How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Barking at Visitors?

dog barking in home

It’s not abnormal for your dog to bark at visitors to your home since they are remarkably territorial and think that someone at the door is actually an intruder, although it can be quite unsettling and even nerve wracking.  That is, unless, you take appropriate steps to train your dog not to bark at visitors at all. With that said the team of dedicated trainers here at Wolfen1 Dog Training wants to share some simple but kind and corrective actions you can take to effectively train your dog and over time make a positive difference in the lives of your dog, your guests and you.  

Tips for Training Your ‘Best Friend’

Take a Comfortable Walk
One of the more common tactics used for training dogs not to bark at visitors is simply to have your guest wait outdoors until you and your pup step outside to take a comfortable, short walk, just the three of you.  When you arrive back to the house, have your visitor step inside first, allowing him or her to get settled in comfortably and then you and the dog follow in behind. Typically, when someone is already set in place, a dog will not lash out and bark, but rather feel somewhat comfortable with an individual who has already made themselves right at home. 

Acquaint Your Dog with the Doorbell
It is a good practice to have a member of your family ring the doorbell a few times each and every hour over a 5-hour period and consistently for about a two-week period of time.  It is typically the loud sound of the doorbell that sets your dog in motion, so acquainting the pup with the sound of the doorbell will alleviate the annoying barking problems. This simple tactic will make your dog not only familiar with the sound of the doorbell but make him comfortable with it as well.  Be sure throughout the training process that you reward the pup routinely for responding positively to your training actions which, over time, makes visits to your home much more enjoyable.   

Put Your Pup on a Leash for a Mock Visit
Put your dog on a leash, then have a neighbor or friend work with you on the training by coming over and ringing your doorbell.   With your pup on the leash, walk over to the door to welcome your guest. Pet the pup and calm him as you open the door rewarding him with a special treat for every 10-second interval he does not bark at your visitor.  Invite your friend in and you and your pup walk together with them into the house. If the dog begins to bark at this point, hide the treats and walk in another direction with the dog away from your guest (this is called negative punishment).

Repeat this training tactic 2 or 3 times a day for a couple of weeks and over time, the dog will acquaint his barking with the removal of the treats and eventually stop barking altogether. The doorbell, will in time, become quite familiar to the dog and no longer an issue for you or your guests and your dog will learn to mingle comfortably with you and your guests.

The Professionals You Can Trust 

For more information on effective dog training tactics to use, or to learn more about our top-rated dog training programs here at Wolfen1 Dog Training,  be sure to reach out to one of our team members today!