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Help! My dog barks at the doorbell

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Barking image

WHY?

What is it about the doorbell that is causing your dog to bark? Does your dog just bark once or twice, or is it continuous? Before working to overcome the problem we need to understand the root cause. In the case of barking at the doorbell, underlying reasons could include:

ALERT BARKING - To let you know that someone is at the door.

SPOOK BARK - Concern about the person at the door.

EXCITEMENT BARK - anticipation of someone being at the door.

We will consider excitement barking

WHAT TO TEACH YOUR DOG?

When tackling any problem behaviour we need to identify the desired final outcome. For an excitement barker I would be looking to teach calm, quiet behaviour. One approach would be to teach the dog to go and settle on a designated area, for example a bed. Many dogs that bark in excitement will also run towards the door, so teaching them to settle on a bed has the added benefit that whilst settled on the bed they are not running towards the door.

HOW TO BEGIN TACKLING THE PROBLEM

Place a non slip blanket/bed in the area where you would like your dog to settle when the doorbell rings

Calmly reward your dog for going onto the blanket. You will need to do this a lot so that they see the blanket as a really great place to go and relax on.

Reward your dog for remaining on the blanket

You will need this behaviour to be very strong before you start to associate it with the sound of the doorbell

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