Learn a barking dog solution to stop your pooch barking at the doorbell and jumping on your guests. This is a step-by-step tutorial that will help you stop nuisance barking every time someone is at the door. Practice, patience and some treats is all you need!
The goal is to teach your hound that when the bell rings he has to do something that is incompatible with barking.
For example, at the doorbell sound he has to run and find a dog toy and bring it to you. Another option is for your hound to sit and stay in a specific spot.
You can choose any behavior you want and the training method will be very similar. Below is an example to train your canine friend to sit and stay when he hears the bell ring.
If your hound barks for other reasons (boredom, fear, guarding, etc.) check out the Barking Solutions Main page for more help.
The barking dog solution starts with basic training. Teach your pet to Sit and Stay on cue. It is very important that your pet can do this consistently when there is no-one at the door. This way, when we add this distraction your hound will be ready.
Get the help of a friend or family member. This person will stay outside and ring the bell at random intervals. For example, ring the bell after 1 min, 3 min 5 min, 30 sec, 8 min, etc.
You will have 2-3 training sessions a day and do 10-20 repetitions each time. Don't' worry, you won't be doing this forever…you will see how fast your hound learns!
Within two seconds of hearing the doorbell (because your friend is ringing it) ask your dog to sit. If he does, give him a treat right away. If he doesn't just ignore your dog, leave the room or simply stand in front of the door with your back to your hound (to convey that you are in control and heard the bell) then open and close the door.
After that you can start another training trial.
Repeat Step 4 until your hound is sitting at your command after the bell rings 8 out of 10 times you ask or (and this is more important) if you see your hound starts anticipating your command when he hears the door bell.
For example, your hound looks at you or sits at the sound of the bell. If he starts doing it on his own keep rewarding him with treats! (and now only reward him for sitting at the doorbell, not at your command).
For this barking dog solution to work, you need to add the "Stay" cue. Repeat the above but ask your dog to stay until you release him. Start with short periods of time like a few seconds and build it up to 5 minutes.
Add a person walking in through the door to the training session. Repeat the whole sequence, but now after the sound of the bell, you will open the door for your friend to come inside. Practice a lot so your hound learns to sit-stay even when someone comes in. You will need to repeat this many times, you want your hound to succeed most of them. Only give him a food reward if he sits-and stays.
If your hound breaks the sit-stay when the person enters through the door, call him to the spot to sit again and do not give him a food reward. Treats only come when he responds correctly.
Another option is to simply ignore the dog completely. Turn around and do not make eye contact, pretty soon your hound will learn that to get your attention or your guest's attention he has to be calm first.
Repeat the above steps with a different person. You will actually need to practice with as many different people as you can. You will notice that the more you do this, the better and faster your hound will respond correctly.
You can start giving out treats randomly now that your hound responds well but always use your marker word for praise. The idea behind random rewards is that it can strengthen your dog's response because he doesn't know when a a reward is coming, so he will keep on trying. You are done!
All you need is to reward your dog once in a while for behaving so well when the doorbell rings, that's the secret barking dog solution!
With this methods we are exploiting "operant conditioning". Your hound will learn that at the sound of the door bell (cue) if he sits and stays he will get rewarded. Because he wants the treats he will do it more and more often!
Note: If you hound has been barking at the door bell for a long time before you started with training, you will need more practice. This is because the dog is already used to barking when a guest arrives, changing that behavior takes longer than if he has never done it before.
Hope this tutorial for a barking dog solution helps you. Give us your comments in the box below.