Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Barking at the Door

One of the most common behaviors I help owners with is barking and rushing to the door when people knock or ring the doorbell. It is so common for dogs to rush the dog when someone knocks as a way to alert their owners but also in their minds they want to get to that door and be the first ones to say hello! Dogs are social creatures.

An easy behavior to teach your dog to stop barking and charging the door is a SIT AND STAY while the door is being opened. More than likely if the dog is sitting and staying then they are less likely to bark because they are focused on another behavior. So the sit stay discourages two behaviors at once- the stay and the no barking!

Start with a bag of treats and first work on a stay in the house. Then increase distance. Have the dog 10 feet away from the front door and put them in a sit stay and the tell them to stay while you go to the front door- open it, close it, then reinforce them with a treat IF they stay! If they break their stay say “OOPS” and try it again!

Next step is to tell them to stay and have a friend come over- have them knock and repeat the exercise: The dog must stay until you open the door and the friend comes in! If you practice this every day and you are consistent about making sure the dog sits and stays while people come into the door- you will have a better behaved dog when your friends come around

REMEMBER dogs do what works SO if it pays off BECAUSE THEY ARE GETTING GOODIES when they sit and stay when people come into the house THEN they will continue to repeat that behavior!  Just be there to remind them what to do and then praise and REWARD them when they do it!!


  1. What a great idea, I have to start trying this with my dog, who barks every time someone even walks by the front door!

  2. Awesome advice blog, thanks! I've done this with my dog when a skateboarder comes toward us (not a dog's friend), works great! Skateboarders should be grateful since they don't know any better than to speed past a dog, duh.