Owners' pets

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We just signed the contract on our B&B and are in the process of selling our home.  We have two small dogs (shih-tzu/bichon and Bichon/poodle).  They are very sweet, don't shed and love everyone, but whenever they see people out the window or if someone comes to the door, they bark.  I am so worried as to how this is going to affect our business and am wondering if anyone else has had to deal with this.  We've tried the water-bottle-squirt, which doesn't work.  Our owners' quarters will be a room on the first floor, and I plan on keeping them in there or in the kitchen with me.  Never allowed upstairs. But there will be times when I have to leave the house and I fear that they may make noise while I am not there to quiet them.  Any help would be great because along with everything else that is rolling around in my head, this one keeps me up at night.  Thank you so much for any help you may have.

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Training will help but if you have a barker and you aren't there it may become a problem.  We have two wonderful labs and they never bark when guests are checking in or here in the building so long as we are home.  We found out, however, that when we'd go out they would hear a guest in the building and start howling as they wanted someone to come play with them.  Guests started telling us that they were in their howling for over an hour and they wanted to break into our side of the house and let them out!  We've also come home to find them doing this, we can hear them outside.  No one would have ever thought this knowing these two quiet dogs.   The problem is now fixed because we built our house next-door and if we're not in the B&B the dogs are left over in our house.

So after you do your training I would recommend setting up a recording device and go out with guests in the house and see what happens.  It's the only way you'll know if they are driving guests nuts if you aren't there.  We were very cautious leaving them alone before the new house once we found out they were driving guests crazy.  (The good news is, everyone loves them so much that no one ever wrote a bad review and they still come back to see the dogs.)  Good luck.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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I deliberately put a picture of the cats on our website gallery in case anyone has cat issues, so they would be forewarned.

Today, we got our first email saying he saw the picture and is allergic.  We assured him the cats do not go into the inn.    We'll take his cancellation if he decides he needs it.

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We have a dog friendly B and B and have our own dog Molly as well. Molly gets more reviews than. Do. Everyonebloves her even non dog people. She is a standard poodle and is a certified therapy dog. Since. Started the B and B she has not worked at sr., assisted living facilities, but seems to think she needs to greet every guest and let them pet her. In real life she is pretty fiesty and jumpy, but when she is work ing she is so low key and actually works the guests tomget them to come to her.. I guess she likes this job. Getting your dogs lots of training is the best idea. By the way our guest dogs have been lovely. Molly loves to greet them and has some lovely play sessions with them. By the waay, Molly was a rescue and for the first two years would not let anyone, husband included touch her. Who would have guessed she needed a job?

 

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Camge wrote:

We have a dog friendly B and B and have our own dog Molly as well. Molly gets more reviews than. Do. Everyonebloves her even non dog people. She is a standard poodle and is a certified therapy dog. Since. Started the B and B she has not worked at sr., assisted living facilities, but seems to think she needs to greet every guest and let them pet her. In real life she is pretty fiesty and jumpy, but when she is work ing she is so low key and actually works the guests tomget them to come to her.. I guess she likes this job. Getting your dogs lots of training is the best idea. By the way our guest dogs have been lovely. Molly loves to greet them and has some lovely play sessions with them. By the waay, Molly was a rescue and for the first two years would not let anyone, husband included touch her. Who would have guessed she needed a job?

 

I knew I liked you Camge! That is wonderful. 

Everyone needs encouragement and a job to do well.

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Exercise, exercise, exercise.  As the saying goes, "A tired dog is a happy owner."

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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The innkeeper down the street from us has a dog.

It's pretty normal for people to have pets.   Keep them contained.   Build them a run.

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My take as a dog owner.... well 2 dogs since my DD moved back home:

I will start off with what I was afraid of doing - marketing that we have dogs!  Add it to your website.  Put a family pic - innkeepers with the security pups!  Or something like that.    DH has a couple spots where he mentions what our dog does to help out.  

When we first got our dog I was just like you.  I was afraid of what it would do to our business.  When the 2nd dog came to stay, we thought temporary BUTT..... , that was when the barking started.  

The barking was tapered by using the barking collar but he still does bark when someone comes to the door.  We make a joke that it is our 2nd doorbell.  

Since we started marketing with the dogs, 90+% of the people are dog lovers.   I have people now asking for the dogs to come out during breakfast.  Of course that is not going to happen.  I do not want to encourage that.  

Guests call, email & FB msg asking about the dogs before they discuss availability or other reasons for the communication, if any!  

You'll figure it out but as I say use them in your marketing.  That's the best advice I can give. 

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Copperhead wrote:

My take as a dog owner.... well 2 dogs since my DD moved back home:

I will start off with what I was afraid of doing - marketing that we have dogs!  Add it to your website.  Put a family pic - innkeepers with the security pups!  Or something like that.    DH has a couple spots where he mentions what our dog does to help out.  

When we first got our dog I was just like you.  I was afraid of what it would do to our business.  When the 2nd dog came to stay, we thought temporary BUTT..... , that was when the barking started.  

The barking was tapered by using the barking collar but he still does bark when someone comes to the door.  We make a joke that it is our 2nd doorbell.  

Since we started marketing with the dogs, 90+% of the people are dog lovers.   I have people now asking for the dogs to come out during breakfast.  Of course that is not going to happen.  I do not want to encourage that.  

Guests call, email & FB msg asking about the dogs before they discuss availability or other reasons for the communication, if any!  

You'll figure it out but as I say use them in your marketing.  That's the best advice I can give. 

And they are awesome.

I agree, put it up front and no surprises. Forget about the whole "they are hairless and hypo-allergetic" you don't want any people there who are dog haters, period. Here's an innkeeper I know taking two dogs for a walk in the neighborhood.

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Here's an innkeeper I know taking two dogs for a walk in the neighborhood.

[/quote]

What an awesome trip it was too.  Someone needed a dog fix!

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Thank you so much.  My collars should be here today and I have a friend who has the name of an animal behaviorist for me, just in case.  The last B&B we stayed at in the same town told us the same thing about their dog.  She said people remember his name and ask to see him when they get there.  I should be so lucky!  I am going to take this one day at a time.  The home we are buying won't be ready to open until the fall, so I do have some training time.  Thank you so much for your advice.

 

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That sounds good, Duff. How would you (they, I) train two dogs that are always together? Do you need to separate them? 

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  I only had one at a time to train.  Maybe have three people, one to ring the doorbell, etc and the other two to train the dogs.  If they are always together, splitting them up might make matters worst.  I can't help you on that since whenever I had two dogs, one was over a year, ready to head off to college and the other was a little pup ready to start the training.

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  I raised dogs for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.  This is how we were taught to train it out of them.  Very easy way, cost nothing, but lots of work.  It is easier with a friend or family member, but can be done by yourself.  Have the dog near you and create a situation that makes the dog bark.  Firmly grasp under the chin and bring it up to look at you and in a quiet but firm voice say,.  "No! Bad Language!"  It will startle the dog so it will stop barking to see what is going on.  Then praise it for being quiet while you stroke its fur.  It will soon learn that barking isn't the thing to do.  My dogs would run to the picture window to check up on who just drove in.  Then come running to tell me with a shove of the nose that we had company as it raced back to the door to welcome the people to his home.  Except for the clicking of nails on the floor, everything was quiet and many a UPS delivery person had been surprised to see a nose and beaded little eyes staring up at them when the door opened.

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I remember when you were training puppies!  Does this work for any breed to stop barking?  And what if you want it to be a little protective but not obnoxious?  How did you stop it from jumping up on people and only greet them? 

I'm not a dog person, but my grandchildren that live nearby, now have two and they bark and jump.  Makes me not want to visit very often.  Sad    So, if I had some constructive ideas or suggestions for training hopefully they would do it, and I would be forever grateful to you.  

Thank you, Duff2014!

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Figurehead wrote:

I remember when you were training puppies!  Does this work for any breed to stop barking?  And what if you want it to be a little protective but not obnoxious?  How did you stop it from jumping up on people and only greet them? 

I'm not a dog person, but my grandchildren that live nearby, now have two and they bark and jump.  Makes me not want to visit very often.  Sad    So, if I had some constructive ideas or suggestions for training hopefully they would do it, and I would be forever grateful to you.  

Thank you, Duff2014!

    As the dog leap up, bring your knee up like you are going up the stairs.  (The dog's stomach will come into contact with your knee so make sure you are steady on the other foot.)  A smart dog won't jump up on you again even if he continues to jump on other people.  Praise and pet the dog when it comes up to you and doesn't jump.  All they want is attention and love. 

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Thank you!  I will try that for myself and knowing it might work for me, though not necessarily for others, encourages me to try.  I will then praise and pet when it doesn't greet me with a jump.  I guess it boils down to training me (or the owner)!  Smiling

Have a great day!

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I love, "bad language."

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wow. I live with housemates, two dogs live here. One will bark at some little noise and get the other one going. It happens night and day. One starts with a little woof, the other picks up on it and joins in, then more and more barking.  

Let's be real. And I don't say this to make you cry.

How many rooms will you have?

With people coming in and out at a b&b, your dogs will be sounding the alarm constantly. Guests don't just check in and check out. If they are anything like my guests, they will come to the door - a lot - the trigger for your dogs' barking. Guests go out to their cars, bring in things they need, go out to walk, out to shop, out to dinner, out to whatever brings them to the area. And the guests will constantly change, constantly be strangers. People will be walking by if you are on a street with any foot traffic. Cars will come and go.

Your dogs will be stressed, you will be stressed, your guests will be stressed. 

Dog training NOW I hope will help

Absolutely, I agree with being a dog friendly place because your guests will be much more tolerant of the barking. How do your dogs interact with other dogs?

I've stayed in places that had dogs in residence and they were extremely quiet dogs. Your dogs are not and you know this ... however lovable they are. The dog owners I live with tried the training collar. It didn't help, sorry to say. 

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Congrats on your purchase! Yes, having vocal animals can be a problem. 

You may be able to socialize them to their new environment after things have calmed down for all of you.

My dog used to sleep thru the doorbell once the season got started. But she's was hyper alert in the off season when she 'forgot' what the ringing doorbell meant.

Have you tried crating them when you won't be around to monitor their behavior? How about some dog training classes?

 

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Thank you...they are both very quiet during the day.  They nap a lot and don't make a peep unless someone comes to the door.  I cannot crate one of them because he was abused as a puppy and is terribly fearful of cages/crates.  I did find a collar online that emits an ultrasonic sound when they bark and is supposed to work very well.  I just purchased two of them and will get my money back if they don't work.  I am going to try this first ... give it a week or so and if it doesn't work, I will take them for training.  Thank you for you input.....if the collars don't work, it will be training classes. 

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bmcheurung wrote:

Thank you...they are both very quiet during the day.  They nap a lot and don't make a peep unless someone comes to the door.  I cannot crate one of them because he was abused as a puppy and is terribly fearful of cages/crates.  I did find a collar online that emits an ultrasonic sound when they bark and is supposed to work very well.  I just purchased two of them and will get my money back if they don't work.  I am going to try this first ... give it a week or so and if it doesn't work, I will take them for training.  Thank you for you input.....if the collars don't work, it will be training classes. 

How long since the dog was mistreated? Years? Weeks? If it's years, then you have to take charge and be the alpha dog. You can be kind but you have to be firm. If you have obviously loved them and cared for them they will take guidance from you.

You can train the dogs to bark once as an alert, but then they must be quiet. You might need help with this.

Read up on the type of dogs you have to see what works best with them for training.

If you're stressed the dogs will be stressed, that's how dogs roll. If you're confident and in charge the dogs will step up and do what you want. They want to make the alpha dog happy.

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He was abused and starved for the first 8 months after he was born.  He is a year and a half old now.  From all of the responses, it looks like training is the way to go.  Hopefully you'll hear back from me that they are quiet when the doorbell rings.  Here's hoping!

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at the very least think about someone to tire them out - my next door neighbour has a lovely dog daft as a brush and very tall so it can see out of the window and does ruddy bark at everything! drives me mad as people think its ours as can hear it through the wall.

They got in a walker to give it a really good run around and tire it out every day has worked wonders as well as it simply getting used to its new environment - plenty of people where I am have bb's and dogs they may even like all the guest attention 

But like the others not in the kitchen its asking for trouble - all it would take is a fussy guest to see them and thats it your shut down.

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A dog walker is a great idea.   You can time it for during breakfast and during the peak check in times so that the dogs are not in your way while you are working and will be well exercised and not bored during the day.

I'd look into the twice a day dog walker and also start anti-barking training.

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 Seek a professional NOW. Don't wait until you take ownership. This can turn into a big issue with guests. As Gillum said, you can not have them in the kitchen with you. Our dog passed several years ago and was a wonderful b&b dog. Never would bark at a person. One of the main reasons we have not gotten another dog is the barking issue. It takes a special animal or much training to have them not bark. 

Sorry you're stuck with this situation but I'm afraid you'll have to take drastic measures. You don't want to live with the fear of never being able to leave your house if you have guests.

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In my experience, most people love your pets.   But of course, not all.   We have two cats who are supposed to stay out of the inn, but they find their way in when well meaning guests open the doors for them.   People generally love them and want to get to know them.

I put a very prominent picture of them on our website, so there are no surprised in case someone is very allergic.  But, of course, they don't go into the guest rooms.

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Your answer made me cry...(I know. that must sound silly but  am at that stage right now where everything is piling on.)  Thank you.  I cannot give one away...they are my family.  There must be a way, but I thank you for letting me know that if their pictures are on my website, people won't be as put-off.  Thank you.

 

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It might be worth it to contact a professional dog trainer for help.  

Other ideas:

Can you create an outdoor daytime pen with dog house for them to use when you are managing the kitchen and house?

Can they spend morning hours at a doggy day care?

 

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all great ideas.  I think I will contact a trainer right away.  I am in the mid-west so the outdoor pen may not work for part of the year but hopefully the training will work.  Doggie Daycare may be an option too.  Thank you so much.

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The house has a closed-off porch area off of the kitchen.  Was hoping until I could re-train them somehow that would work...I am in a quandary.  I would definitely state that we have 2 dogs on my web site.  I've stayed in several myself and wasn't bothered that they were there, but never heard them.  I may have no option other than to get them into training now.  More sleepless nights....

 

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bmcheurung wrote:

The house has a closed-off porch area off of the kitchen.  Was hoping until I could re-train them somehow that would work...I am in a quandary.  I would definitely state that we have 2 dogs on my web site.  I've stayed in several myself and wasn't bothered that they were there, but never heard them.  I may have no option other than to get them into training now.  More sleepless nights....

 

I understand your quandary. I have two things to say, hold on:

#1 you can't do this, not to your guests, and certainly not to you. If you love them and cannot bear the thought of losing them...#2 make your place dog friendly, 100%.

Stating you have two dogs on a website ain't gonna cut it, barking dogs and dogs are two diff things. Go dog friendly, then people will be totally forgiving when they get too excited and bark. 

                   Training? Forget that, it won't work unless you put a muzzle on them and please don't think I am suggesting that. You will be torturing yourself over this.

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In the kitchen is a BIG NO-NO. Your personal kitchen is one thing - a kitchen used to cook for the public is another. The Health Dept will bust you.  Can you crate them while you are out? Will they stay quiet in a crate?

Pets are family members, but there is a difference when it comes to serving the public. Make sure your web site states clearly that "We have 2 dogs".

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I know this isn't the first time you have thought about this, what did you think you would be doing with them before you took ownership? What was the first inclination?

I think you have gotten yourself into a pickle. Two dogs feed off each other's anxiety and will bark more than one. Now you are giving them a new environment to call home and protect, which will only increase their barking.

I am not saying get rid of one, but you are going to be dealing with issues every day, and not only will it upset the guests but you yourselves will be a nervous wreck because of it. You are smart to fix this now before you are there. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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