Why Your Dog Barks at the Doorbell and How to Stop It
If you have ever been sitting at home, relaxing when you hear the doorbell ring and you know the dog is going to go nuts…then this article is for you. We are going to briefly cover whey your dog is barking at the door and tip/tricks to help stop this behavior.
First of all, let's look at some of the factors that may be causing this behavior:
- Interruption (if the dog is playing or taking a nap)
- Letting you know
- Guarding the home
Every dog is different, so you’ll need to closely examine your dog to understand what is driving him/her to react this way. It could be one or more of the reasons above.
Once you feel you have identified why your dog is reacting this way, let's review some tips on how to train your dog to stop this behavior:
Ignore The Behavior
Teach the dog to ignore the bell, you can do so by rewarding calm behavior and ignoring when the dog barks and jumps at the door. Have a friend or family member help you with this. They can approach the door and knock or ring, you can then work with your dog in this controlled environment to help correct the behavior; often times they will quickly pick this up. It would be best to make small sessions, let’s say 5-10 minutes, and do it once or more times a day. If you are having difficulty here try using the “Safe Room” method below until they become more comfortable with the doorbell.
Turn it into a command
This has worked well for many dog owners but does take a bit more work and training. The goal is to train your dog that the doorbell sound is a command. Whether to sit or to go in its own place.
This also requires practice as we noted above. Start by ringing the bell on your own and rewarding them for the right reaction (when they sit or go on their place), you should practice this on a daily basis – do this also in small sessions. Once your dog learns the command, start training with a friend.
Do not reward your dog if he’s barking and calms down after a few minutes it will confuse your pet. He may think that he is rewarded for barking. Dogs are simple, they do not think as complex as we do so keep it simple! Doorbell rings, the dog sits you reward. In any other scenario do not reward and try again.
This is an often used method with aggressive strong/stubborn dogs. If your dog is really consistent with barking or shows aggressive behavior when it happens it’s good to take him to a safe room when you’re expecting guests or someone to ring the bell. It would be best for the dog to be with someone during this period, and not to be left alone barking in another room. Pick a room that is far away from the front door, and try keeping the pets focus on something else.
This can also be of help if your dog has not learned yet to ignore or take it as a command.
Always reward the dog for doing what you wanted! You can use treats, fruits or your dog's dry food. Give them a little, but do it every time they do it right.
Make sure to remain calm and positive during the training, so you do not reflect excitement, anxiety or stress to the dog, also don’t yell at them, this just adds more noise and may encourage the barking.
Include the Whole Family
One of the most important things to remember is for the whole family to be included in the training. If just one member corrects the dog's behavior and other members do not, it will be much harder for the dog to accept this new training. However, when they consistently get the same reinforcement from the entire houshold the chances of it being successful are much greater.
If you have tried all of the above and you still have troubles, you may want to contact a professional pet trainer to help you correct the behavior. For more on helping your dog to stop barking, see our article titled 6 Ways Stop Your Dog From Barking Now.
- May 07, 2019
- in Pet Blog