How many times has someone rung your doorbell and your dog embarrassed you by his obnoxious lack of door manners. Has he literally mugged the person at the door? A dog that has a place to call his own in the house is a joy to own; for our dogs it's their bed. Each dog has his or her own bed that they must go to when visitors arrive. After the person comes in and relaxes they are released one at time to go say hello in a calm controlled manner. Without this structure I don't think many visitors would want to visit us. Here is the shaping receipe for teaching your dog to go to his bed.
- Use a towel, dog bed, blanket or other soft surface as a target.
- Click and treat the dog for making contact with it or looking at it.
- Gradually raise your criteria so that your dog must put more of his body on the bed in order to earn his c/t.
- Throw the treat away from the bed to restart the behavior.
- When he is running in and out of his bed label it "bedtime" or "place".
- Gradually fade out any gesture like pointing or repeating yourself.
- Add a down when he's in his bed and work on stay.
- Gradually move away from him and come back frequently to reward the stay.
- Move bed close to front door, have helper ring bell and give the command for bed (you may need to help get this started again).
- When he's doing this well drop all help with gestures and let the bell be the signal to go to bed.
- Gradually move the bed further from the door to the spot you want to keep it.
- Practice frequently so the dog begins to automatically go to its bed when the bell rings.
The benefits of owning a dog who is intelligent and has self control are enormous. This behavior is a simple one to teach with tons of long lasting benefits. Go get your clicker and treats and get started !
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