07 January 2012

A Hiccup

Thane's been doing doorbell alerts with absolute perfection when I trigger the training doorbell unit. I keep it hidden in my pocket, trigger it when he is not near me, watching me, or in the same room as me. In other words, I make this as normal as I can for the real experience (minus the presence of a person on the other side of the door). Its only been a couple days, so I get that it will take some time before this is really a solid skill.

Yesterday I had some packages arrive. One by UPS and one by USPS. When the doorbell rang, I ignored the pager and stayed where I was awaiting Thane's alert only it did not happen. For UPS, he eventually came about halfway back to me, but never all the way to me. With USPS he did not even leave the door so I had to go ahead and respond to the pager on this one.

The only difference that I can ascertain between the training doorbell practice and the real deal is that there is a person on the other side of the door. Thane is a real people dog- meaning he would be a social butterfly if he were not a service dog.

I'm unsure how I can rectify this situation. I can't be made toxic multiple times a day by people. I also don't really have physical friends. Its a sad reality that many people who live with severe MCS face. Thane is my everything- my service dog, my companion, my friend. The point of sharing this is that I can't call up a friend and ask them to come each day at different times to ring my doorbell for some real practice.

This part of the month when orders are coming in, there is more practice opportunity, but generally my doorbell might get wrung once a week otherwise. As you see, not a very good setup for training now is it?

I'm not sure what to do. I'm not sure if in time, the person on the other side of the door will fit into Thane's criteria for alerting me to the door. I'm really taken back by this hiccup and am not really sure just how to address it. I have to admit, I find this funny. Thane is way too smart for his own good sometimes. This scenario with a person on the other side of the door, in his mind, must not be what we trained for. LOL


  1. I don't know your whole situation, but if I were working on this, I'd probably work the alert 5 or 10 times right before i knew the package would be coming.. so he's REALLY thinking about alerting you when the doorbell rings. If you can (I think he has allergies?), up the value of the treat significantly too. Really make it worth his while so when he hears the bell, he doesn't even think about it!
    the more you can work this now while you have practice deliveries, the better, imo!

  2. HDsheena
    Thanks for your comment but the hiccup is more about the addition of a person on the other side of the door. I've been assured this is common and will keep working with him since he's shown a bit of progress today when someone came.
    Its only been a couple training days tsince he put the string together so I will work on my patience yet again smile