How to Stop Your Dog from Barking at the Door
Most dogs go nuts at the door.
The doorbell rings and the dog seemingly loses his mind!
He barks, he spits, he spins and loses all control of himself.
He ignores all of his commands.
Barking is complicated!
It is instinctual and sometimes has to be tackled one form of barking at a time.
But our system will help you get your dog’s barking at the door under control.
I recommend that you use our 2 additional guest greeting routines as well.
First Thing’s First
Counter Condition Your Dog’s Reactive Behavior
Counter conditioning is a technique employed in animal training, and in the treatment of phobias and reactivity, in which you use an incompatible behavior with a habitual undesired behavior (pattern) is induced.
This technique is scientifically proven to help pair a high value treat or reward and creates an emotionally positive reaction in the dog which carries over through training.
Here’s a little video that shows you the first steps for how to train your dog this game:
Giving Your Dog Something Else to do
Does your dog have inappropriate behavior and barking when people visit?
Give your dog an incompatible behavior, such as sitting, to help him get his impulses under control.
Record your doorbell and use your phone, or use a helper, or buy a similar doorbell that you can use indoors (I often recommend putting the button next to where you sit at night to help finalize the skill).
Condition the dog that the sound of the doorbell means, “Get on your bed”. Lure, click and reward.
Release the dog from the bed.
Ring the bell, lure and reward for all four paws on the bed.
Reach outside and ring the doorbell. Reward dog for going to the bed.
You may add the cue “bed” or work toward the doorbell being the cue for the dog to go to the bed.
Eventually, invite a friend over to help proof this behavior!
We have also created a game to help stop your dog from barking whenever the doorbell rings.
Click here to download the next step of the Doorbell Ditch Game.
Counter Conditioning Works
You can see how counter conditioning teaches your dog to be calm when people come to visit.
I certainly recommend that you get started on this training.
You are teaching and conditioning the dog that the ring of the doorbell brings positive feelings and commands, whereas in the past it has brought stress and negative emotions.
And, even though this is a great first step, you aren’t done yet!
You have to change his emotions and thought process when it comes to other triggers as well.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.