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Ask Sally G. Your Own Question
Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9628
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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My dog used to ring the bell at the front door. Now he smells

This answer was rated:

My dog used to ring the bell at the front door. Now he smells the floor and won't go near the door. Today he sniffs my bedroom and won't crossover. I have to lift him in and out of my bedroom. Very strange. Would you have and answer?!?!?

Sally G. :

Hello, thank you for using this site to help you with your problem. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I have been in the dog field for 25 years. It will be my pleasure to help you today. Please understand that I may send an information request so that I may gather what I need to better help you with your problem.

Sally G. :

Generally when a dog changes like this from something he has always done it is because at the time they did it something frightened or hurt them

Sally G. :

Can you think back as to what was going on the first time you noticed this?

Customer: No I can't. But I have a border who is very jealous of my dog. Maybe she sprayed the floors with something.
Sally G. :

How about static this time of year, are there carpets ?

Sally G. :

Also you mention the boader, could this person have been annoyed at the dog at time it wanted to ring the bell or did ring the bell?

Customer: Yes ......but wouldn't she have gotten used to that. Just have area rugs.
Sally G. :

Where in the home does the boarder have access?

Customer: Right across from my bedroom.
Customer: Both use kitchen
Sally G. :

While I certainly don't want to lay blame as I do not know this person , I can tell you about dog behavior and when something rewarding stops being rewarding or becomes painful or scary they stop doing it

Sally G. :

So when the dog would ring the bell what would happen?

Customer: long story. But she used to have access to living room and would play with kami all night. She wanted me to believe kami just loved her.
Customer: I would always take her right outside
Customer: she is bipolar and in and out of hospitals
Customer: Could it be a mouse in the house
Sally G. :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX rang the bell and the reward was you let her out

Sally G. :

so when she would go into your room what would happen?

Sally G. :

Sorry typo *He

Customer: yes. And if she did something. I gave her a treat
Sally G. :

so that was her reward. Both of these seem like there is no reason for the dog to stop as it was rewarding and pleasant to the dog

Sally G. :

I suspect that something has frightened or hurt the dog that the dog is now hesitant to doing either of these things

Sally G. :

Check out the dogs body language when at your door wanting to come in what do you see?

Customer: this just happened last night. She sleeps with me and wanted to come in but smelled the floor and would not go over the threshold
Customer: Coming in she is fine
Sally G. :

Thank you. A mouse would not do that to a dog, they would pick up the scent and follow it in an amusing way. Is there a step to the threshhold?

Sally G. :

What breed of dog is this?]

Customer: labradoodle
Customer: very very smart
Customer: no step at all
Sally G. :

so a big dog that should not have any trouble with walking through a door correct? You checked the feet to see if something

Sally G. :

in the pads that may have prevented him from stepping through?

Sally G. :

Has there been any changes to your room. anything new?

Customer: i think she is getting to be bipolar
Customer: no a mini
Customer: nothing new
Sally G. :

so the dog is small?

Customer: yes 20 lbs
Sally G. :

who is going bipolar the room mate?

Customer: my dog
Customer: my boarder is bi polar
Customer: just joking.
Customer: Just can't figure it out
Sally G. :

Oh, well the poodle side and the lab side are prone to epilepsy and there are different variations of a seizure

Sally G. :

there are focal seizures where the dog sees things

Sally G. :

and this can last days in duration

Customer: oh no
Customer: really
Sally G. :

Yes, I am afraid so,

Customer: is yt
Customer: oops
Sally G. :

There can be lip smacking , fly biting (with no flies in the area)

Customer: is that what you think happened
Sally G. :

but there are two different things that are bothering the dog, is the bell close to your bedroom door?

Customer: no.
Customer: The bell is in the kitchen
Sally G. :

okay, so then there may be somthing medical going on that causes him to not want to do those two things. This could be pain, seizure,

Sally G. :

or the dog is frightened to do it possibly due to something the room mate did

Customer: so do I just wait it out for awhile
Sally G. :

I would wait watch and take notes. I say take notes because you may find something in common that causes the dog to act this way

Sally G. :

that you may not be seeing at this moment because it just happened last night

Customer: ok thank you sooooo much. I sure will.
Sally G. :

Take note of the body language , is the tali and ears down, are the eyes half moon, is the dog yawning or lip smacking when it approaches these items ,etc.

Sally G. :

The body language can tell you if the dog is frightened , does not really care or if the dog is confused which may be seizure activity

Customer: Tail and ears are definitely down
Sally G. :

So he is scared, something must have happened. again I don't live there so I can't say anything about who you live with and what may have happened

Sally G. :

Try enticing him with treats and see if he will go back to the way he was before

Customer: should I approach her
Customer: probably not
Customer: ok I will. Again Ty so much.
Sally G. :

I don't think it would hurt to ask but ask in a non threatening way, not accusatory just say , Hey have you noticed the dog is not acting right and have you noticed any strange sounds that would cause him to be scared? That type of thing

Sally G. :

She may actually remember something and that will give you the answer

Customer: Ok I will do that
Sally G. :

As long as you are not accusing of anything and seem concerned about the dogs health she should be fine with being observant when she is there

Sally G. :

Once rating is completed I would like to set up a free follow up with you in a couple of weeks if that is okay. I would not rule out medical so if the dog does not improve I would suggest seeing your vet

Customer: sure I would like that.
Customer: And yes Thinking of going to the vet
Sally G. :

okay great. I will be glad to hear he is back to normal with a bit of training

Customer: ok thanks again. I really appreciate it
Sally G. :

you are welcome

Sally G. :

Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Customer: no that is all
Sally G. :

okay have a great day

Sally G. and 2 other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Mari,
I am just checking in to see how your boy is doing. Is training helping him back to normal?