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Doorbell


Guest RobinAZ
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When our doorbell rings, GreyCee gets a bit aggressive with the other dogs. She will growl and bite at whichever dog is near her. She hasn't hurt anyone so not sure if she is really biting but it looks like it. When we are not home, the 2 hounds are muzzled (I also have a large mixed breed and a small pom). What I started doing today was having one of us go outside and ring the doorbell and the other stays inside close to GreyCee so we can grab her collar and tell her "NO" when she starts to go nuts. Any other suggestions? I'm thinking of disconnecting the doorbell but she might do it when someone knocks, too.

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Guest LindsaySF

It's redirected excitement/aggression. Teagan, Cody, and Lily have this too. Does she do it because she is excited and can't contain herself, or because the other dogs are excited and she's correcting them? In Teagan's case it's the latter. He is also excited that someone is coming in, so that doesn't help, but he tends to target the dogs that he feels are "acting up". Our solution was to work on everyone's behavior and reaction to the doorbell (or knocking or a guest coming inside). When the other dogs were calmer, Teagan was calmer.

 

When I get new dogs in for boarding or fostering, or have multiple people coming in, I keep Teagan and Cody in their ex-pens until the excitement dies down a bit, and I've done all the other dog introductions. It's just easier that way, they don't meet new dogs or people well when they are all riled up.

 

In Lily and Cody's cases, they go after nearby dogs if they feel like they are being trampled (which does happen, they are pretty short compared to the Greys), or if they feel cornered or claustrophobic. We worked on stopping the other dogs from jumping so much, and Lily figured out that she can jump onto the couch and she'll be "safe" from getting stepped on there. We also moved one of the baby gates so the dogs aren't all piled into one tiny corner waiting for the guest to come up the stairs. With more room to spread out they weren't on top of each other or bumping into each other so much, this helped to lessen the tension.

 

I would desensitize GreyCee to the doorbell as much as possible, you're on the right track. I would keep her leashed and go through a lot of doorbell training sessions. You also need to praise her when she's behaving, not just correct her when she's acting up. You can also have your guests wait to come in until she's calm, and pet her only when she's being good. You can use treats too if she's food motivated.

 

Definitely separate everyone when you aren't home, unless everyone is muzzled? GreyCee might start something with one of the unmuzzled dogs and then get the brunt end of it and not be able to defend herself.

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

~Lindsay~

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Guest racergirl435

You could try the "wait" command like Victoria Stillwell on It's Me or the Dog. It's more of a positive reinforcement which we found works better with the sensitive hounds. Try doing the same thing with one of you inside to ring the bell and the other inside with Graycee. Have Graycee on lead with whomever is going to be inside. Then ring the door bell. Whoever is with Graycee should be saying "wait" before and during the bell ringing. If she doesn't react during this process you reward her with a treat. Assuming she is food motivated. If she is not food motivated, use whatever motivates her positively, whether it's a special toy or a certain praise word. If she reacts to the bell in any way, remove her from the room for at least 30 seconds. Bring her back and repeat until she gets it. She will figure out that if she does nothing when the bell rings she gets rewarded and will begin associating the bell ringing with good things. I don't know what her history is but something in the doorbell is triggering a negative reaction, which is usually a fear of some kind. If you turn it into a positive experience the fear (or negative emotion) will abate.

 

We have used this command with our dogs and find it works well. It can take some time and patience though.

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Thank you guys!!! I guess it's not such a weird thing after all. What happens is ALL the dogs (except my new girl, Layla) go nuts when the doorbell rings. Lily is our little pom and she's the one I'm worried about. Misha is a big fat golden/mix and she pretty much ignores it all and just keeps barking..LOL! I think Lily's shrill barking helps get GreyCee going. Plus GreyCee has gotten worse over the past couple months with it. I think it's just excitement. Especially because the bell doesn't ring much, and when it does we jump and right away to go to the door. I have a baby gate I put in the hallway so they can't get in the little entry foyer and get all crammed in.

 

We'll just keep working with her with her leash and one of us going out and ringing the bell. I made sure earlier today when we did this that when she was good she was praised and she did very well the first time. The 2nd time not so well.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest RobinAZ

Two years later and I thought we had the doorbell issue under control. I had actually forgotten about it. Last week we started leaving the hounds unmuzzled. Yesterday while we were out to dinner the FedEx guy came and rang the doorbell - we found Lily (the pom) later with puncture wounds from being bit. I know it was GreyCee, she's the one who had the issue. Took Lily to the vet and she's home with drains because apparently she was even lifted up off the floor when she was bit and the skin came loose from the muscle underneath, so fluid was building up. Drains, antibiotics, pain pills, and a $500 lesson to not EVER leave the hounds unmuzzled when we are not home. And back to the drawing board on the doorbell. I feel like a terrible mommy :(

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