17

My 5-year-old pug barks, whines, runs, jumps and lunges at the door when the doorbell goes off or if we have people come to the door. Since she is the largest and loudest of our 3 dogs, she gets the rest of them all excited.

How can I train her (them) not to be so frantic when the doorbell goes off?

12

This is a tricky one to fix and that's because you don't want the dog to stop barking at all, especially if they're going to bark if you have an intruder. You do want to be able to stop the dog barking when you tell it to, though.

First, let's examine a couple of things you should not do:

  • Shout at the dog : You should never shout at the dog; this basically gives the signal to her that you are reinforcing the behavior by joining in.

  • Give her affection : Your dog will see this as praise for barking, which is not what you want.

Now, let's look at a couple that you can do:

  • Teach him a "stop barking" command : teach him to bark when you say "Speak!", then command him to be quiet. After a couple seconds of the dog being quiet, praise him with words or a treat until he learns this routine. Then practice ringing the doorbell yourself and using the command with treats until the dog actually stops barking on demand.
  • Distract the dog : In some cases, there has to be some distraction in order for the dog to stop barking. The most effective form of distraction is something that causes a displeasing sound to the dog (like shaking a tin can with pebbles / coins inside of it). After a while, he'll associate that awful sound with barking at the doorbell, and so will refrain from doing so.

For more information, see the legendary Cesar Milan's full article on preventing dog barking.

| improve this answer | |
  • You could put more emphasis on the fact that first you have to teach the dog to bark at command. Only after the dog has learned to bark at command you can start training it to be quiet at command. It is there in your answer, but kinda hard to pick up. – Esa Paulasto Feb 9 '14 at 14:51
  • @EsaPaulasto Why would that be true? – augurar Jan 5 '15 at 4:27
  • When you train a dog to stop barking without it knowing the concept of barking, you effectively train that dog to stop doing what he is doing at the moment and to do something else instead. So you can train a dog to stop barking on command without first training it to start barking at command, but that kind of training is not about barking, it is about something else. – Esa Paulasto Mar 21 '15 at 5:35
  • Isn't shaking a tin can with coins considered a punishment? – Roy Feb 21 '17 at 17:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.