Why Do Dogs Bark at the Door?
Barking is one of the most common–yet least understood–behaviors dogs engage in. There are so many reasons dogs bark, ranging from fear to boredom to excitement and everything in between.
If you own one or multiple dogs, you may notice a knock at the front door, the doorbell, or the sound of the door opening triggers barking. There are a few reasons why your dog may seem overly sensitive to the comings and goings at your front door.
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They Want to Alert You to Possible Danger
Your dog learns people enter and exit your home through the front door. If they hear a sound that alerts them to a new person entering and they haven’t identified who it is yet, your dog may bark to alert you of a possible threat.
Usually, the barking will subside once the dog recognizes the person at the door or understands through your behavior that the person isn’t a threat.
Their Instincts to Protect Are Triggered
Dogs have deep-seated instincts around protecting their family members, which can include owners and other dogs in the house. If they hear the doorbell or a knock at the door, your dog’s barking may go past the alerting stage and venture into protective territory, as they’re trying to scare away the potential threat.
They’re Excited by Something They See
In some cases, your dog’s barking at the front door may not be related to fear or protection, but instead, is a sign of overwhelming excitement about a new person entering the home. This is even more likely if you have a window near the front door where your dog can see that someone they like is on their way in.
Ways to Reduce Your Pup’s Barking at the Door
Though it’s understandable why a dog might bark at the front door, too much barking can create a stressful situation, especially in the event that you’re having a large group of people over with some commotion near the entrance.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to reduce barking at the front door and make your dog feel calmer around guests and family members coming and going.
When you reward the absence of barking, your dog will learn that it pays to be quiet around the front door rather than bark. You can practice this by intentionally creating a commotion at the front door and teaching a “quiet” command that your dog gets rewarded for when they stop.
Respond to Your Dog’s Concern
You should discourage excessive barking, but if your dog barks once or twice at the sound of the doorbell or a knock at the door, this is basic alerting behavior that doesn’t need any punishment.
Comfort your dog and let them know that you appreciate their alert. If they continue to bark excessively after that, however, you should work on your “quiet” command.
Keep Your Pup Properly Exercised
If your dog is barking at the front door out of excitement or even boredom, giving them more exercise can help. When a dog has gotten the proper amount of movement and sniffing in for the day, they’re less likely to be triggered to bark excessively and are more likely to be receptive to commands.
Use a Bark Control Collar
If your dog struggles to adhere to a “quiet” command, a no-shock bark control collar can be an effective way to curb their excessive barking.
This completely safe and humane device doesn’t hurt your dog but annoys them with a vibrating sensation, so they’ll be incentivized to quiet down. Plus, the collar emits a warning beep before the vibration, so over time, your dog will learn to stop as soon as they hear the beep.
Desensitize Your Dog to the Door
If a doorbell ring or a knock at the front door is a rare occurrence, your dog is much more likely to be triggered to bark. The more desensitized your dog becomes to sounds at the door through repeated exposure, the less trouble they’ll have staying quiet.