How to Have a Well Behaved Dog
Why We Were Contacted
I was contacted by Lee & Glen for a one 2 one session for their nearly two year old lovely Labrador Kirk. Kirk is overall a very well trained lad but they wanted to make sure that he would behave politely when people would come to the door, rather than get over excited and therefore bark and jump up.
How We Helped
Kirk had not been clicker trained before, so we needed to introduce the clicker to the whole family in order to apply it to our training. Kirk took to it like a duck to water, so after practicing a few behaviours that he already knew to reinforce the clicker, we taught him a new behaviour that would be useful to focus him onto his owners when they needed him to. Kirk already knew how to go to his basket, so the next step was to click & treat him for doing so.
In order for any behavioiur to wok, first you have to work with no distractions and a high rate of reinforcement. We then very slowly started to make it more and more difficult but still with a very high rate of reinforcement and we eventually managed to ring the bell, send him to his bed and for him to stay there quietly until released. It was a huge achievement in such a short time frame. However, this sort of achievement has to be worked on by setting up situations such as asking a friend to ring the bell and wait until the behaviour happens.
Funnily enough, as I was about to leave, somebody knocked at the door, so we sent Kirk to his bed and he stayed there until the delivery person left Lee & Glen are more than prepared to spend time and effort doing so. Like I always say to all of my clients, practice makes perfect.