Too old to train? Questions

Discussion in 'Bichon Frise' started by RonL, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. RonL

    RonL New Member

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    Too old to train?

    We have now had Bertie for just over 3 weeks and are discovering his less than perfect side.

    The main problem is that he explodes with frantic energy when anyone knocks at the door or when one of us opens the front door to go out, even though the other one is staying with him.

    Another thread describes the "Sit on dog, long down" training. Is it likely to be effective in changing the behaviour of 7 years and if so how long might it take? I'm willing to try it but don't want to spend several hours a day if it is a waste of time.

    Fitting a cage behind the letterbox means that we can get back to having unchewed mail:)
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  3. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    Malka, GsdSlave and CaroleC like this.
    Ron, we need a photo of this little bundle of fluff !
    The letterbox basket will be the quickest to deal with, but, the “ explosion of frantic energy “ will take a little longer. I don’t think anyone can say how long it will take.
    We are in the process of dealing with the same issue as you
    Our dog Yoji used to do dash to the door, he wasn’t frantic, but, he is a big dog and took up all the space and we don’t want him slipping out
    Over the weeks it is definitely getting better for us. We have quite a bit of practice because my hubby smokes outside and is in & out several times a day
    Our training takes two people, so, it may not suit your situation
    When the doorbell goes or someone knocks we slip his short lead on & with a treat take him away from the door, sometimes are harder than other so we shout to the visitor that we won’t be long. Once he is in his place give another treat and the second person opens the door. We praise him if he is behaving
    Have friends or relatives help by visiting just to practice
    Yoji, doesn’t dash to the door when my hubby goes out now, which is great progress, but, we are still working on visitors, that’s a little harder because a mixture of him guarding the house and just being nosy !
    Let us know how you decide to deal with things
    Philippa
  4. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Malka and GsdSlave like this.
    I'm afraid that I have to shut my reactive boy in another room while I answer the door. I think he would bite a stranger on the doorstep, but once visitors are accepted and settled, I can let him out without any problem. Doggy friends know that a treat can transform him into a soppy dog in an instant.
    It does have a beneficial side. Supported by his noisy but friendly partner, we are unlikely to have any break-ins. Fortunately, our neighbours appreciate the early warning system as their dog doesn't bark.
  5. RonL

    RonL New Member

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    Letterbox basket fitted this morning.

    Phlippa, when you take Yoji away from the door is it to another room or somewhere that he can still see the door?

    At the moment we shut him in another room before opening the door but this is not any form of training, hence my posting here.
  6. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    Three weeks isn’t long and some dogs take longer than others to settle, and as he is older bad habits may take longer to correct but it can be done.
    My dogs bark when someone comes, but I also expect them to ‘stop’ barking when I tell them, my cue word is ‘ok’
    Sit on the dog is mainly for dogs that won’t settle indoors in general.

    It will take patience and consistency, but if you give him a few firm rules and teach him what behaviour you expect he should grasp it.
    If you haven’t got someone to help you could record your doorbell noise on your phone.
    https://muttabouttown.com/2013/09/19/training-your-dog-to-be-a-front-door-charmer/
  7. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    We keep Yoji in the same room, our house is very open plan so we don’t actually have a choice
    As you say, putting Ron in another room gets the job done, but he will still be interested in what’s going on
  8. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Letterbox baskets can be worth their weight in gold! My little Griffon pups were paper trained [no puppy pads in those days] so before I put a basket on the letterbox they would pee on letters - my mentor used to say that her pups would pee on a postage stamp if they saw one on the floor, and I reckon mine would have done as well!

    I do not have a letterbox here as all mail is put in mailboxes outside the little shop across the road, not that Tikva would pee on letters on the floor but she would definitely attack them with her teeth!

    She barks when someone comes down the path [the door is always open] to let me know if I am not in the room, but she differentiates between friend and "I do not know that person so I had better bark just in case" with a different sounding bark. And if it is someone she knows well she squeals with joy - especially if it is a man!

    Like Philippa I have nowhere to shut Tikva in - my bungalow is not open plan but all the interior doors have been removed, and like Carole I have a hound [well, she is half hound] so is a very good early warning signal!
  9. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    I have just read the link you sent Ron, it’s feally interesting
    From that we are going to try something that was recommended, desensitising the doorbell, it makes so much sense when it’s pointed out
    I suppose that is what this forum is all about !
    I need to apologise, I got Bertie & Rons names muddled up, on one post I suggested giving Ron treats lol
  10. RonL

    RonL New Member

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    Bertie sits on the back of my armchair from where he can keep a close watch on the road outside. He no longer barks whenever someone walks past but as soon as anyone starts to come down our drive it's a different story. No need for the bell!
  11. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Is that Bertie in your avatar? He is lovely! :)

    My avatar shows my beloved Pereg sprawled beside the open door watching the world go by - her favourite occupation!

    Tikva sits in the same place but she is not as patient as Pereg was, and shoots out if she thinks there is something to see - she just shot out as a large truck stopped across the road while the driver went to get a snack from the little shop. Pereg would have just sprawled where she was, watching him.
  12. My bear Yoji

    My bear Yoji Member

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    @GsdSlave
    Vee
    I’m interested in the “ sit on your dog -leash “ training & articles
    I understand a minimum timespan of 30 minutes, by that stage the dog will have gone to sleep. With that do I give a “ release cue or do I just get up and move away ?
  13. GsdSlave

    GsdSlave Member

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    I would quietly praise and leave it at that.
    This video gives the idea
  14. RonL

    RonL New Member

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    Letterbox basket update. He spends several minutes jumping up to the basket trying to get at the letters. Just wondering how long it will take for him to realise that it's a waste of time.:)

    Learned a bit more about his relationship with postman when he was sitting with me in the car whilst my wife was in the local shop. He had been quietly watching passers by but when he saw our postman across the road he became very vocal. We were about half a mile from our house.
  15. CaroleC

    CaroleC Member

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    Malka likes this.
    Does your postman wear a distinctive uniform. My senior Beagle can spot Royal Mail uniforms!

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