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How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking at the Doorbell

How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking at the Doorbell

The Doorbell Dilemma

Oh, the dreaded doorbell. You know the drill – as soon as that familiar chime rings out, your furry friend transforms into a barking, jumping, spinning tornado of unbridled excitement. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned dog owner feel like they’re living in a sitcom.

I get it, I really do. Our pups are loyal companions, always eager to greet new arrivals. But that over-the-top reaction can quickly become a nuisance, not to mention a stressful situation for everyone involved. That’s why I’m here to share my foolproof tips for training your dog to keep their cool when the doorbell rings.

Desensitizing the Doorbell Demon

The first step in taming that doorbell drama is to desensitize your pup to the sound. Think of it like slowly introducing a child to a new food – you don’t just shove it in their face and expect them to love it. No, you start small, let them get used to the sight and smell, and gradually work your way up.

According to the American Kennel Club, the key is to use super high-value treats – we’re talking peanut butter, spray cheese, the good stuff that gets your dog drooling. Start by showing them the treat, then pushing the doorbell (or playing a recording of it) while they’re licking away. Praise and reward them for staying calm and focused on the tasty morsel.

Repeat this process several times, slowly increasing the duration between the doorbell sound and the treat. Before long, your dog will start to associate that chime with something positive – a delicious reward instead of a reason to lose their cool.

Establishing the “Go to Bed” Routine

Okay, so we’ve got your pup desensitized to the doorbell sound. But what about when someone’s actually at the door? That’s where the “go to bed” command comes in handy.

Trainer David Codr recommends using this technique to create an incompatible behavior – when the doorbell rings, your dog is expected to go to their designated “bed” (could be a crate, mat, or any specific spot) and wait there patiently.

Start by luring them to the bed with those high-value treats, praising and rewarding them when they get there. Over time, you can phase out the physical lure and just use the verbal cue “go to bed.” Eventually, that doorbell chime will become the trigger for them to automatically hustle over to their spot, knowing they’ll get a tasty payoff for their good behavior.

Maintaining Consistency

As with any training, consistency is key. One Reddit user shared their experience of a golden retriever who would always let out a few extra “screw you” barks after being scolded for doorbell antics. That kind of mixed messaging is a surefire way to undo all your hard work.

Instead, make sure everyone in the household is on the same page. Whenever that doorbell rings, it’s time for your pup to go to their bed and wait patiently. No exceptions, no backtalk. Reward that calm, collected behavior every single time, and soon enough, it’ll become second nature.

Overcoming Obstacles

Of course, no training plan is without its challenges. Trainer David Codr mentioned that for one client’s dog, Percy, the high energy level was a big factor in their doorbell barking. In cases like that, it’s important to address the underlying issue of excess energy before diving into the doorbell training.

Make sure your dog is getting plenty of physical and mental stimulation throughout the day. Codr suggests activities like the “doggy stair master,” snuffle mats, and food-dispensing toys to help burn off that pent-up energy. Once they’re a bit more relaxed, you can tackle the doorbell training with a much better chance of success.

The Payoff is Priceless

I know, I know – training your dog to ignore the doorbell might sound like a tall order. But trust me, the payoff is priceless. No more frantic barking, no more jumping on unsuspecting guests, no more stress for you or your four-legged friend.

Just imagine how much calmer life will be when the doorbell rings, and your dog simply trots over to their bed, tail wagging gently, waiting patiently for their well-earned treat. It’s a vision of domestic bliss, my friend. And with a little patience and consistency, it can be your reality.

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to to start your journey towards a peaceful, doorbell-friendly household. Your sanity (and your guests) will thank you.

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