Tips For Training Your Dogs Not To Bark Excessively At Visitors

  • 26/11/2019

Do you have a dog that barks every time the doorbell rings or someone knocks at the door? Of course, you want your dog to alert you of visitors. But, you also want your dog’s barking to stop once you know the visitor is a welcome one. Find out why your dog barks when a visitor arrives. Also, consider some tips on how to train your dog to stop barking excessively at visitors.

Why Does Your Dog Bark at Visitors?

Whether your dog is a golden retriever or a chihuahua, dogs are territorial. So, when there’s a knock at your door, your dog automatically wants to protect its territory from whoever is there. The goal of your training is to get better control over your dog’s barking without putting a stop to it altogether.

Tips for Training Your Dog Not to Bark at Visitors

Choose a Desirable Treat for Training Your Dog

One of the most important things to do when training your dog not to bark excessively at strangers is choose a desirable treat. It could be a milk bone, small pieces of ham or other lunch meat, etc. It should be something your dog can eat within a few seconds. Once you select a treat, use it only during training sessions so your dog knows it’s time for training when it sees the treats.

Create Simple Commands for Your Training Sessions

When training your dog not to bark excessively at strangers, it's best to use one or two-word commands. The word hush is a good command for stopping your dog’s barking. Also, good dog is a perfect phrase for praising your dog when it does what you want it to. Praise combined with a treat goes a long way to achieve success with your dog’s training.

Arrange Practice Sessions with a Neighbor or Friend

It’s difficult to practice this type of training without the help of a neighbor or friend. Ask the person to stand outside your door and knock only when you give a signal.

With your dog on a leash, give your neighbor the signal to knock. When the knock comes, your dog will start barking. Give the hush command in a calm voice until your dog stops barking. When that happens, reward it with a treat and praise.

Repetition and consistency are the two keys to successfully teaching your dog to give no more than a couple barks when the doorbell rings or there’s a knock. By repeating this process each day for several days, your dog will eventually connect the hush command with a treat.

Keep Your Training Sessions Positive

In the third day of training, if your dog is still barking excessively when your neighbor knocks, ignore its behavior and stand at the door. Your dog will soon recognize that it will not get a treat from you if it barks more than a couple times at the sound of a visitor at the door.

Designate a Spot Where Your Dog Should Go When People Visit

Another tip in training your dog not to bark excessively when a visitor arrives is assigning it a place to sit when someone knocks. This is especially helpful if you have more than one dog with this barking habit.

A nearby dog bed is a great place to send your dog when someone knocks at the door. Start by taking your dog to its bed and give it the command to stay. When your neighbor knocks, the dog is likely to start barking and move toward the door. Your job is to quietly take the dog back to its bed and give it the command to stay. When it stays in its bed after the knock comes, you can reward it with praise and a treat.

Change Up Your Training Routine

Change up your training routine so you can make sure your dog has fully learned the lesson. You can ask your neighbor to come at different times of the day to knock or ring the bell. Also, incorporate different people into your training. If you happen to see a delivery person approaching your door, ask the person to knock or ring the bell. Of course, explain the type of training work you’re doing with your dog. Seeing individuals dressed in uniform can help your dog get accustomed to all types of visitors. Monitor your dog's facial expressions to ensure it doesn’t feel threatened by someone dressed in a uniform.

Continue to Reward Your Dog’s Behavior While Reducing Treats

Continue to reward your dog when it barks just a couple times, then retreats to its bed as you open the door. After a week or two of positive behavior, you can begin to reduce the amount of treats you give to your dog for not barking excessively. Eventually, this behavior will become habit to your dog, and it won’t expect treats. But, of course, rewarding it with an unexpected treat will keep the lesson fresh in your dog’s mind!

Lastly, remember you don’t want to stop your dog’s barking completely. But, you can have more control over its barking behavior when people visit your home.

About the Author:

Lindsey Harper has always been a pet lover since she got her first puppy as a kid. She is the co-founder of, a pet blog where guides and tips are shared so dog lovers can raise their pups healthy and happy.

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