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The Mailman is coming! Time to jump on the couch!

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Lisadale, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. Lisadale

    Lisadale Forums Regular

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    Lily has always reacted when the mail, the paper, or packages are delivered, but lately she's gotten even more dramatic.

    Our living room has two huge picture windows, so Lily has a clear view whenever a delivery is about to happen. She lunges onto the couch and barks. Jumps off the couch and runs to the door. Whenever a package is brought in, Lily jumps at it and barks.

    I know the easy thing to do would be to move the couch, but the size of the room doesn't really accommodate that.

    Does anyone have some easy training tips that could help get Lily back under control?
     
  2. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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  3. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Premium Member

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    My older dog is very reactive to people who even walk down our street (the public sidewalk is only 10 feet from the house)...we put a baby gate in the doorway of the living room and it helps immensely (if he can't see them he doesn't bark).
     
  4. SheepOfBlue

    SheepOfBlue Premium Member

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    We had a dog that would charge across the room and ponce up on the couch if you said 'jogger'. He did it once and was going to fast. He hit the back of the couch and his back end kept going until he was doing a paw stand. Then he buckled and went over the back behind the couch and wall. He was totally mad when he came out that we were laughing :)
     
    Piper's mom and mimiretz like this.
  5. Shelby's mom

    Shelby's mom Forums Enthusiast

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    Shelby used to do the same thing. She would sit on the chair and just watch waiting for something to bark at.

    First we started putting items on the chair so she couldn’t jump up. I know not as easy with a sofa.

    Eventually we had wooden shutters installed (curtains and blinds didn’t work, she would move them out of her way). The shutters could not be moved by her, and we could open the top half of the shutters to keep light in, but keep the bottom closed so she couldn’t see out.
     
  6. Pam

    Pam Forums Enthusiast

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    Beau still jumps and barks at almost anything going by (our windows are only 10 feet from sidewalk, and my house is ALL windows in the front). I put up more curtains on front door (which is full length glass) to block view somwhat without blocking light but he has pulled rods down and bent them, so I bought heavier rods, --so far so good, we'll see how that goes. I bought bottom-up/top-down blinds for ALL my windows and moved furniture away from windows so there is only 1 sofa he can jump on and see out because he was pulling down the blinds. I now open the window in front of the sofa and sit with him to look out, while he is calm I give him treats. So I allow controlled access to view outside. This has seemed to help enourmously and his uncontrolled jumping and barking has gone from continuing long past the trigger to only 3 or so jumps and barks. So I hope to eventually extinguish the jumping by keeping lowering the time and number of barks. I think with time and using some of the techniques in the video above the amount of barking/jumping can be limited. Don't know if this helps or not.
     
  7. Phoebe'smom

    Phoebe'smom Premium Member

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    My street side windows extend pretty low so Phoebe can put her paws on the sill and look out. I keep the blinds pulled up a couple of feet for clearance. Since she really enjoys barking at the mail truck and other events, I let her. Her look of satisfaction is pretty funny. I am bad.
     
    mimiretz likes this.
  8. JacqueZ

    JacqueZ Forums Enthusiast

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    I started moving Honey into the bedroom when she starts up with that, then when she'd quiet down I'd have treats and open the door and tell her to focus. Originally we started this because her and Mango were both being super crazy and getting worse about the mail truck. Ended up with Honey in the room, Mango was perfectly calm and completely capable of focusing on the cookie right at the door, even when she could see through the storm door. (Then a fedex guy gave her a cookie the size of her head and she is now forever in love with those trucks!)

    With Mango out free getting cookies Honey had a lot of motivation to clean up her act, and after a few weeks, so long as I keep them both near the kitchen instead of the front room where they can see out the window they'll sit and focus on earning some treats. This is a continuous training situation though, without the treats Honey is just as wild as always, and if she's going nuts Mango is chasing after her barking and snapping to try and control her.
     
  9. Sharon7

    Sharon7 Premium Member

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    Our mailman totally solved the problem some years ago with Asta and Ally, he gave them cookies whenever we were out front gardening, and then they started looking for him in a good way, no barks just big smiles and wagging tails. They would run up to him and sit pretty for their cookies. When we got a new mailman, it startled him the first time, but I explained why they love the mail person, and he thought it was funny. Bummer is, he did not continue the cookie tradition!
     
  10. Lisadale

    Lisadale Forums Regular

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    Thank you to everyone for your good advice.

    I blundered into something that is surprisingly effective.

    On Amazon I found a product called Couch Defender. When I looked at it closely, I realized it was very similar to the light-weight, net laundry container that I had in the utility room. The container is about 3 feet high and round with a springy coil inside that makes it appear rigid. I put it on the couch a few days after my post, and she hasn't jumped on the couch since. Success! We've also been using the clicker for feet off behavior and rewarding with small treats to emphasize the point. So far, so good.

    So, if your Sheltie is a couch jumper, I'd definitely recommend something similar.
     

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