How To Teach Your Dog To Stop Barking at Visitors
As pet parents we all love our dogs and constantly want them around us. But to do this, your dogs need to understand the basics of obedience training. Dogs bark to communicate. Some will bark when lonely, others when they’re excited or bored.
Image Credit: Claudia Bensimoun
All positive training requires that the best way to stop unwanted behavior is to first train your pooch to do what you want him to do. This prevents you from punishing him doing the things you don’t want. To positively teach your dog to stop barking, you’ll first need to train him to stop barking on command. First acknowledge what your dog is barking at. Reward him. Then work towards teaching him to stop barking, and then reward the behavior with his favorite high-value treat and plenty of praise. Keep in mind that your dog can’t enjoy his treat and bark at the same time.
1.Get a Friend To Ring The Doorbell
First invite a friend to come over and to ring the doorbell.
2.Reward Your Dog For Barking
Wait for your dog to start barking. Have a few of his favorite high-value freeze-dried beef or liver treats available. Acknowledge your dog and his barking. Give him a pat and some praise. Say “Good Dog”. Keep in mind that your dog is trying to tell you that someone is at the door, and that for your furry best friend this is an important issue that needs to be brought to your attention. Reward your dog with the treat. Understand that your dog can’t enjoy his treat and bark at the same time.
3.Allow Your Friend To Come In
Allow your friend to come in. Give your dog the “quiet” command after your friend comes in the door, and then reward again when he is quiet. You can then give him all the treats together. In that way, he’s too busy with his treats to start barking.
If your dog is not that easily willing to comply with the quiet command when he’s offered his treat, there is another dog-training method that you can use.
Alternative 2: Down Command
1.Get a Friend To Ring The Doorbell
Schedule a convenient time with a friend to ring your doorbell. Explain what you’re doing, and let him know that you’re teaching your dog not to bark at visitors, so that he does not become alarmed by the barking.
2.Put a Leash on Your Dog Before Your Friend Arrives
The easiest way to control your dog is to have him on a leash.
3.Put him in the “Down” position for a few seconds before the doorbell rings
The Down command should be easy for your dog to understand. This is never about a struggle with your dog. Do not get him panicked or scared. Teaching should always be fun. Make sure to have completed the basic training commands before doing this exercise.
4.Open The Door For Your Friend
Allow your friend to enter your home.
5.Step Lightly on the Leash
If he tries to get up to begin barking all over again, step lightly on the leash, so that he does not break the “Down” command.
6.Reward Your Dog
Reward your dog with a high-value treat when he’s in the Down position.
7.Repeat The Process a Few Times
Repeat this process a few time, but in small 3 minute sessions, so as not to bore your dog, until he becomes aware of how much fun it is to get a treat each time he listens to you.
Keep in mind that barking is a normal reaction for all dogs, and should never be punished. Training the positive way simply creates an experience that’s fun for both you and your dog. The idea is to never get angry with your dog, but to stay calm and focused. Training sessions should always be short. Both you and your dog need to be focused and eager to please each other. Always praise the positive behavior of keeping quiet when asked with a high- value treat!
There are rarely any quick fixes for behavioral problems. This is because these problems usually stem from complicated underlying problems that need to be resolved with a certified professional positive trainer. Most of these problems result from a lack of understanding and communication between pet parent and pooch. Training needs to start during puppyhood so that it builds a solid foundation of communication. How else is your furry best friend going to understand you? When both pet parent and pooch have these basic training skills, and an understanding of one another, most behavioral problems can be resolved with patience, kindness and respect towards our dogs!
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