Desensitizing your dog to people at the door

Repeat each step at least 10 times in rapid succession in a session. This helps teach the dog that the doorbell (or knock) is no big deal.

Do at least 3 sessions at each level before progressing. But do not progress until the dog is non reactive at the previous level. It is all right to do multiple sessions in a day.

When the dog is completely non-reactive at a given step, you can progress to the next step. Do not skip steps. If the dog backslides return to the step the dog is doing well and slowly progress.

1. Take dog outside leave the door open and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog and give it a treat. If it barks, tell it “Quiet” and then treat. Repeat until the dog does not bark or react to the sound of the doorbell.

2. Take dog outside and ring the doorbell. Open the door. Praise dog and give it a treat.

3. Bring the dog inside. Open the door so you can reach outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog and give it a treat.

4. Have someone the dog knows well (like a family member) stand outside and ring the doorbell with the door open. Praise the dog and treat.

5. Have someone the dog knows stand outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog and treat. Open the door. Give the dog a treat. Have the person outside give the dog a treat. Close the door and repeat.

6. Have someone the dog knows stand outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog. Open the door. Have the person outside give the dog a treat. Close the door and repeat.

7. Have someone the dog doesn’t know well stand outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog for quiet. Open the door. Give the dog a treat. Have the person outside give the dog a treat. Close the door and repeat.

8. Have someone the dog doesn’t know well stand outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog for quiet. Open the door. Have the person outside give the dog a treat. Close the door and repeat.

9. Have someone the dog doesn’t know well stand outside and ring the doorbell. Praise the dog for quiet. Open the door. Have the person outside give the dog a treat. Have them come in the house and give the dog a treat.

10. During this training if someone comes to visit that you are not expecting get “Quiet” reward and then ask the person to close the door and ring or knock again so that you are ready to cue quiet with a treat reward.

11. Repeat the sequence above with knocking rather than a doorbell.

HAMPL’S DOG OBEDIENCE

253-853-1984

@2005

Desensitizing your dog to people at the door

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