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Dog Training During Bathroom Remodel?

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After four long years of living with the ugliest bathroom in the WORLD...




...I've got guys coming to demolish and replace everything. Now, I'm lucky because I'm a teacher and have family nearby, so I can generally take the dog out of the chaos and put him in a quieter environment while this is going on. However, I'm looking at it as an opportunity to work on Buddy's ability to settle down when people are coming and going. He can learn to love specific people, and lets them in the house with delight, but strangers are another matter. If they sit calmly and feed him treats, he'll warm up and even snuggle with them. But he's really reactive when people come and go, stand and move, leave one room and go to another, etc., etc.. It's REALLY loud, as he alerts me to every single change that happens in his house! :rolleyes: It's very hard to work on stranger friendliness, because after a few visits, strangers become friends, and it's hard to find generic strangers who are happy to come in a house to be barked at!


Now, Buddy will happily take treats from strangers, but I'm worried at this point that I might be inadvertently rewarding him for the barking behavior. He barks, I say, "No, it's a friend," and he settles down while they give treats. But then, when they move, he begins barking again. I'm not sure this is a problem, though, since this is how I taught Buddy to adjust to the city, crowds, etc., etc.. I've always done treating for quiet, calm behavior, and then removing Buddy when the stimuli get too overwhelming. He's learned to be calm in all outside situations. It's just this stranger-in-house thing that freaks him out!


What do y'all dog people think? I'd love input on how to use these strangers to my advantage! If I can do a few minutes of training at the start of each day, before taking Buddy to the quieter places, I think I can make a big improvement in this general area. Strategies? Hints?


Thanks in advance. I LOVE these boards and all the helpful people!



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We just completed our ambitious remodel of all three bathrooms at the same time. It sounds like Nellie is very similar to Buddy in that she doesn't like people in and out and will eventually warm up to them.


We were supposed to be on the beach when all the work started, which would have been good for Nellie, but we had some illness in the family and had to change the plans somewhat. Nellie spent most of the time with the workers doing this :rolleyes:




The cats, on the other hand, were not amused at all...




I would recommend that during the demolition that you take Buddy out of the house. That was the most stressful part for the animals.


We did have the guys play a little with her and give her some treats and towards the end of the project she was much more relaxed with them in the house. I guess when she was in the house alone with the contractors, they said they would be working and turn around and she was just standing there watching. She will now let the guys pet her some and not bark as much when they come in. It is a very good training opportunity. Hopefully, you will be able to get some training in on Buddy.


Good luck with the project, now that ours is pretty much completed, I am happy that we did it, but I would not recommend that you take all bathrooms out of the house at once, it can get pretty stressful :D

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