Package deliveries, dinner parties or a random doorbell from a stranger could be downright scary for dogs. Think about it from your dog’s perspective, the doorbell and there is some stranger that’s probably going to encroach on their territory and this idea is scary for them.
Why Your Dog is Scared of the Doorbell
Let’s start by investigating the dilemma of your dog’s doorbell and the reason behind it. Some dogs are simply startled by loud noises and the doorbells are designed in a way so that you can hear them over the noise of your household. If your dog is barking excessively, it could be a sign of stress. Some other fear signals in dogs are:
Pulled back ears
Shaking or spinning
Lowering the head and/or turning away
If your dog shows any of the signs mentioned above when the doorbell rings, chances are that it’s scared of the sound.
Why Dogs Bark at the Door
Dogs barking at the doorbell isn’t necessarily a sign of fear but some dogs learn that the sound of a doorbell means a person is arriving and may be excited to greet whoever’s at the door. If your dog barks whenever the doorbell rings but doesn’t seem to be afraid, it may only be doing it out of excitement. You can know if your dog is excited if it shows the following signs:
Runs straight to the door whenever it rings
Pants when it’s barking
Wags tail rapidly (which is also a classic sign of doggy happiness)
To defend their territory
Learning to read your dog’s body language will help you manage its reaction to the doorbell.
What to Do When Your Dog Barks at the Door
Training your dog how to react when the doorbell rings takes some time. Here’s what you should do:
Never yell. Yelling at your dog when the doorbell rings and it barks simply adds to the noise and can encourage the dog to bark more.
Remain calm, positive, and upbeat. Just as the case when you read your dog’s body language when the doorbell rings, same is the case they react to yours. The more relaxed and happy you seem, the easier it will be to manage its reaction.
Use consistent training techniques. Try to associate the sound of the doorbell with something calm and pleasant for your dog. If your dog is already trained to sit calmly before receiving treats from you, you’re halfway there.
What you need to do is to make them sit calmly first and then ring the doorbell. If they don’t react to the sound of it, they get a treat. If they do react, redirect them to the smell of the treat (but don’t give it to them just yet), make them to sit calmly and wait, and then repeat the process. In this way you’ll teach them that whenever the doorbell rings, they need to sit calmly to get the treat. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it without the treats.
Not all Barking is Bad
Your dog barking at the door is also a sign of defense to protect you and it’s territory. Training your dog to know the difference is the best approach. Here at VIP our trainers can work on-site with your dog to teach them to bark at the door when they need to.
Book your training session today at www.veryimportantpaws.com or call us at 561-366-9000 to get started.