Management is 90% of the behaviour modification process. Every time your dog rehearses the unwanted behaviour, the unwanted behaviour gets engrained in their brain and becomes even more automatic and more challenging to modify.
Preventing your dog from barking (or at least reducing the barking) at the doorbell or knocking is key.
- Place a sign on your door or near the doorbell that says “Dog in training. Please be patient.” – this will buy you a little time to do the training in real-life situations without feeling stressed about the visitor who is waiting.
- If you're expecting visitors, ask them to call/text when they arrive and to refrain from ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door. Pop your dog in a safe confinement area before letting them in.
- Have a few stuffed frozen Kongs in the freezer, ready to rock!
Now, let's look at getting your dog comfortable with confinement, changing their automatic behaviour when someone comes to the door, dealing with jumping and even peeing (from fear or excitement).