Does Mr Dog GO BANANAS at the DOOR-BELL? What shall we do and how to ‘teach him out’ ?
The first rule is: DO NOT shout or punish Mr Dog for barking. Why? Because he will associate the door-bell with his human’s aggression. Let’s look at it from Mr Dog PERSPECTIVE:
“Doorbell means my human will attack me,” and that is not the idea you want them to have.
Our GOAL is to to teach Mr Dog NOT TO ATTACH attention to the doorbell, so any “blocking-techniques” (punishing) are inappropriate, as we only make Mr Dog more anxious, defensive or even aggressive, when they hear the doorbell (as mentioned above).
The SOUND OF THE DOORBELL should be associated with something PLEASANT and CALM. So what we do is to evoke connection: DOORBELL = TREAT.
HOW TO DO IT?
If your Mr Dog can SIT calmly and WAIT to get a treat, you are halfway there, because the first thing is to make Mr Dog SIT calmly and focus him on waiting for a treat.
Somebody outside RINGS the doorbell. And there are 2 REACTIONS possible:
1. POSITIVE – Mr Dog doesn’t react –> YOU: give him the treat.
2. NEGATIVE – Mr Dog reacts –> YOU:
– focus his attention on the smell of the treat, but don’t give it to him
– again make him sit calmly and wait
– repeat the process
OUR GOAL is to teach Mr Dog, that “DOORBELL = TREAT,” but only if he sits calmly.
On the FIRST DAYS of the training:
Everyone in the house should have treats on them, so in case the doorbell suddenly rings, they can reward the dog if he BEHAVES RIGHT. Finally he will remember the right behavior and the treats won’t be necessary.
And what if you have MORE THAN ONE barking Mr Dog:
WORK & TRAIN the most dominant Mr Dog and the others will learn “by the way” (by observation & imitation).
Keep PAWsitive! 😉