German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Before Bellamy can join me in the **** that is high school, he needs to get through his issues with knocking and opening doors.
At home when someone knocks on the front door or my bedroom door he'll usually bark. I've never found out if he does it while he's working outside of his own home because ...well, there's no reason for anyone to be knocking in a public building unless it's the restroom (I rarely use public restrooms and no one has knocked when I have used them). But it's better to be safe than sorry.
As for opening doors, he'll lift his head and stare at the door when he hears it open. He'll stare until he sees the person walking through the door. While this isn't so much of an issue because he won't be a disruption, it's still not ideal for a service dog to be aroused by someone walking in the room.
Any tips on desensitizing him to these scenarios?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,126 Posts
According to this article, a service dog that just looks at someone coming into the room but does not bark or get up or lunge is acceptable:

https://www.anythingpawsable.com/things-service-dogs-public/


For the barking when someone knocks on your front door, it is possible that your gsd won't act that way in a strange place since he could be territorial at home which is normal. Also since your post said that it would be highly unlikely and if it should happen, and if you could right away quiet him, I wouldn't be concerned. Years ago with my husky who was just a pet, I was able to take her to work. Her place was to lie down under a table in the workroom. There were people coming in and out and all she did was to look up. But if the issue is a concern to you, enlist a volunteer, maybe use an empty classroom, and then have the person knock on the door. Your can then see how your gsd reacts. If his reaction is a concern and he doesn't respond to your quieting him, then I would suggest consulting a trainer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,814 Posts
Before Bellamy can join me in the **** that is high school, he needs to get through his issues with knocking and opening doors.
At home when someone knocks on the front door or my bedroom door he'll usually bark. I've never found out if he does it while he's working outside of his own home because ...well, there's no reason for anyone to be knocking in a public building unless it's the restroom (I rarely use public restrooms and no one has knocked when I have used them). But it's better to be safe than sorry.
As for opening doors, he'll lift his head and stare at the door when he hears it open. He'll stare until he sees the person walking through the door. While this isn't so much of an issue because he won't be a disruption, it's still not ideal for a service dog to be aroused by someone walking in the room.
Any tips on desensitizing him to these scenarios?
Often doctors knock before entering an exam toom where you are waiting. You don't want your SD barking.

I'd probably just start letting him know you don't want him to bark at door knocks at all, at home or not. How old is he? How ingrained is it? Are you working with a trainer?

You have to be twice as vigilant because 1, shepherds like to bark at stuff and 2, people are more afraid of them than they might be say a golden.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,814 Posts
Staring might be an issue...kind of depends on what the dog is thinking and how they come across.

If they are staring as a prelude to some other guarding behavior , it's a problem.

If they mean nothing but are scaring people it still maybe a problem.

He should be primarily focused on you in case you need him, not surveiling.

You could try using those triggers as cues for high value rewards so he thinks, door know, look to my person and get cheese.

Does he know leave it? Start there, leave it, then high value reward.

If he doesn't know leave it, start teaching that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,840 Posts
I don't have or train SDs, but GSDs are plenty smart enough to differentiate when it is and is not appropriate to bark at someone knocking on a door! Their intelligence is one of the many things that set them apart from other breeds, and one of their best traits IMHO!

My previous dog would, for example, never bark at a knock on a motel room door, or any other door outside our home - low growls and under her breath woofs, yes; barks no.

At home she would ALWAYS do an alert bark for a knock at the door or when anyone entered the house. The only exception was after we'd gone to bed. Then she'd only bark if a resident brought home a guest, otherwise she'd just listen. For the most part the behavior was shaped by either encouraging or discouraging an offered behavior. Not rocket science, just figure what behavior you would consider "perfect" and communicate that to your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
According to this article, a service dog that just looks at someone coming into the room but does not bark or get up or lunge is acceptable:

https://www.anythingpawsable.com/things-service-dogs-public/

For the barking when someone knocks on your front door, it is possible that your gsd won't act that way in a strange place since he could be territorial at home which is normal. Also since your post said that it would be highly unlikely and if it should happen, and if you could right away quiet him, I wouldn't be concerned...But if the issue is a concern to you, enlist a volunteer, maybe use an empty classroom, and then have the person knock on the door. Your can then see how your gsd reacts. If his reaction is a concern and he doesn't respond to your quieting him, then I would suggest consulting a trainer.
Staring is acceptable, yes. However, it depends on the handler's preference and, as cowboysgirl mentioned, it's not ideal to stare when a service dog should be focused on the handler should the handler need the dog to perform a task.
I plan on practicing just that in a public place, hopefully soon.


Often doctors knock before entering an exam toom where you are waiting. You don't want your SD barking.

I'd probably just start letting him know you don't want him to bark at door knocks at all, at home or not. How old is he? How ingrained is it? Are you working with a trainer?

...
Staring might be an issue...kind of depends on what the dog is thinking and how they come across.

If they are staring as a prelude to some other guarding behavior , it's a problem.

If they mean nothing but are scaring people it still maybe a problem.

He should be primarily focused on you in case you need him, not surveiling.

You could try using those triggers as cues for high value rewards so he thinks, door know, look to my person and get cheese.

Does he know leave it? Start there, leave it, then high value reward.

If he doesn't know leave it, start teaching that. ... I think it also matters what the barking is like. Full on gsd bruhaha or just woof?
He knows leave it but it's like he kinda tunes me out. The intensity varies sometimes. When someone knocks on my bedroom door sometimes he'll bark and sometimes he won't. When we've been home alone all day, then someone comes home while we're in my room, he'll bark and run to the door when the family member kocks on my door after just coming home. It's never really an intense, deep bark, more like his obnoxious "sOmeONe's HoMe" yip-barks. But when a stranger suddenly knocks on the front door it's his deep bark then he runs to the door.
He's 18 months. And he did go through training with a SD trainer, but she never went over knocking with him since it wasn't a concern at the time he was boarding there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mary Beth

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,814 Posts
Staring is acceptable, yes. However, it depends on the handler's preference and, as cowboysgirl mentioned, it's not ideal to stare when a service dog should be focused on the handler should the handler need the dog to perform a task.
I plan on practicing just that in a public place, hopefully soon.



He knows leave it but it's like he kinda tunes me out. The intensity varies sometimes. When someone knocks on my bedroom door sometimes he'll bark and sometimes he won't. When we've been home alone all day, then someone comes home while we're in my room, he'll bark and run to the door when the family member kocks on my door after just coming home. It's never really an intense, deep bark, more like his obnoxious "sOmeONe's HoMe" yip-barks. But when a stranger suddenly knocks on the front door it's his deep bark then he runs to the door.
He's 18 months. And he did go through training with a SD trainer, but she never went over knocking with him since it wasn't a concern at the time he was boarding there.
I really think you should be continuing to work with that trainer or another trainer. Is the dog neutered? Regardless he is reaching adulthood and he may act differently than he did before. Now is the time that it is super important to help this dog understand how and when if ever he can bark or act like a shepherd. How long have you been with this dog, did you raise him from a pup and then send him to a board and train or what? How long was the b&t?

You are very likely to have a lot of small ongoing things that are going to need attention and you will do so much better with the support of a trainer to help you. High school is potentially a hard place to start life with a service dog, all the more reason you need all the support you can get.

If he tunes you out sometimes for Leave It or anything else then that's probably something you have not yet trained to. Like, you've got leave-it in a low distraction setting but in a higher distraction setting it falls apart? Then you need to try and find repetitions in in-between levels where he begins to be challenged but he can still refocus on you.

Are you able to take the dog to the school and begin to train outside of school hours? That would probably be ideal, because you should try and see how he is going to act there with less pressure than being in a classroom on a school day if you know what I mean.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I really think you should be continuing to work with that trainer or another trainer. Is the dog neutered? Regardless he is reaching adulthood and he may act differently than he did before. Now is the time that it is super important to help this dog understand how and when if ever he can bark or act like a shepherd. How long have you been with this dog, did you raise him from a pup and then send him to a board and train or what? How long was the b&t?

You are very likely to have a lot of small ongoing things that are going to need attention and you will do so much better with the support of a trainer to help you. High school is potentially a hard place to start life with a service dog, all the more reason you need all the support you can get.

If he tunes you out sometimes for Leave It or anything else then that's probably something you have not yet trained to. Like, you've got leave-it in a low distraction setting but in a higher distraction setting it falls apart? Then you need to try and find repetitions in in-between levels where he begins to be challenged but he can still refocus on you.

Are you able to take the dog to the school and begin to train outside of school hours? That would probably be ideal, because you should try and see how he is going to act there with less pressure than being in a classroom on a school day if you know what I mean.
He was raised from a pup by the trainer. I bought him from her program for training when he was about 4 months old. I was around him a lot though because I worked for the trainer at the time. Then he came home early August of this year.
Honestly, I've managed to handle worse, and this is just something small that I'll be able to work on with him without his trainer needing to step in.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top