Sunday, June 24, 2012

Thoughts on being a dog

I often wonder what Tucker is thinking about.  I know he has a huge imagination.  He hears and sees things we don't.  When this happens he runs out of the room he is in, and it is as though the biggest, bad person has come into our home on the attack and he is sworn to defend us.  Then just like that, he stops and goes off to lay down or play with the handiest toy nearby.

Tucker thinks...."What is below the deck that I can't see?....I must stare till "it" moves...."

We've been watching the new show of "Dogs in the City" and there was one segment that had me thinking of  what we must teach the poochies and us, to do when someone comes to our door or inside our home.  Both Tucker and Stewie run to the door barking like crazy.  We're yelling to be "Quiet!" or "No Barking" which doesn't do diddly squat.  Well, we get bothered but the poochies think it is all great fun.

I know we need to work on their behavior as well as ours on allowing this to go on.  We need to practice opening and closing the door(s) and rewarding the good behavior.  We need to let them understand what we expect them to do when the door opens from outside or when we go to answer the door.  Right now it is CHAOS!  

It is hard on Tucker being a puppy to control the puppy attitude and we have been negligent in showing Stewie how to behave when people come over.

Then we have the people who come by that Stewie really doesn't like.  One being our neighbor and my brother by marriage who don't like dogs.  Well, they are smart and sense this but they also don't know how they should behave when these two men have stopped by.   They won't stop barking or growling (Stewie).  My husband will keep the neighbor outdoors but just hearing the voices outside upsets Stewie, which sets Tucker off.  Neither would bite as it really is all about the bark.  The louder, the longer, the better in Stewie's mind.  Tucker is being a copy-cat.

But what if you want them to bark at a REAL bad person....will they know the difference?  Will they know it is okay to bark at them and not at friends or family who come over?

Once the poochies have had the barkfest then they walk away or hang out for the petting they do enjoy from the friends and family.  It's just at the beginning.  Now we have a 4th of July Party coming up and I'm not looking forward to hearing them go bonkers every time the door opens.  

Guess I'll buy some turkey and start practicing this week.  Wish me luck!


Sara said...

Same issues here. You have a good idea to start training now. I usually wait until the situation actually occurs, and by then, they are both already over the top.

Good luck!

tubby3pug said...

Our dogs do the same we very rarely have people over so its hard to work on the behavior

urban hounds

Finn said...

Finn would let a burglar in....for sure! She just wants to be pet by the person coming in and then she's alright. But I wonder what she is thinking all the time. Good luck this week!

English Rider said...

I think the initial barking is O.K. even desirable. However, when you get to the door you must claim that space and take charge. Before opening the door, dogs must be moved back and sit (reward good behavior, of course). Each time you make to open the door you must stop if they leave their spot and start over. It won't take long for them to understand this.
My foster dogs have to learn this at the office. I have a baby-gate across my doorway so they see new people coming. I get between dog and gate and point to their bed and say "go lie down!" I walk into their space and guide them until they comply. Once this is accomplished, I praise and treat. "Good Dog, Stay!" more praise and treat.
Then we do "come and sit" in front of me and the client. I often have my clients do "come, sit, treat" as well, as part of socialization with shy or anxious dogs. Then the dogs have to go back to their beds while the humans do our business. (In some cases I use a leash). p.s. "Go lie down!" is the solution to your last post too.

pooky said... need the dog whisperer? Good luck my friend! So glad Agador is doing better:)

Nola said...

Good luck! Nola would Defiantly know the difference, and not let them in. LOL my 8lb pit bull
Nola's mom

haopee said...

Don't give up. It's a matter of patience and more patience. My dogs do the same with our guests. She even sometimes bark at my mom or me... I think it's a matter of desensitizing them and making them understand that the one you open your doors to aren't the bad guys.

Huggies and Cheese,


Lassiter Chase and Benjamin said...

Good luck with the training. The turkey part of the treat/training reward sounds fabulous by the way! Yum!

Priscilla said...

After two years of trying to turn Eva into a polite and quiet girl, I've to admit that I've already given up hope and let Eva be Eva. LOL! She is a boisterous girl and it seems everybody just loves her being that way. Sigh!

Good luck with the training!

Bassetmomma said...

Good luck! Fred doesn't bark at all and Gloria only barks if she's outside.

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Howdy All, sounds like our house too hehe. The advice from English Rider was fab. Might try that ourselves. Ours are just excited to see people but with Rory nearly chest high and wanting to share his slobber, he can be a little offputting! Oh aren't pups fun. Always giving us something to think about. Take care. No worries, and love, Carol (and Stella and Rory)

Rama's Mama said...

I teach mine to sit at the door and wait for a cue from me. If they get their release word and I allow someone to enter, they will eventually settle bc of the cues they receive from me that the visitor is ok. From all my years training and owning dogs--particularly guarding breeds--it has been my experience that they most certainly DO know the difference between the good and bad eggs out there. Good for you for working with your dog on this!