Do you dread the doorbell ringing?


You’re relaxing at home, having a lovely time, when the peace is shattered by your doorbell.

Why? Because your dog goes crazy, barking in a frenzy and jumping around. Your stress levels go through the roof, worrying about upsetting your neighbours let alone being fed up with the loss of tranquillity in your own home.

You’re shouting at your partner for shouting at your dog. It’s chaos!

But don’t panic. You can improve the situation with some behavioural training techniques.


How to train your dog to ignore the doorbell


Firstly, it’s not a one size fits all approach. If your dog can be aggressive or gets frightened, the answer may be to take your dog away from the situation, moving to another room.

If your dog is friendly and excited, you can teach them to respond to the doorbell more calmly, whilst remaining near the door.

Of course, it’s important to remember that your dog is well intentioned. It is in their nature to try and warn you if a stranger is coming near to your house. It doesn’t take long for a young dog to associate the doorbell with someone approaching.

Your aim is for your dog to remain calm when the doorbell rings and to teach them to stop barking, on command.


General guidelines


  • Give your dog the best chance of your training succeeding by being consistent with your dedicated training time.
  • Have a helper available to pretend to be a visitor and ring the doorbell.
  • Use your usual training aids, like a clicker and treats when you want to reward your dog’s positive behaviour. You might want to direct your dog to a quiet place like their crate or bed when you are encouraging them to be calm.
  • Don’t shout at your dog as a punishment if they bark when the doorbell rings. It will only excite them more and it will give them a negative association with the sound of the doorbell which will only make their behaviour worse.


  • Make sure that all members of your household are on board with your training techniques so that everyone’s behaviour and responses are consistent and don’t confuse your dog, or dilute the effectiveness of your efforts.


Specific doorbell training


The website Wag! spells out in really useful, step by step detail, three different training methods you can try, to remove the stressful situation in your home of doorbell triggered barking.

Here is a taster of each…


The Reverse Training Method


Without ringing the doorbell, you stand by the door, encouraging your dog’s quiet behaviour with voice cues and treats.

Over time, you move further and further away from the door, repeating the cues and treats, until you’re in a different part of the house. You repeat these steps, adding rattling the doorknob, before taking it to the next level and actually opening the front door. Finally, you add into the mix someone ringing the doorbell.

If your dog still barks, keep going back to the previous steps and repeat until their behaviour changes.


The Ignore Doorbell Method


You have someone ring your doorbell while you sit quietly somewhere nearby. You ignore your dog if they bark and you don’t get up and answer the door. When your dog stops barking, you praise them and give them treats. However long it takes, when your dog stops barking you go to the door. If they start barking again, you ignore them and go back to sitting quietly.

You only open the door when your dog is sitting quietly. This way, they learn that, when the doorbell rings, sitting quietly gets a treat and the door gets opened, whilst barking gets ignored – no treat and no opened door.

If you are welcoming a visitor rather than receiving a delivery, make sure your visitor showers your dog with praise and treats too.


The Go To Place Method


You give your dog a ‘go to place’ command like “mat” or “room” to direct your dog to a mat, crate or a specific room. You go with them, and make it a really fun place with treats and praise. Repeat this exercise as much as you can, so your dog understands that when they are commanded to go to their place they will get lots of rewards. Ask your dog to stay there until they hear their release command, something like “free”.

When this behaviour is ingrained, have someone ring on the doorbell. Ignore any barking, and don’t go and answer the door. Instead, direct your dog to their place, then join them with lots of treats and praise. Instruct them to stay, whilst you go and answer the door.

Keep practising until your dog learns to stay quietly in their place to get a reward when the doorbell rings.


So, whichever training method you choose to break the habit of your dog barking when the doorbell rings, hopefully harmony will soon be restored and the sound of the doorbell will no longer cause mayhem in your home. Good luck!


This article is brought to you by Cherish Studios, passionate dog lovers sharing helpful tips and advice with our fellow dog lovers. For medical advice, please speak to a trained vet.


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