This sure rings a bell
How often do you hear your dog bark when she smells someone’s at the door or hears the doorbell ring? (especially the mailmen, dogs believe they’re up to no good).
Let’s just face it, it’s a natural or innate reaction for your dog to bark when she sniffs someone new at the door. Subsequently, she would either react or interact with the stranger. Is this routine driving you nuts?
Well, you’re not alone as a majority of dog owners like you and me experience this issue on a daily basis. And, most feel there’s nothing much they can do about it.
If you just wish your pet remained silent while you check who’s at the door, then read on. I present here four easy steps on how to stop dog from barking at door that I’ve used personally to train my Dalmatian Charlie:
Before you start following these four steps, get some dog treats as they will come in handy.
1. Choose a Sound/Word to Stop Dog Barking at Visitors:
First choose a word like ‘silent,’ ‘quiet,’ or ‘hush’ that you don’t generally use while communicating with your dog. Say this word only during instances when someone’s at the door, and your dog starts barking. This way, you can start teaching your pet what you expect of her (sit quietly in a particular spot or lie down) when you say that word.
Although, do remember to give a treat to your dog immediately when she listens to your specific word and stops barking at the door. It eventually helps your pet learn that if she stops barking when someone’s at the door or rings a doorbell, she’ll get a reward. In no time, just saying the word or making a specific sound (like shhh) will work.
But initially, it’s best to give a treat — to get her motivated.
Above all, have patience as dogs require lots of repetitive training sessions before their behavior is well-conditioned.
2. Ring the Doorbell or Knock the Door Yourself:
I know it sounds weird, but that’s just the start. You can do it yourself or have a family member/friend help enact this situation. When the dog arrives at the door, then immediately use the word/sound as said above, followed by a treat once she obeys your command.
Repeat this step several times, until your dog learns to stop barking at the door. It almost works like a maths formula for your pet. Here’s how she’ll start to think in good time: door knock/bell rings - I’ll sit/stay calm - I get the treat.
I’m sure food is crucial for your dog than the door knock.
3. Pretend You’re Answering the Door
Now, here’s one more way to train your dog not to bark at the door. Pretend as if someone’s at the door and go answer it. Make a real conversation during this mock situation (words like: How's it going or Hey, How are you), and if your dog starts barking then start repeating the first step.
Try practicing these steps at almost every doorway you’ve got - garage door and back door.
4. Get Your Dog to Exercise
Excessive barking typically happens when your dog just lazes around and doesn’t involve in any activity that challenges her physically/mentally. You can get her to let go off that pent-up energy through physical/mental exercise. It could be a walk down the road or make it more challenging by letting her jog beside you while you cycle or take her up a small hill.
Ensure whatever activity you involve your pet in is safe. You can also keep your mentally active by engaging her in activities like herding, hiding treats and encouraging her to find them, throw-and-fetch ball games, agility training, and so on.
The goal is to keep your dog busy and let her channel the energy for the right cause at the right time.
Stay Calm and Cool During the Training Stage
In the end, it’s important that you stay calm and cool while training your dog to stop barking at the door. I know constant barking can frustrate you, everytime the door knocks. However, you must realize that you can’t correct your pet’s behavior issue if you’re irritated in the first place.
Remember, canines don’t follow unbalanced leaders. Besides, your pet will in fact mirror your energy. As a result, if you’re irritated and angry, your dog will be too in the form of barking. So stay balanced and well composed while training your dog to do the same.
Do you find this article helpful? Have you used any of these above steps or other techniques?