How to Train Dogs to Stop Barking at the Door


Dog barking
Julia Ringma / Flickr

Dog barking is the most basic way your canine pet communicates with you. With a bark, it can inform you of its needs. And with a different sounding bark, your pet can alert you of danger or threat.

But dog barking can also be a form of manipulation. What does that mean? It means an intelligent dog can realize that barking is a great way to get desirable results. And it may overuse barking to get what it wants.

Like if your dog tends to bark too much when someone’s at the door or outside the house. It likely needs some training.

If you have an excessive barker at the door, this article is for you. Read on for tips on how to train your dog to stop barking at the door.

Know What the Dog Bark Is For

Before you even start to scold your dog from barking, know why. What is the purpose of the dog bark? You don’t want to stop it from barking when it needs to. You want your pet to stop unnecessary or excessive barking.

Dog barking
Alex / Flickr

Welcome, Address, and Reward the Right Type of Dog Barking

Did you know that there are a lot of valid reasons why a dog barks?

  1. Dog barks alert you of any out-of-the-ordinary presence. When someone’s there who normally isn’t, your dog lets you know about it by barking. This is important for personal safety. So don’t scold your pet for that.
  2. Your dog cues you of expected guests. Sometimes, you don’t need a doorbell to tell you when your friend has arrived. A good pet will. It will bark once it captures the scent. And you’ll be by the door ready to greet even when your friend is just about to park in your driveway.
  3. Dog barking warns you of danger or threat. Dogs have a keen sense of danger. We hear news everywhere of dogs alerting their owners of fires and people drowning. These dog barks keep us safe and enable us to assist others in their need.
  4. A pet dog communicates its needs thru barking. When it’s hungry and you forget, it may likely bark. When it’s in pain, it barks to let you know about it. This type of barking is something you should not shut out.
Basset Hound barking
Brie Alsbury / Flickr

Discourage and Discipline the Wrong Type of Dog Barking

As a dog owner, you probably know what the wrong types of dog barking are. Have you experienced these with your dog?

  1. Territorial barking. Canines love to protect their turf. So if another dog is encroaching, it will bark. And it will bark excessively. If you don’t deal with that behavior, your dog may start becoming aggressive.
  2. Restless barking. When your dog is bored or has a lot of energy to burn. It may resort to barking. Sometimes, it’s not aware of what it needs. And so your pet may look up to you for help and direction.
  3. Emotional distress barking. Your dog may voice out its anxiety, doubt, and fear by excessive barking. This can happen when you bring it to a strange place. It can also be distressing when you’re making it do or experience something for the first time. Your pet dog can also be highly distressed when you expose it to a crowd of strangers, whether human or canine.
  4. Basic relational barking. Your dog may be so delighted to meet up with some friend of yours or another dog. You know how it is to be so happy, right? At other times, you may get so busy or distracted that you fail to notice your devoted pet. It may bark to get your attention. These are basic communicative or relational types of barking. They’re not bad in themselves. But letting emotions reach heightened states is not good.
Chavez415 / Flickr

Train Your Dog with Love and Clarity

Dog training should be loving and clear.

Don’t Shout at Your Dog or Hit It

These are not effective ways to stop negative behavior. You may breed aggression and your dog may start distrusting you. These negative results will make dog training even more difficult.

Use “No” or “Quiet”

Dogs will catch on after some time. Chances are, it’s got an idea of what “No” is.  Say these commands whenever you want your dog to stop barking. Then reward your pet after it has quieted down for some minutes already.

Mar Mnz / Flickr

Don’t Give in to Manipulation

When the bark is not reasonable, don’t give attention to your dog. Keep doing what you’re doing. Then use the command words you’ve chosen to make your dog stop barking. If it doesn’t stop, bring it outside (or the other way around). You may also move it to another room. Pay attention to it at a later time. But make sure to check up on your dog and never leave it unsupervised for a long time.

Counter-React

Don’t respond to the excitement with excitement. And don’t respond to aggression with aggression. When your dog gets too excited about seeing you (or another person), calm down and do not ride along with it. Let your dog settle down before you pour out your hugs and attention. Also, don’t be impatient. Your dog will sense it. And it may likely lead to more frustration on its part.

Alan Levine / Flickr

Final Thoughts

It tends to be more difficult to train your dog to stop doing something. With positive behavior, it’s easy. You just need to give a reward or a treat. And a dog will naturally keep doing something when there’s a reward.

So be patient as you train your dog to stop barking at the door. More importantly, be consistent. Don’t be strict one day then just stop caring about it on the next.

Also, give clear commands so your dog doesn’t become confused. Lastly, reward the learning. Make sure to give it a treat once it learns the cues to stop barking at the door. Happy training!


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