ClickerSolutions Training Articles

Solution for Doorbell Barking

Happy calm at a distance was definitely on my agenda, since it wasn't Brady's barking that was the problem (like many BCs she's not much of a barker). For her the problem was the adrenaline rush resulting from and escalating her fear aggression toward strangers.

I wanted to remove that rush, because when she's calm she's much less reactive to her normal triggers. I keep a treat jar with her favorite stinky stuff near her door-down-spot and I absolutely RUN to the jar saying happily "oh boy oh boy it's the door!" when the bell rings. The only time that jar opens is for the door. But it took two of us to get this going - one would answer the door and the other would stand in front of Brady reinforcing her stay and shoveling treats.

Without having friends to use as doorbell-ringers to train this faster, it took a year before I felt she'd reached a point where I could just leave her in her spot behind me and answer the door alone and *know* she was going to stay in place without constant reinforcement. She still gets one treat as soon as she hits her spot before I open the door, and then she gets a big jackpot treat at the end of her stay to reward the behavior, but I no longer have to shovel them constantly to maintain the down-stay.

So while it took a while to OC and proof the down-stay for different actions on my part and different people entering/actions on their part, it didn't take long at all for the CC to start to work and she started looking for the treat when the bell rang. Of course, now she looks for a treat everytime she hears a doorbell on tv too!

Hope this helps!

Cheryl & Brady
copyright 2002 Cheryl Jarvis


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