Poodle Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I'd like to ask for some friendly advice. We will hopefully have a new spoo puppy coming in about 8 or 9 weeks. Our current dog, a small terrier mix we call Cooper, has the habit of barking at the doorbell, racing to the door, continuing to bark as we answer the door, and then barking at whoever we let in for the next minute or so, even when it is someone he knows very well. I would like to fix this behavior before the puppy arrives so that Cooper doesn't pass on this wonderful tradition.

What I would like him to do instead is:
- Bark once or twice when someone approaches the house, but no more than that - stay calm!
- Stay on the carpeted area of our family room, which is about 20' away from the front door, but still allows him to see what's going on (his stay needs work)
- Approach and greet the visitors after we tell him it's OK

He gets very excited when the doorbell rings, and he generally doesn't respond to me when he does his current routine. I've started by trying to desensitize him to the doorbell, and we're making progress. I stand at the door, ring the bell, and give him a treat if he doesn't immediately bark. 9 out of 10 times he doesn't bark, which is a big improvement. But if we're on the couch and someone else rings the bell, he goes crazy as usual.

I think that if I can get him to stay calm when the bell rings, then the rest of the behaviors will be fairly easy. But right now it's way too much of a distraction for him to listen to me. Any advice on how to get him to relax in the face of the dreaded doorbell?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
Here ya go. :)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
Good luck with that. We also have a corn terrier. She will bark at the turn of a door knob. I have tried a pet convincer on her (shot of compressed air) and the sound of it is enough to settle her. Now Renn has not picked up the behavior to bad, he will give a bark but I tell him enough and that is usually it. The terrier I cannot seem to change.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Here ya go. :)
Thanks, I have watched that video, and that's what I'm basing my current plan on. Hope it works!

Good luck with that. We also have a corn terrier. She will bark at the turn of a door knob. I have tried a pet convincer on her (shot of compressed air) and the sound of it is enough to settle her. Now Renn has not picked up the behavior to bad, he will give a bark but I tell him enough and that is usually it. The terrier I cannot seem to change.
Well, at least the behavior hasn't transferred too much to Renn, that's encouraging!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Try reading & watching some of Cesar Milan’s teachings... He’s truly wonderful & I swear I remember an episode or 2 discussing this very issue.
Before Spoos my family dogs growing up were always English Bull Terriers - so I know how hard it can be to move the mind of a terrier set in his/her ways. Our previous Spoo grew up with one of our English Bull Terrier females, and he picked up some bad habits from her (example: grabbing the end of a toilet paper roll and running down the hallway with it) - it’s bound to happen if you have a dog that has some unfavourable behaviour unless you can completely 100% retrain before a new puppy comes into the mix. Monkey see monkey do!

Is Cooper a dominant & territorial dog?? Does he have much exposure to other dogs or will your puppy be the first major interactions??
My suggestion is also really research the proper way to introduce a new puppy to your current family dog (Especially with Terriers!)

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed because you know how your dog will react to the doorbell or turn of a doorknob - they will sense that and maybe Cooper is feeling like the door is something he has to be heightened by. I know that you want your dog to be alerted by a person at the door, but without him being frantic.. This will likely take a lot of retraining. It’s not impossible, so don’t give up!!!
Also, congrats on your new poodle puppy. A poodle is a wonderful addition. They are intelligent, loving, active dogs that are gentle and overall calm. Good luck :)


 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,869 Posts
Ummmmm... You may want to read some of the previous discussions on CM. His methods - and the whole "dominance" thing - are widely discredited.

My two wind each other up barking when they hear their friends in the shared courtyard outside. With more kind people moving in who could be relied on for treats the "Quick! Let us out! They're there!!" explosion was becoming a nuisance, and I have very quickly taught them that I would only open the door if they came and sat on the rug in the sitting room. Barking meant I got up, called them to me, asked for a sit, and then cheerfully took them to the door and went out with them. After a few days a brief reminder was all it took, and we are well on the way to it becoming automatic. The key has been to make the reward (opening the door) follow immediately on the behaviour (polite quiet sitting). And it is probably good for my health, too - they say we should not sit too long before getting up and moving around!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Ummmmm... You may want to read some of the previous discussions on CM. His methods - and the whole "dominance" thing - are widely discredited.

My two wind each other up barking when they hear their friends in the shared courtyard outside. With more kind people moving in who could be relied on for treats the "Quick! Let us out! They're there!!" explosion was becoming a nuisance, and I have very quickly taught them that I would only open the door if they came and sat on the rug in the sitting room. Barking meant I got up, called them to me, asked for a sit, and then cheerfully took them to the door and went out with them. After a few days a brief reminder was all it took, and we are well on the way to it becoming automatic. The key has been to make the reward (opening the door) follow immediately on the behaviour (polite quiet sitting). And it is probably good for my health, too - they say we should not sit too long before getting up and moving around!


Everything in moderation, and I understand everyone has different views. I’m speaking specifically in regards to his issue. Cesar Milan’s training has worked perfectly with every family dog my family has had - and my family has had some of the most stubborn terrier breeds. It doesn’t require you to be a bully, quite frankly it only ever created a mutual respect between our dogs and us humans - even when I was just 12 years old. We still loved on our dogs and valued them, we just used his methods to correct some unfavourable behaviour & in teaching some VERY dominant female English Bull Terriers that they did not rule us, in fact they were not “top dog” per say. Dogs crave needing to know their place in the pack and if that guess-work is gone, they’re much better dogs & are far better listeners. I’m only speaking from my experience and watching some of his ideas work splendidly for many of my family’s dogs. :)


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,579 Posts
Eric, I would put a dog bed or an additional mat/towel/blanket in the area where you want Cooper to lay down......this will give him a Place, a very specific place to go lay down.

Here’s a good explanation of training “go to place”. I would train it separately and when Cooper can be sent to place from the door, I would then incorporate it into the door training.

https://www.clickertraining.com/node/3308

I would have many short training sessions in a day but I’m not sure you can train this to be a reliable behavior before the puppy arrives. Plus the puppy adds a new distraction. I think your goal will be to keep working on this even after the puppy arrives. Terriers can be stubborn and even with easy to train dogs this can take a long time. You’re smart to be working on this problem.

My minipoo rarely barks; it’s just not in her nature. She just came back from spending a week with daughter who’s dog barks nonstop. I also have other dogs in my neighborhood who bark.... my dog is happy to let other dogs do the barking for her. I did not get my dog till she was close to a year old so I don’t know her early environment but she was a puppy held back for conformation and lived with the breeder/professional handler who only trained dogs for conformation and not the basics such as sit or lay down. She was surrounded by many dogs and I’m sure at least some of them barked. I mention this because there’s a small possibility your new puppy may not be a barker. Mine only barks at very aggressive dogs. There’s times people have rung the door bell and my dog didn’t bark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,860 Posts
I think you will be thrilled with your new pup. The one thing I haven't allowed which I think has been helpful is that Renn has not been allowed to run free with the cairn. She is a bossy terrier and all he wanted to do as a pup was play. So he didn't pick up a lot of her bad habits. I had purchased a "pet convincer" air compressed which I carry on my walks. I could sure a loose non aggressive pup away or just get Renns attention. The psst sound was all it took. I'm using it on the cairn now when he gets over barks and it will get her attention and once that is made I can settle her down. Once someone sys hi to her and lets her sniff t them she is fine and goes about her own business. Just stay vigilant from the beginning and if the video /training helps quiet down your terrier that is even better. You will all do great!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Is Cooper a dominant & territorial dog?? Does he have much exposure to other dogs or will your puppy be the first major interactions??
My suggestion is also really research the proper way to introduce a new puppy to your current family dog (Especially with Terriers!)

If you’re feeling anxious or stressed because you know how your dog will react to the doorbell or turn of a doorknob - they will sense that and maybe Cooper is feeling like the door is something he has to be heightened by. I know that you want your dog to be alerted by a person at the door, but without him being frantic.. This will likely take a lot of retraining. It’s not impossible, so don’t give up!!!
Also, congrats on your new poodle puppy. A poodle is a wonderful addition. They are intelligent, loving, active dogs that are gentle and overall calm. Good luck :)


It's hard for me to tell if he's dominant or territorial, or neither. He certainly never challenges me or anyone in my family, but he does bark when anyone comes on our property. He'll also bark if, for example, someone he doesn't know well gives me or my wife a hug. He is good with other dogs, but I am definitely going to research how to make a good introduction - I don't want to mess that up! If you know of any good resources, please let me know!

I'm sure that I'm not making Cooper anxious before the bell rings. I know that because Cooper practically sends me through the ceiling when he starts barking. One moment we're completely relaxed watching TV, the next moment the bell goes "ding" and Cooper is barking his head off before the "dong" sounds. His reaction time is quite impressive.

Eric, I would put a dog bed or an additional mat/towel/blanket in the area where you want Cooper to lay down......this will give him a Place, a very specific place to go lay down.

Here’s a good explanation of training “go to place”. I would train it separately and when Cooper can be sent to place from the door, I would then incorporate it into the door training.

https://www.clickertraining.com/node/3308

I would have many short training sessions in a day but I’m not sure you can train this to be a reliable behavior before the puppy arrives. Plus the puppy adds a new distraction. I think your goal will be to keep working on this even after the puppy arrives. Terriers can be stubborn and even with easy to train dogs this can take a long time. You’re smart to be working on this problem.

My minipoo rarely barks; it’s just not in her nature. She just came back from spending a week with daughter who’s dog barks nonstop. I also have other dogs in my neighborhood who bark.... my dog is happy to let other dogs do the barking for her. I did not get my dog till she was close to a year old so I don’t know her early environment but she was a puppy held back for conformation and lived with the breeder/professional handler who only trained dogs for conformation and not the basics such as sit or lay down. She was surrounded by many dogs and I’m sure at least some of them barked. I mention this because there’s a small possibility your new puppy may not be a barker. Mine only barks at very aggressive dogs. There’s times people have rung the door bell and my dog didn’t bark.
Thanks for that advice. He does have a place and he already knows the "place" command. He goes there when we eat dinner, in fact most of the time now he just goes there on his own when he sees us preparing to sit down to eat. I can command him to go there outside of mealtimes, but so far it only works from relatively short distances. I suppose I'll need to work on extending the distance until I can get him to go there from the door. It's about 30 feet away. Do you think that working on getting a strong "place", along with continuing the desensitization of the bell, would be the best course of action?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
111 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Another thought - I wonder if it would help at all if I changed the doorbell, so that we start our training with a different sound?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,294 Posts
I don't think it matters what the sound is. He'll have to habituate to any sound and it wouldn't hurt to use a variety of sounds like knocking, ringing, someone talking outside the door when you get to that point. First no big distractions. Skylar's advice is good. You can incorporate that with Kikopup's desensitization shown on that video. You can add the "place" after a bit...after some of that high agitation from the door bell and/or knock calms down. (I'd do both)

I'd also forget about dominance and alpha schmalfa. Like Fjm said, that's all been proven wrong with domestic dogs which are not pack animals, but familial. I wouldn't confuse yourself with all those pack theory terms and concepts with your poodle. Just stick to non-intimidating, learning theory that is proven to be best for dogs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eric

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
Everything in moderation, and I understand everyone has different views. I’m speaking specifically in regards to his issue. Cesar Milan’s training has worked perfectly with every family dog my family has had - and my family has had some of the most stubborn terrier breeds. It doesn’t require you to be a bully, quite frankly it only ever created a mutual respect between our dogs and us humans - even when I was just 12 years old. We still loved on our dogs and valued them, we just used his methods to correct some unfavourable behaviour & in teaching some VERY dominant female English Bull Terriers that they did not rule us, in fact they were not “top dog” per say. Dogs crave needing to know their place in the pack and if that guess-work is gone, they’re much better dogs & are far better listeners. I’m only speaking from my experience and watching some of his ideas work splendidly for many of my family’s dogs. :)


Wondering if you've had an opportunity to enjoy this https://www.whenpigsflydogtraining.com/ , book https://www.amazon.com/When-Pigs-Fly-Training-Impossible/dp/1929242441 :).

Jane Killion is also the brains behind the widely admired Puppy Culture program used by so many of today's excellent breeders, including some who bred Poodle Forum puppies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Wondering if you've had an opportunity to enjoy this https://www.whenpigsflydogtraining.com/ , book https://www.amazon.com/When-Pigs-Fly-Training-Impossible/dp/1929242441 :).



Jane Killion is also the brains behind the widely admired Puppy Culture program used by so many of today's excellent breeders, including some who bred Poodle Forum puppies.


I’ll read more into this, but I did just peruse the site and I’m always open to learning new methods and techniques. I just remember as a young child, my parents got our loveable, yet very challenging female English Bull Terrier when I was just 6 - After our previous English bully had died. I recall many difficulties, and my parents took her to a dog behaviouralist (with both my sister me so we could observe) who tried to help us a lot and we used many of her techniques, as well as others, in order to try and get her to not “conform” to us, but rather to be manageable when she would be in one of her VERY “difficult” states. She was the type of dog that when she was laser focused and would not move, she would not move - no amount of clicker or treats could make her muscular self budge. She would hump, she was truly extremely set in her ways, she would always try and what the behaviouralist then (I’m 25 now) called “dominate” me, as a 6 year old - so you can imagine my parents had their work cut out for them! She wasn’t a bad dog, at all! Just was extremely difficult. We still loved on her, played with her, laughed at her quirks - and man oh man did she love our Spoo boy that we got when she was 3. We trained our Bully, and our Spoo using very different techniques - because they were fundamentally different dogs.

The breeder of our Bully girls actually specifically called my parents and said they have a puppy that they thought only my parents could handle, because they were experienced with the breed.

I guess the whole thing is that for this specific breed and our specific English Bull Terrier at the time, we as a family unit did the best we could with whatever techniques got through to her (at that time yes a lot of Cesar Millan) - in order to allow everyone, including her, to coexist well together.

- Thank you for sending me those links though, I love seeing other Bully’s and I’m intrigued to read more :)


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,259 Posts
By no means demeaning or lessening your family's excellent experience with a breed not suited to most :)!! Just you triggered my memory when you said Bull Terriers since she is a breeder and fancier. You all are in a rarefied circle, for sure!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
By no means demeaning or lessening your family's excellent experience with a breed not suited to most :)!! Just you triggered my memory when you said Bull Terriers since she is a breeder and fancier. You all are in a rarefied circle, for sure!


Oh don’t worry I totally didn’t take what you sent, in a bad way! I actually appreciate you sending that literature to me. I just always like to explain our situation, as like you said it is a rarefied circle and can be tricky at times to know the “right” methods for training. Thanks :)


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,579 Posts
JoAsha3, I'm glad you are open to new ideas and enjoy research.

The premise of Cesar Millan's training had a major flaw. The idea of alpha wolves stemmed from early research done on captive wolves. In the wild they are cooperative families. Dogs are not descended from wolves - they share a common ancestor. His alpha roll is so cruel and does nothing towards building a working relationship with your dog, especially if you have a dog like mine who doesn't like to roll on her back. My dog happy to roll to the side and lift her leg for tummy rubs, she will also lie on her back when she's hot - but she does not to be rolled on her back by anyone and finds it threatening. Threats and force is not the optimal way to train a dog.

It sounds like you were not using his techniques for your poodle - which is a good thing - poodles are sensitive and adverse training like this could shut them down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_domestic_dog

I look to the behavioral scientists who have developed more effective, science based training methods. One of my favorites is Jean Donaldson who worked with The Great Courses company to produce a professional series of DVD's called Dog Training 101. This is very expensive - I borrowed and watched it from my local library. I've watched many Great Courses - they are similar to that first year course in university - and this one is similar to that concept. I hope you can find a copy to watch - it's 24 lectures, each is about 30 minutes long. She is working with dogs who she has never met to demonstrate training techniques as well as lectures on different training methods and when to use them.

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/dog-training-101.html
 
  • Like
Reactions: Eric and Streetcar

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
JoAsha3, I'm glad you are open to new ideas and enjoy research.

The premise of Cesar Millan's training had a major flaw. The idea of alpha wolves stemmed from early research done on captive wolves. In the wild they are cooperative families. Dogs are not descended from wolves - they share a common ancestor. His alpha roll is so cruel and does nothing towards building a working relationship with your dog, especially if you have a dog like mine who doesn't like to roll on her back. My dog happy to roll to the side and lift her leg for tummy rubs, she will also lie on her back when she's hot - but she does not to be rolled on her back by anyone and finds it threatening. Threats and force is not the optimal way to train a dog.

It sounds like you were not using his techniques for your poodle - which is a good thing - poodles are sensitive and adverse training like this could shut them down.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Origin_of_the_domestic_dog

I look to the behavioral scientists who have developed more effective, science based training methods. One of my favorites is Jean Donaldson who worked with The Great Courses company to produce a professional series of DVD's called Dog Training 101. This is very expensive - I borrowed and watched it from my local library. I've watched many Great Courses - they are similar to that first year course in university - and this one is similar to that concept. I hope you can find a copy to watch - it's 24 lectures, each is about 30 minutes long. She is working with dogs who she has never met to demonstrate training techniques as well as lectures on different training methods and when to use them.

https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/dog-training-101.html


I always welcome new information! :) thanks for sending that along.

You’re right, my family never used those techniques with our previous Spoo because it wasn’t necessary. He responded to other forms of training perfectly and was very receptive. I don’t intend on using those techniques with my new Spoo baby either as he is already excellent with clicker training! :)


 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top