Why Do Dogs Bark at Doorbells?

It’s a common habit for dogs to react to the sound of a doorbell with a series of big booming barks. It’s their way of announcing their presence and letting you know of a stranger's arrival. While that may be useful at times, it can become a real headache when the barking is excessive.

Fortunately, there are ways to discourage your pup from barking at the doorbell, but first, you’ll need to understand exactly why your dog’s barking like that in the first place. 

We’ve created this simple guide to doorbell-hating dogs to fill you in on why Fido does what he does. This guide includes information on your dog’s barking behavior, some reasons why doorbells might cause it, and some potential solutions for you to explore. Enjoy!

For a quick and easy solution, check out our non-shock, humane bark collar

Why Does Your Dog Bark?

Although it may seem like it at times, your dog doesn’t bark simply to make noise. Barking is how dogs communicate, and it can actually be quite effective if you know what to listen for. Below are some of the most common reasons why your pup is speaking up.

  • They need food or water
  • They need to use the bathroom
  • They want attention
  • They’re happy to see you
  • They have pent up energy
  • They’re bored
  • They’re startled or frightened
  • They’re hurt
  • Separation anxiety

Taking a moment to try to learn your dog’s language can be highly beneficial for both you and your pup. They’ll get what they need more efficiently, and you’ll better understand how to curb that barking behavior.

The Reasons Why Dogs Bark at Doorbells

If your dog is a notorious doorbell barker, then you’ve probably reached the point where your immediate reaction whenever a visitor presses button is to put your fingers in your ears and wince. It can really wear on you, and it can’t be pleasant for your visitors, either. But there are some pretty obvious reasons your pup becomes vocal when they hear the doorbell, and once you learn what they are, you might understand the behavior better.

They’re Territorial

Your pup has an ancient instinct to declare a particular area their own and defend that area whenever a stranger crosses its borders. Their first line of defense is often to ward off invaders with a loud bark, which may be what they’re attempting to do whenever they hear the doorbell ring.   

If your dog’s ears drop back and their tail drops low when they bark at the doorbell, that’s an indication that they're startled or frightened and they’re acting territorially.

They’re Excited

Your pup’s love of making friends may have softened territorial instincts. That won’t necessarily stop them barking at the sound of a doorbell, though. They may learn the doorbell means new friends, which excites them enough to get them to speak up.

Does your dog tail-wag, run around, or go right up to the door when the bell rings? Then it’s much more likely they’re doing it out of excitement than from a call to their territorial instincts.

How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking at the Doorbell

Now you understand what causes your dog to bark at the doorbell, you’re better prepared to get them to knock it off. 

As we’ve said, it’s pretty instinctual for your pup to react the way they do when alerted to the presence of a stranger, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lessen or even stop the behavior entirely. It’s just going to take a bit of dedication. Below are some bark-stopping methods for you to try out.

Teach Them Some Commands

You can train your dog to keep it down with a “quiet” command, but it will require a bit of patience and perseverance. Don’t simply shout at them when they bark (tempting as it may be). Remain upbeat and say “quiet” as calmly as you can. 

Once they stop barking, give them a treat. Repeat this process until they start to catch on.

Get Them Used to Visitors

You can enlist the help of a friend to desensitize your pup to strangers coming to visit. Have them ring your doorbell and either work on your “quiet” command or ignore the barking entirely so that they don’t learn that it gets your attention.

Try a Bark Collar

If nothing seems to work, you can always try a humane bark collar. The No-Shock Bark Collar from Pet Pawsabilities is pain free and highly effective at stopping barking behavior.