfect 3-5 second quiets.


Repeat with longer and longer durations of quiet before giving the treat.


Practice with lots of (psuedo/pretend) visitors or whatever else triggers the barking. Vary them.
Do it over and over till the dog gets onto this game. And it is a game. It my take a few sessions so keep it up. You'll know that the dog gets it when he barks on the cue and doesn't need the door knocking or other noises to set him off. And he quiets on the first cue to quiet without being shown the treat. Still give him a treat but take it from somewhere he won't notice so much, like your pocket or a table top. (later, once reliable, you'll put the treats on a variable reinforcement schedule)

If he ever starts to bark during a quiet time with even a half attempt at a bark or a tiny soft bark, tell him "woops" (a no reward marker) and start your count over again....1,2,3,4,5...He has to know that barking during the quiet time lost him the treat. He needs to give you 3-5 seconds of perfect quiet after you cue the quiet.

Practice this by going back and forth, back and forth between the cue to bark... and the cue to quiet...lots of times before trying it out in real situations. Set up the situations so you can practice better. Expose him to a wider variety of sights and sounds if he is especially easily set off.

Many people give up because they never get past the hard part. Memorize the instructions and understand them completely. Practice, practice. This process works if you give it ample training. It can seem like it's going nowhere the first few times and most people never make it past the initial hard part. The first few times, the dog will respond poorly so you must be ready with some very tasty treats. If he messes up once you've decreased the visibility of the treats for a while, go back to showing him them again for a bit. (Often, dogs that have been trained using more traditional methods take a while to get onto the game because they haven't learned about doggie zen) They’re not accustom to controlling their own behavior because someone else is controlling it for them.

When he's been doing this for a while and he barks after being told to "quiet," he must get an instant time out away from the action, which most dogs find fun and stimulating. Having to leave the excitement really bothers most dogs. Timing, of course is vital as always. Once you've given the "quiet" cue and he barks, he must immediately get a "Woops" (too bad for you) and he is quickly removed to the isolation area. Do not let him out if he barks. Wait for a lull of about 5-10 seconds first after having been in there for a minute or two.

You can also do a down-stay. A lot of dogs don't bark when they're lying down.
It is very likely that it will get worse before it gets better. Your dog has been barking for a long time this way and when something has been working and then it doesn't, he's going to try and try some more. The sudden shift in the rules will likely cause some confusion at first. But then there will be an extinction burst where by he tries and tries and the last time he tries before he gives up because it's not working, he's going to give it all he's got. Keep at it. This will pass. Once he finally gives up for good, the behavior will extinguish. It will extinguish because it doesn't work to bark. Nothing satisfying comes from the excessive barking and no behavior exists when there is no motivator. BUT...something better happens, that works better when he hears the word, "quiet." So that new behavior will be taken on.

The trouble with force based methods, intimidation, aversives and all that is that it tends to regress badly and often, fairly soon and can cause aggression and/or avoidance/fearful behavior. I went that route for years and it never worked. Power struggles don't work. And primarily, it doesn't get at the root of the issue which could be a bad socialization history or some other fear or even excitement over seeing a dog pal. You don't want to escalate that. Associating the other dog or whatever triggers a dog to bark manically with that kind of punishment is that the dog is already stressed, emotionally and physiologically (heart rate, adrenalin, respiration levels are higher) and it further associates the trigger with more of a stressful time than he was already having. It doesn't help the dog to calm down. It only shuts a dog down so he looks calmer but he's "stuffing it." Showing the dog that good things happen in the presence of the trigger and for obeying your cue makes for a much more reliable skill and a much happier dog. It's also less wear and tear on the owner in the long run.

Once the behavior is quite well on it's way, practice this in different environments, locations, contexts and various triggers. Get the dog to generalize this behavior in any kind of situation, anyplace.

I have two yappy Chihuahuas and one loud mouth mix breed... and believe me, if any dog can bark, they can. LOL. I used this method and was lazy with one of my dogs. In the last week or so, I've been practicing better and let me tell you, the second they hear, "enough"....they all three stop barking in unison...absolutely suddenly and exactly together at the same second. It's great. They got the initial behavior going quite well in just one or two sessions. It took some more to get the cues independent of the prompt and the door knocking person.

It can also double as a fun trick to show people. "speak" and "quiet."
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2008, 10:10 PM
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Nice post!
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