Dogs are social creatures with acute hearing. When a doorbell rings, a dog instinctively wants to greet familiar visitors or protect his family from strangers who may pose a danger. Some dogs become highly agitated when the doorbell rings. You can subdue your dog's reaction through persistent training.
Put your dog on a leash and ask a friend or family member to ring the doorbell at regular intervals. Say "no" or "down" when your pet begins to bark, pulling on the leash firmly to make her sit. Reward her with a treat each time she remains quiet at the door.
Send your dog to his crate, bed or another designated spot when the doorbell rings so that he cannot jump up on visitors or scare them with loud barking. This should be an area that is familiar to your pet, perhaps lined with a towel or blanket that he sleeps with. Keep some dog toys there. When the doorbell rings, firmly say, "Go to bed" or another phrase that your dog understands as a signal to retreat to his area.
Distract your pet when visitors arrive so that she does not act inappropriately. Reserve a toy that your dog enjoys only when you are entertaining guests. Give your dog the toy, preferably some distance away from the door, as soon as the doorbell rings. She may be so engrossed in the special toy that she is not as interested in greeting the people at your door.
Items You Will Need
- Dog snacks
- Dog crate
Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.