Does your dog bark every time they ring the bell? You should know that this is normal and typical behavior in dogs, however, it can also generate conflict situations with some neighbors, so in many cases it may be necessary and recommended to work on it. In addition, we will not use any type of punishment, but we will base this entire process using only positive reinforcement . You do not believe it?
In this article from Animal Expert we will teach you how to prevent my dog from barking when there is a knock on the door , explaining why it happens, what type of learning is involved in this behavior and most importantly: a complete step-by-step for you to learn to handle the situation. . Find out how to teach a dog not to bark when they simply ring the bell below!
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- Why does my dog bark when someone comes home?
- Why does my dog bark when the doorbell rings?
- How to teach your dog not to bark when the doorbell rings?
- Related issues and concerns
Why does my dog bark when someone comes home?
Dogs are territorial animals by nature , so it is not surprising that some dogs bark when someone comes home. They carry out this behavior with the aim of alerting us and, at the same time, alerting the possible intruder or visitor that their presence has not gone unnoticed. It is important to emphasize that this is a behavior characteristic of the species and that it should not really be interpreted as a behavior problem.
However, if the dog barks when someone comes home or when they hear the neighbors excessively and compulsively , we risk creating a problem of coexistence with other residents. Furthermore, this behavior also causes the dog to experience high peaks of stress and anxiety .
Would you like to know how to teach your dog not to bark when the doorbell rings? You should know that it is an easy and simple process , but that it requires perseverance, dedication and a good ” timming “. Find out below how to prevent your dog from barking at the door for long minutes … Keep reading!
Why does my dog bark when the doorbell rings?
Before explaining how to keep your dog from barking when there is a knock on the door, you will need to understand how classical conditioning , a type of associative learning , occurs . Understanding it correctly will help you to effectively solve this barking problem:
- The timbre is initially a neutral stimulus (EN) that does not provoke any reaction in the dog.
- When the bell rings, people (EI) appear and the dog barks (RI) to alert us.
- In the end, the timbre becomes a conditioned stimulus (EC), and the dog gives a conditioned response (RC), as a result of the conditioning, since the dog associates the timbre with the arrival of people.
How to teach your dog not to bark when the doorbell rings?
To get your dog to stop barking whenever the bell rings, you will need to work precisely using the bell . How? You should ask a family member or friend to help you perform a “counter conditioning” process. Here we explain in more detail how to prevent your dog from barking when the doorbell rings:
- Ask a friend or family member to stand under your house and to ring the bell when you ask them to. You can use the phone to coordinate the ringing bells. You should not open the door or let it in, the goal is for the doorbell to become a neutral stimulus for your dog again. For this reason, the sound of the bell should not be a precedent for the arrival of any person, but a mere sound of the environment.
- When the dog barks you should completely ignore it, even if it is somewhat annoying to you.
- Repeat this process as many times as necessary until, on some occasion the dog does not bark, then you must congratulate him with a clickand a prize (if you have worked the dog clicker ) or with a ” very good ” and a prize if you do not like to work with this tool. It is important that you be very fast so that the dog is not distracted and understands that the click or the ” very good ” (and its corresponding reinforcement) appear when he does not bark after the bell has sounded.
- It can happen that the dog needs between 10 and 30 repetitions before understanding and associating correctly what is happening. You must be patient and hit the exact moment of the reinforcement.
We will repeat this process on a daily basis, recording the progress in a notebook , to see how many times the dog does not bark of all the times we have rang the bell. Once the dog stops barking 100% of the time, we will work with visitors so that people can come home without the dog barking. Then we must alternate real visits and ringing calls that do not imply the arrival of people in our home.
It is a simple process, because all we have to do is reinforce the dog when it ignores the bell , however, it will take days or weeks to work it if it is a behavior that has been taking place for a long time.
Related issues and concerns
Below we show you the problems that may arise during the process and how to act:
- My dog never stops barking: you may need more repetitions for the dog to start associating that the ringing sound does not always imply that a person appears. You should also start with short ringing sounds and increase the volume or ringing tones.
- My dog barks at people when they get home: dogs generally carry out this behavior with the aim of receiving attention, so you should ask those who visit your home to ignore your dog and pet him only when he stops barking. . If your dog also barks a lot when you get home, you should also follow the same procedure.
- My dog had stopped barking but has now stopped barking: if we stop practicing “false visits” it is likely that the dog will recover its old habit. Make false ringing sounds again that don’t involve people coming home.
- Can I use an electric shock collar? The European Society for Veterinary Clinical Ethology notes that the use of this type of tools not only does not demonstrate greater effectiveness than other types of training, but can also cause stress, discomfort, pain and anxiety in dogs. Adequate learning does not take place either, therefore, the use of this type of tool is totally discouraged.
Finally, note that if after following this procedure for several days without obtaining any results, you should consider going to a professional dog trainer or educator so that they can correctly evaluate the case and orient you in a personalized way.