goes mental when the doorbell ringsI would say Defe is a Foxhound crossed with something else. Wonderful ears! She was found as a stray puppy in Cyprus and then spent several months in kennels before being shipped over to the UK. She is now nine years old.

As I sat talking to her family I did at first wonder why I was there. Defe is absolutely lovely. She loves the young children and she loves the cats.[divider type=”white”]

Goes mental when the doorbell rings

The family had moved in only a couple of weeks ago and already they have had incidents at the front door – she goes mental when the bell rings, leaping up and biting the door handle, and on one occasion she ran out and ended up having an argument with another dog. With children constantly going in and out, it’s a bit risky and the house doesn’t lend itself to Defe being kept right away from the area.

The only other problems are that she is reactive to certain dogs and she pulls on lead. The two things so often go together. These issues can be addressed by changing the equipment and doing some work with her. She’s obviously wary of other dogs which is no wonder as she has been attacked several times. That needs working at also.

The issues around front door and when the doorbell rings require a three-pronged approach. Firstly, management solutions need to be put in place immediately. As soon as the bell is rung Defe should be shut in the sitting room. She simply shouldn’t be at the door when they open it. She is a very biddable dog and that won’t be difficult. They can put a gate up as a sort of ‘air-lock’ to stop her running out if the door is left open by mistake.

Secondly, they can condition her over time with lots of practice and a bell push in the house, to hear the bell and run to her bed in the sitting room; then they can work on ringing the bell from outside the house.

The third thing to do is to teach her not to run out of the front door if it’s open and she’s not for some reason been shut away. She can be taught to sit and stay, away from the door, for increasing lengths of time. Zak George has a great video of how to achieve this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrS5__HZvwM

Although Defe has no major problems, when these few things have been sorted out life will be a lot easier for the family and, on walks, more pleasant for Defe also.