Kickass, the doorstop dog, is trying to help the keeper and Phyllis stop the other house dog—Boo, from overdoing her brief but energetic barking at visitors. Having tried shouted admonishments and bark collars, the current technique is a water-filled spray bottle, which so far, indicates only that Boo’s barking is not inhibited by a wet face. There is also the problem of appearing to be inhospitable in greeting visitors at the door with a water spray bottle in hand. A UPS driver seemed particularly put off.
Some dog experts suggest that positive reinforcement is the most effective way to change behavior. The keeper is seeking suggestions as to just how you reward a dog for NOT doing the genetically-induced job of signaling what is perceived as a serious threat to the pack.
The keeper has not discussed it with Phyllis yet, but it has crossed his mind that it might make more sense to get a second water bottle so he and Phyllis could spray each other when the barking ensues. That would tend to take their minds off Boo’s annoying barking and it would certainly entertain visitors at the door.