How To Keep Your Dog Calm When The Door Rings

By: Dogtopia | Published 02/09/2020


Does your pup go crazy every time someone comes to the door? In many households, the sound of the doorbell or knock often triggers loud barking and an overly excited dog. However, with training and patience, you can teach your dog to remain calm when guests arrive. Control the chaos by changing what the dog associates with a ding-dong or a knock on the door and rewarding good behavior. 

Associate the Doorbell with Treats

Start by getting another family member or friend to ring the doorbell or knock on the door and immediately feed your furry friend a treat. Even if they’re barking and running around, still give them a treat. Reinforce the association of the doorbell and a treat by ringing it every 15 seconds, a few times in a row. Take a break, put the treats away, and repeat again later. The goal is that when your dog hears a doorbell or knock on the door, they’ll immediately come to you for a treat, rather than rushing to the door and causing chaos.

Sit and Stay

Sit and stay are great behaviors for any dog. Not only do they prevent your pup from becoming crazed when the doorbell rings, but these commands also stop them from running out the open door. Start by teaching your dog basic sit and stay commands and slowly start taking more and more steps back. Teach your dog to sit and stay at a designated spot by the door. This spot should allow your pup to see who’s there, but still allow people to enter without your dog being in the way. Practice the sit and stay position by having someone come to your door without ringing the bell or knocking and repeating that step several times. If at any point your dog breaks their stay, close the door with the person outside. Soon your dog will realize that the only way he gets to see the person is if they hold the stay position.

Praise Your Pup

The best approach to getting your dog to stop barking is to praise them when they are quiet. Teach your pup that you don’t have to bark every time they hear or see something. Never yell at your dog when they are barking. If you start shouting “NO! Don’t do that!” at your furry friend, they’ll think you are barking along with them. Instead, ask a friend or family member to walk by the house. As soon as your dog sees the person through the window, immediately start praising your pup and give them a treat. If you miss the moment and they start barking, just wait for them to be quiet and try again. Once your dog learns to be quiet when people walk by, try ringing the doorbell. Praise and treat quiet behavior and ignore all barking.

Tire Them Out

Make sure your pup is receiving enough exercise throughout the day, as tired dogs are quiet dogs! Dogs need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise a day and depending on the age and breed, likely more. Daily walks, playing fetch in the backyard, and having supervised playdates are good ways to tire your dog out. If you don’t have time to exercise your pup, consider daycare at Dogtopia. Your dog will enjoy hours of play and learn valuable socialization skills, leading to better behavior at home.

Having guests arrive doesn’t have to be a stressful occasion! With repetition, patience and exposure, your dog can learn how to be quiet when the doorbell rings.


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