Posted November 13, 2023 in Pet Blog by Patti Croft
If your pup is barking at your guests, intervention is crucial, and the sooner, the better. You know this behavior can get out of hand quickly, so putting a stop to it now will help you enjoy your pet and your company without frustration. We have some effective techniques you need to try to halt the incessant barking.
Your dog may be barking at visitors out of fear, or it could be a trigger from the doorbell or knocking. When this is the case, desensitizing your pup to these stimuli can be helpful. Teach your pet that people can be fun and that visitors mean good things happen. Practice with someone coming over, and when the doorbell rings, give your pet a favorite toy. After repetitions, your dog will look forward to friends visiting.
You can teach your dog to go to a mat or bed when visitors arrive. The easiest way to teach this behavior is to practice ringing the doorbell or door knocking and use them as cues for your pup to go to the assigned area. Always use positive reinforcement with treats for these lessons.
That may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes your dog is merely trying to get your attention or the attention of your guests. When the doorbell rings and your dog begins to bark, try ignoring the sound. If your dog looks at you and sees no reaction, he will likely realize the behavior hasn’t accomplished anything. When the barking stops, give your pup some well-deserved treats.
Distraction can be an incredible technique for calming an anxious dog. Shifting the focus to something else can often stop the barking entirely. Try teaching your pet to sit or lie down when a doorbell rings or knocking is heard. You can also use a toy as a means of distraction. You’re trying to get the attention focused on something positive.
Most dogs love going for a walk more than almost anything else. It’s a joy to get outside and see the scenery and smell all the scents of the outside world. Instead of having your guests startle your pup by ringing a loud doorbell, ask them to meet you outside. Not only are you getting your pet some much-needed exercise, but you are also working out some of the energy used with barking. Most dogs will settle more quickly when they’re relaxed.
It’s important to remember that your dog isn’t barking to frustrate you or your guests. Using positive reinforcement is the best way to calm an anxious pup, and these techniques are all about redirecting the focus to something your dog will enjoy. Some of these will take a little time, but once you see the calming change in your dog, it will be well worth the effort. Barking is instinctive for dogs, but you can use these tips to change that behavior.