Calming a crazy dog when the doorbell rings -

Calming a crazy dog when the doorbell rings

Dogs are great for both companionship and protection, but sometimes they can be undiscriminating burglar alarms. They might start barking whenever anyone, friend or foe, approaches the house. Our pet pro, Luciano Aguilar, can show you how to silence those false alarms.

"Dogs are excitable creatures, especially when the doorbell rings," says Luciano.

Do you ever go to someone's house and ring the doorbell only to be greeted by a loud dog warning you away? Luciano has a few tips to help owners of door-greeting, barking dogs that will help them calm down -- and keep their guests coming!

Most dogs have a natural tendency to alert you when they hear somebody come to the door. They instinctively respond to the doorbell by…no big surprise…barking.

The doorbell is introducing something new and exciting into your dog's world. The barking is how he expresses his excitement at this unexpected turn of events. Most of the time, your dog is not really being aggressive. It's more about informing you that there's a visitor, which is a good thing.

But you don't want your dog's barking to become a nuisance. Barking always sounds aggressive to the person standing on the other side of the door, and can make your visitor feel unwelcome or even threatened.

What you want to do is regain control of your dog and bring his energy back down to where it was before the doorbell rang. The way to do that is to redirect your dog's attention to yourself. Put your dog's leash on and pull him back, and then give him a task such as "sit" or "go to your place." Over time, you'll be able to redirect your dog's attention and get him to perform his task without the use of a leash.

Now let's say your dog's not only a doorbell barker, but also jumps up on anyone who walks through the door. Your visitor might be polite about it, but very few people really like that kind of greeting. If you've got a jumper, the same training technique applies.

Solution: Put your dog's leash on, redirect his attention back to you and command him to sit or go to his place.

There are a few things your visitors can do to help you teach your dog not to jump up on them. Ask them to stay calm, keep their hands to their sides, and ignore your dog. If they speak in a loud voice, wave their hands, or give your dog attention, he may perceive it as play and that will trigger more jumping.

If your guests are boring to your dog, he will be more inclined to settle down, redirect his attention back to you and follow your commands.

Training your dog to respond calmly to the sound of the doorbell and how to greet guests in a well-mannered way takes time and patience. Make that effort and you might be surprised to hear your doorbell ringing a lot more often.

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