People inadvertently condition spaces or events in their household to high arousal. Meaning the dogs will associate them to feeling excited through a process of unintentional classical conditioning . Lets use an example here. Lets say I grab my keys ,put on my shoes ,grab my dogs leash , and say “ready for your walk?” . We exit the door to find my dogs best fur friend outside waiting , the dogs get excited and can’t contain themselves as we head over to the dog park and my dog romps around with his favorite buddy. All of the things that came before will begin to be associated together. The simple act of standing at my front door, putting on my shoes, grabbing my keys will all be cues for my dog that he is going to meet his favorite buddy outside the door and go play in the park. The more I repeat this process the stronger the association will become.
So how can we pair the front door with low levels or arousal to our dog? Let’s use this example. If everytime the door bell rings or the door knocks I send my dog on the placemat where they will remain on there until the excitement of new people entering has passed. Why is this effective ? I am conditioning that the door bell or the knocking means my dog will be placed into a state of low arousal adhering to the boundary of the place mat. I have just prevented the practice of my dog running to the front door being greeted with excitement by my guests , and jumping all over them. The latter practice will create a dog who will charge the door with excitement the moment it hears a knock or a doorbell because exciting things happen at the front door. Deliberate classical conditioning is what we do when we charge our markers. Inadvertent classical conditioning is something that happens unintentionally. Typically my home is a low arousal zone , I keep my backyard for all the higher arousal activities like playing ball or fetch. I practice lots of duration in behaviours like down stays , sit stays , and place. The place command is a great way to interrupt destructive or unwanted behaviours. The TRIP acronym is what I use to solve most behavioral issues. Train a new behaviour you rather the dog practice instead , reinforce it , interrupt and prevent the old behaviour.