Meet Teddy the Bichon Frise!
Teddy met me for a behaviour consult last week, because he really (really!) wants to say hi to new people and dogs. However, he struggles to show it in a polite way. Teddy gets himself very excited and frustrated, and then isn't sure what to do except bark.
I explained to his family that a great way to help him stay calm is to practice a settle when nothing else is going on. This means rewarding him for being quiet and relaxed when you can't give him attention. This is super easy training to do because you can practice whilst cooking, watching TV, or even having a shower. All you need is some treats and a nice spot for your dog to settle down.
We also practiced some doorbell desensitisation by playing doorbell sounds for Teddy whilst he settled 🔔. By the end of our session he was eagerly looking at me to get his treat whenever I played a doorbell sound! This does take practice, though, so he's going to work on staying calm whenever the real thing goes off.
Finally we thought about how to use a clicker to teach teddy a 'leave it' and a 'not today', so that his family can let him know when to ignore something they drop on the floor, a person across the road, or even their kitten.
Really good luck, Teddy. He was such a quick learner you wouldn't believe he was 10 years old! 🐕