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How to Fix Barking, Chasing, and Jumping Up. Plus Saving the Earth One Nest Dog Bed at a Time!

They’re called Man’s Best Friend for a reason – we love having them around, but without correction, they can also develop some very annoying habits! Hope is not lost though; you just need the right strategy to address these. Here’s how to fix barking at the door, chasing animals, and jumping up at guests!

Barking at the Postie

Maybe top of the list of annoying dog habits is barking. This mainly happens at home when your dog feels the need to ‘protect the pack’ and alert you whenever someone is approaching. In days gone by it was a bit easier to cope with because at least the postie only came once a day. Nowadays, however, most of us take advantage of the ever-growing number of businesses that will home deliver. So you might have 3 deliveries a day that your dog is barking at which is continuously reinforcing the habit.

Dog Barking at the Postie

Dog Barking at the Postie


Here’s the fix: Get your partner or a friend to knock or ring the doorbell and immediately give your dog a treat. The first few times it will be difficult to get your dog’s attention and unless they are very food driven, they’ll probably start barking and ignore the treat. Keep at it and present the treat immediately, even if it’s taking a few minutes for your dog to calm and turn back to the treat. You may have to up the reward level to cheese or chicken. Eventually, your dog will associate the doorbell with food and the thought of it being a threat will shrink. It might feel like you’re rewarding barking at first, so if they don’t take the treat immediately then wait for a pause in the barking, even if it’s only a couple of seconds long. The aim is to offer the treat after the doorbell but before the barking, which is a tight window!

Step 2 is to ask for something on top of that, for example, going to their Nest Dog Bed (or inferior alternative!). So one treat is presented after their attention turns to you and a second treat is offered when they go on their bed. It’s fine to use the command ‘go to your bed’ after treat 1, but eventually, you’ll want to phase that command out and expect your dog to immediately make their way to their bed at the sound of the doorbell. Remember, you’ll need to practice this with a friend a lot until you can reliably get your dog’s attention. If your dog spends plenty of time at home by themselves (reinforcing the barking habit with no intervention) then you can buy pet cameras with treat dispensers attached. You can put this in view of their Nest Dog Bed and dispense a treat if they go in successfully at the sound of the doorbell. Obviously, you’d need to keep an eye on your delivery notifications so if that’s not possible just try and arrange deliveries for when you’re in.

Dog Barking Under Duvet

Dog Barking Under Duvet


Chasing Wild Animals

It’s in your dog’s DNA to help you hunt for food so it’s understandable that most of them are obsessed with rabbits and crows when they’re out and about. If you don’t use your dog for hunting then training them to ignore, or at least stop, when they see an animal is very useful. The first step is training ‘wait’, which is basically rewarding your dog for stopping and staying in the same place until you give the release. This command is useful in lots of other contexts like stopping at the curb before crossing the road or stopping when they see other dogs. As always, start with an easy indoor environment with minimal distractions. Once they understand the command then add distractions like toys or food and offer a better reward for a successful ‘wait’.

Wild Rabbit in the Grass

Wild Rabbit in the Grass – The Ultimate Distraction


Once you can do it outside then try and notice and memorise where, on your walk, these animals are out in the open. That way you can pre-empt your dog’s reaction and keep their attention. Ask for a ‘wait’ before they notice the rabbit/duck in the distance and reward with a treat. Once they’ve conquered that then ask for a ‘wait’ after they’ve noticed the wild life, but still at a distance. Then it’s just a case of getting closer and closer, practicing, and rewarding for good impulse control. Eventually, you’ll want to ask them to wait and then ‘watch’ you instead of the rabbit. You might find that a tug of war reward with a toy works better than food because they’re in that chase and grab mode. Just use whichever reward works best and be prepared to interchange it depending on their mood.

Dog Tempted but Not Pulling

Dog Tempted but Not Pulling


Jumping up

It’s a bit embarrassing when your dog jumps up at guests, especially if they don’t like dogs. Even if you’re okay with it yourself when you get home, you’ll regret not addressing the problem when you have clean clothes on and they jump up at you with muddy feet. As smart as our four-legged friends are, they can’t tell when they have muddy feet and when they don’t, so it’s best for them to assume it’s not okay unless invited. When you get home and they’re all excited to see you, only give them attention when they have all four legs on the ground and go down to their level. Once you’ve extended the length of time that they can restrain themselves you can add a cue that it’s ok to jump up such as ‘okay’ or ‘up’. I’d probably recommend that you just eliminate it all together though – you might find it cute but it’s not as cute as a good dog doing tippy taps waiting patiently for you to come down to their level.

Nest Dog Bed

Dog Looking Up Patiently


Nest Dog Beds

Bear with me! With COP26 in Glasgow there has been a lot in the news about sustainability and living greener. One of the best things you can do to reduce waste is to invest in products that last instead of replacing cheap ones every couple of years. Nest Dog Beds don’t start smelling horrible because they’re waterproof so the stuffing inside is never comprised with moisture. Hairs don’t easily stick to the surface which can also contribute to the smell and the sides of your Nest Dog Bed stay tall and robust because they are so tightly stuffed and stitched down.

Good luck with the training. If you’re struggling with anything, go on to YouTube and watch the pro trainers address it.