By: Joel Allen

Hello folks! Anyone ever have a dog that barks if the neighbor even flushes their toilet? Well, I have a driveway alarm and doorbell that stays pretty active. If anyone pulls into my driveway or even approaches my door, nine times out of ten, I know.

I have a “Zoey” driveway alarm that seems to just know when someone pulls into my drive or even slows down in front of my house. Sometimes, one of my Danes peers out the window, but Zoey is too short. I laugh when I see my pack looking or trying to look out the window.

My doorbell is a “Minnie” doorbell. She peers through the blinds at anyone approaching, and she barks, letting anyone in earshot know, “I see you out there!” At times, the barking can be a nuisance, but I take their alerts seriously. There are times I think my crew likes to bark just to watch me go to the door and look out. When no one is there, I always say, “No one is here! Why are you barking?” Of course, I get the looks like, “What?! I thought someone was there!” And as if I am lying to them, they peer past my legs and look out the door to make sure I’ve missed nothing. WOW! Really?! I also have a sign on my door that says, “Don’t knock unless you are my neighbor! Call my cell phone!”

So, what can be done to teach our dogs not to bark at just anything? I know some of us have a dog that will bark if the wind blows. For that I cannot help, but the doorbell problem I can.

Let’s start with doorbell training. Ring your doorbell and watch the reaction of your dog. Is your dog barking and acting out? I recommend ringing the doorbell again every few minutes and walk your dog to the door. Show them that no one is there. What we are trying to do is desensitize them to hearing the doorbell. It may take a few times before your dog stops reacting to the doorbell. Reward them every time they do not react to the doorbell ringing. Remember, every time they react be sure to show them no one is there.

Now, let us change the game a bit. Have someone go outside and ring the doorbell. Take your dog to the door and let them see a familiar face standing outside the door. So when this can be done without your dog barking, praise and reward. This also may take a while to train. Just have patience.

Let’s say your doorbell does not work or there is not one, and every time someone knocks, your dog goes crazy. How can we handle this? First, stop rolling your eyes and think about how we trained for the doorbell. Start knocking on walls and doors. When your dog reacts, correct them by saying, “No or eh eh!” When they are quiet again, tell them, “Good.” Repeat this method and also incorporate knocking on the main door to the house. Every time this is done, show them that there is no one there. Eventually, I would recommend training with someone knocking on your door and training your dog the same as the doorbell method.

Eventually your dog will stop alerting at any bump or ringing of the doorbell, and peace may return to your home. Remember to be patient throughout this training.
By: Joel Allen

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