Do you remember how your doorbell sounds if it is not followed by a deafening chorus of dog barking? Good news: A little simple workout can help you open the door again in peace.
Why do dogs bark at the doorbell?
Each dog breed and the individual dog is individual, but there are several common reasons why your dog barks wildly. First of all, to hear the doorbell ring or to hear someone knocking on the door is loud, and unexpected and disrupts your normal daily routine. (Even as humans we can communicate!) But your dog doesn’t know how to wait for your friend to pass by or the postman to deliver a package, so every time it becomes a surprise.
For some dogs, this may be a negative emotional reaction. Loud and unexpected sounds can scare nervous dogs, and you can observe their body language to understand how they feel. If their ears and tail are lowered while barking, most likely your nervous Nelly is a little nervous. Barking can also be a territorial response to a perceived browbeat—an aggressive posture or spiky fur is how your dog talks: “Intruder alert!”
On the other hand, many dogs like to receive guests. The barking may be caused by excitement, curiosity, or just a desire to let him know what’s going on. If your dog is wagging his tail when he comes to the door, window and back to you, this is a great canine body language in which to say: “My God, did you see that a friend is here?!” However, even friendly barking can annoy you and your close visitors, especially if they are followed by an excitable dog that jumps on its grandmother visitor.
Regardless of the reason for his barking, you can teach your dog to stop barking at the door by showing a little patience and a lot of treats.
How to train a dog to stop barking at the doorbell
The goal here is twofold:
- Teach your dog that the doorbell is a signal for a relaxing and positive impression.
- This allows you to safely open your door without making visitors fear for their pimples.
Start the process by reducing your puppy’s sensitivity to the sound of a doorbell or a knock on the door.
Food rewards make everything easier, so grab your favorite high-value-added treat (even better if it’s sticky like peanut butter and needs to be licked). Give him a taste of the treat, and then play the sound effect of the bell, knock on the phone or computer, or ask your partner to play the real sound at his door. If they react, carefully redirect your attention to the treat and compliment them as soon as they calm down and continue eating. Repeat the process until they don’t even start barking at the sound and instead are happy to enjoy something worthy of drooling.
As soon as the doorbell itself stops causing alarm, start matching this delicious treat with the location. Choose a place where you want your dog to sit every time the doorbell rings. Your bed is a good place or a special rug nearby. When you turn on the doorbell sound again, use this tempting treat to lure them to that place while simultaneously giving them the command to “go to the place”.”Once they settle there, reward your dog with food and lots of praise.
When they come to your house, when the doorbell rings, it’s time to start all over again. Your dog also understands that ringing the doorbell means you are opening the door to someone, and they will probably find it worthy of barking (and possibly worthy of jumping). Start adding more realistic elements to each workout.
Start by sending the dog to your home, and then go to the door when you hear the doorbell ring. Once your dog learns to stay put during this time, it’s time to level up again. Repeat the steps described above and start opening the door. Then add a training partner on the other side of the door. Try talking to them at the door until you try to invite them in.
Make sure your dog stays calm and calm until you release her so she can say hello at every step of the process before moving on. Encourage good behavior with treats and lots of praise, and make sure you never yell when your dog barks—as they will think you are barking only with him. Using positive reinforcement training methods will help your dog learn to head straight to the place as soon as the bell rings and before you have the opportunity to give him a command.
It takes time, patience and a lot of constant training to perform any new trick, but you and your dog are a great team, actually the best. Expect to have less barking and more fives in the future.