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As a trainer, I never discourage dogs from barking to alert you someone is at the door. In fact, I think alert-barking is useful because it lets the person at the door know you have a dog (which could be discouraging if an uninvited knocker has ill intentions). However, some dogs become so excited by the doorbell that it is extremely difficult to calm them, much less get them to hold a sit-stay so you can safely let your guests in.
In previous articles, we discussed the causes of fearfulness in dogs, appropriate ways to manage scared dogs, and the need for developing a slow-but-steady, systematic approach to helping dogs overcome fear towards humans. In this article we will discuss a tried and true way of dealing with other manifestations of fearfulness.
The fourth of July is only a few days away, and Denver will be filled with celebration and fireworks. Not only will there be many major fireworks displays, but the streets of nearly every neighborhood will be filled with the sounds of firecrackers and roman candles. However humans tend to enjoy the ear-piercing shrieks and thunderous booms produced by fireworks more than dogs do.
Children have little inhibition around strange dogs and often will charge right in for the hug. While a well socialized dog may tolerate such an approach, a more shy dog may move behind its owner, try to run or even bite.
Whether the dog is well socialized or not, children should be taught how to approach a dog, and owners should understand how to handle the inevitable approach of children.
In this five part series, I am discussing some well-intentioned but serious mistakes dog owners commonly make that actually cause behavior problems in their pets. I'm also suggesting some tips that will improve your dog's confidence, obedience and overall wellbeing.
This article covers:
Akin to the previous mistake, physically punishing a fearful dog, is comforting a fearful dog.
NOTE: This article is intended for otherwise well-socialized animals. If your dog seems non-playfully aggressive toward the cat, or if the cat seems predatory toward your smaller dog, you should seek out specialized advice. If you're in the Denver Metro area, please contact FetchMasters for assistance.