If your dog has been barking a lot, when the door bell rings, you might be wondering why and what you can do to get it to stop. This post will show you common reasons why they do it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog bark when the doorbell rings? Possible reasons why your dog barks when the doorbell rings are that it thinks there is a threat, it gets rewarded for doing it, it’s excited or that it wants to alert you to the noise.
There are actually many reasons why your dog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause.
Why your dog barks when the doorbell rings
Below are common reasons why dogs bark when the doorbell rings and what would make them more likely to be one of the main causes.
It thinks there is a threat
The reason why it does it might be that it thinks there is a threat. This would be especially likely if the doorbell is very loud or if it does it when there are people it does not know at the door such as a postman. It would also be more likely if your dog shows threatening body language by doing things such as curling its nose and showing its teeth. In this case, positive reinforcement training and desensitization training should help as mentioned below.
It gets rewarded when it barks
It might also be the case that it has realized that it gets rewards for barking when the doorbell rings. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention when it barks at the doorbell, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to ignore it until it stops barking and then to start ignoring it again if it starts barking again.
It is excited
It might also be the case that the doorbell causes it to become excited. One reason might be that it might want exercise and you tend to give it exercise after getting up to answer the door. This would be more likely if your dog shows signs of excitement when the doorbell rings by doing things such as wagging its tail, having wide-open eyes and jumping up at you.
It would help to make sure that your dog is getting the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.
Excitement could also be the cause if it tends to bark when there are people that it knows at the door or if you get a dog walker to walk it sometimes.
It wants to alert you
Another possible reason why it does it might be that it is trying to alert you. This would be more likely if it comes running to you when it does it. In this case, it would also help to give it positive reinforcement training and desensitization training.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why it does it.
If your dog always barked when someone is at the door
If it did not always bark when the doorbell rings, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it did start suddenly, it might be because you rewarded it for doing it one time, you started using a dog walker causing it to become excited when the doorbell rings or there was a significant event involving the doorbell causing it to be anxious.
What is different when your dog does not bark at the doorbell
If it does not always bark at the doorbell, it would also help to consider what else is different when it does not do it.
For example, if it only does it when someone it does not know is at the door, it would be much more likely that it does it to alert you and to warn them not to enter.
How to get your dog to stop barking when the doorbell rings
Below are some things you can do to get your dog to stop doing it.
Positive reinforcement training
Positive reinforcement training is where you encourage your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use it to get your dog to stop barking at the bell you could:
- Get someone to stand at the door and ring the bell and get your dog to focus on you and reward it when it stops barking
- Get the person to gradually start pressing the bell more often and continue getting your dog to focus on you rewarding it whenever it stops barking with a treat
- If you do not have someone to ring the bell, you could also look for a similar sound to your bell on Youtube and just play the sound using your phone
Avoid encouraging the behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have been encouraging the behavior by giving your dog things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it behaves the way you want it to and to wait for it to stop barking before rewarding it.
Avoid getting emotional
It might also be the case that it has been reacting to your own emotions. When interacting with it, it would help to be calm and to get it to behave the way you want with the use of positive reinforcement training.
Avoid punishing it
It would also help to avoid punishing it for barking at the door since it is still a form of attention and your dog likely considers it a type of reward.