Does the doorbell send your dog into a frenzy? A simple management solution will keep your dog from going bonkers when he hears that irresistible “ding-dong!”
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When teaching your dog polite behaviors, you have a choice: training or management. Training doorbell etiquette involves teaching your dog to do a polite behavior like a sit-stay instead of running and barking at the door. It’s a great skill but requires methodical implementation on the owner’s part, plus high impulse control on the dog’s part.
Management, on the other hand, is easier to apply. It involves setting up an environment in which barking and jumping at the door is impossible, simply by removing the dog from that area. The downside is that management doesn’t teach your dog to be polite; it only prevents him from engaging in the rude behavior. Still, it provides a great quick fix until you can implement a training protocol.
Here are the steps to what I call “Breakfast in Bed,” a way to manage both doorbell reactivity and the inevitable jumping on guests that follows.
Kate Naito, CPDT-KA, MS, is an author and dog trainer with Doggie Academy in Brooklyn, NY.