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Hounding Houseguests: Tips on Reactivity

Hounding Houseguests: Tips on Reactivity
13 July 2023

If you have a canine companion who exhibits behaviours such as whining, barking, or aggression when the doorbell rings or guests arrive, it’s likely a sign of dog reactivity. This behaviour can make both your visitors and your pet uncomfortable. Fortunately, this is a common issue with practical solutions. Here’s a professional guide on how to help your dog overcome reactive behaviour.

Reactivity in dogs is often caused by a combination of fear, excitement, or a lack of socialisation. Managing this behaviour requires a thorough understanding of your dog’s triggers and a focused approach to desensitisation and counter conditioning.

Begin by anticipating visitor arrivals and preparing your dog accordingly. Prior to guests’ arrival, engage in a play session to help your dog release excess energy. This can contribute to a more relaxed state, minimising the likelihood of negative reactions when the doorbell rings.

To desensitise your dog to the doorbell, start by simulating doorbell sounds at random times when no visitors are expected. Reward your dog for calm behaviour with treats or praise. Gradually, your dog will begin to associate the doorbell with positive experiences rather than perceiving it as a threat.

Creating a safe space for your dog is crucial, allowing them to retreat when feeling stressed or anxious. Set up a quiet room with their preferred toys, blankets, and treats. Over time, your dog will learn that this designated area offers a secure haven during overwhelming situations.

It’s important to acknowledge that every dog is unique and may require a tailored approach. In complex cases of reactivity, seeking the assistance of a professional dog trainer can be highly beneficial. Remember to exercise patience throughout the process, as consistent efforts will yield results. With time and dedication, your dog can learn to remain calm and content, ultimately making home visits a pleasurable experience for everyone involved.

If you require professional assistance with this issue, please don’t hesitate to contact Canine Evolution today to enquire about our services, such as private lessonsOur team is dedicated to helping you and your dog navigate the challenges of reactivity and fostering a harmonious living environment.

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