The doorbell rings, and Spot instantly takes it as his queue to wake up out of a deep sleep and spring toward the door, barking and making a huge commotion. The poor FedEx man is trembling, hoping your dog isn’t going to charge out the door and clobber him as soon as you crack it open an inch. You’re embarrassed, wedging yourself between the dog and the door, sticking one hand out to sign for the package and trying to ‘shush’ Spot to no avail. He has NO doggy door manners whatsoever!
As adoptive dog parents, we’ve all been there. It’s not one of the proudest moments of parenting a fur baby.
The good news:
This kind of behavior is fully preventable! That’s right; you can actually train your dog to have door manners. Even an obnoxious puppy can be trained in proper door etiquette.
How to Train Doggy Door Manners
Life-long pet lovers and owners of Pet Ponderosa Resort & Spa are here with some important tips on how to help you pup learn not to make a ruckus every time someone knocks on your door.
With a little bit of time and elbow grease, your dog can have good doggy door manners!
Cue Positive Behavior When Doorbell Rings
Did you know you can actually train your dog to do something worthwhile when the doorbell rings instead of going berserk?
I Heart Dogs explains “Do this by teaching your dog the behavior with a cue (so you can also cue it for times when there is no knock or bell). Then, teach the secondary cues by ringing the door bell, saying the cue, and then rewarding the behavior. After a bit of practice, your dog will start moving toward their crate or bed before you say the cue, after the bell or knock. That’s when you know they are starting to put the two together and you can test it by not saying the verbal cue.”
The cue you choose is up to you! For example, a simple request such as “go to your bed” works great in this situation. It saves you from having to drag your dog to his crate and lock it up every time a guest drops by.
When your pup has obeyed your cue, then you can reward him by inviting him to come greet your guests and receive attention once everyone is all settled. He’ll love it! This sort of training is the best choice for dog parents who prefer to answer the door without being accompanied by Spot.
Practice Sit and Stay Before Visitors Come
If you don’t mind your dog coming to the door with you to greet visitors, as long as he is cool and collected, you can train him to practice sitting quietly behind you when you open the door.
Big Dogs Huge Paws advises, “Since dogs learn that when the doorbell rings, and they run around barking, squealing, growling, and jumping off the walls, they will be rewarded with visitors to jump on, it is important to teach your dog the behavior you want him to do rather than what NOT to do.”
Train your dog to learn to sit and stay without a cue before you open the door so you can open the door without it even touching your dog. This will help you avoid the chaos and risk of your pup pouncing on every visitor.
Practice by having a family member ring the doorbell, and require your dog to sit quietly and calmly out of reach of the door before you open it. If he gets up or starts making a commotion when you start opening the door, shut it again until he calms down. You can even use a leash for greater control.
Repeat as many times as it takes until he is fully calm when opening the door. Reward his success with a treat! This will take patience and perseverance, but sooner than later, he will learn that whenever the door opens, he is expected to sit and stay.
Sit-and-stay behavior can even be practiced in other areas of the home away from the door. Work your dog up to being able to obediently sit-and-stay in one location for up to 2 minutes.
Don’t quickly give up if your pup struggles at first and don’t forget to reward obedience!
This orderly behavior will come in handy in a variety of situations. For example, when you yourself are coming home with an armload of groceries and you don’t have an extra hand to hold back your pup from bolting, being able to ask your dog to sit-and-stay until you get settled is highly practical.
Desensitize Doorbell Hysteria
By ringing the doorbell or knocking on your own door at random multiple times a day in the absence of guests arriving, your dog will get used to the doorbell or knocks and stop associating it with the arrival of guests.
In time, your pup will realize that a doorbell ring isn’t necessarily an occasion to jump up and down and spin cookies in front of the door.
Barking Isn’t Always Bad
A few barks when someone is at the door actually functions as an effective security system.
“Dogs will instinctively want to bark when people come to your door,” says World of Dog Training. “Some barking can be a great deterrent for potential intruders, and is the dog performing the job of warning you that someone is around. You don’t want to discourage your dog from being great security,” advises the source.
It’s not wrong to allow your dog a limited amount of barks (around five barks, depending on personal preference) before he is expected to quiet down upon a doorbell ring or knock. The important thing is to not let him get away with excessive barking.
Tacoma Area Doggy Daycare & Pet Spa
Training is Hard Work – Treat Your Pup to a Spa Day
Let’s face it; training a four-legged four baby is no easy feat! Dog training can be exhausting for both you and your pup. Still, the process can be very rewarding, especially if you finally exceed in helping Spot to have good doggy door manners!
One great way PNW dog parents can reward their precious pup for his hard work is to bring him in for a fun-filled and relaxing stay at Pet Ponderosa Resort & Spa! Treat yo pup! We’re conveniently located in Graham, WA, just a short drive from Tacoma.
With our premium dog grooming services as well as tricked-out doggy daycare facility, your pup will love his visit to our pet paradise. Filled with fun activities, room to roam, great puppy chow, opportunities to socialize, and affectionate attention from our pet-loving staff, your pup will feel right at home.
Make reservations now for you pup’s visit to Pet Ponderosa Resort & Spa!