Spending time at home has resulted in more visitors at the door, whether it’s a grocery delivery, Amazon dropping off a package or takeout being delivered. Being isolated at home means your dog gets less socialization opportunities, which results in less exposure to new people. While barking is a form of communication for your pup, it can become disruptive and can make those on the other side of the door uncomfortable. Check out these tips to help your cooped-up dog and keep things calm at your front door.
Reward the Quiet
When a dog senses a presence at your door, they view it as an intruder and immediately want to notify you. Cue the incessant barking. Teach your pup that they don’t have to bark every time someone is as the front door. When they stop barking, reward them with their favorite snack and praise them for being a good dog. This teaches them that not barking gets them a special treat. Consistency is key, so be sure to reinforce this behavior whether it’s you, your kids or roommate answering the door.
Ignore the Barking
It’s natural to want to teach your dog that their behavior is unwanted by speaking to them, but in the case of barking, ignoring them is best. If your pup barks at the sound of a knock or doorbell ringing, don’t respond to his or her behavior by talking to or reprimanding them. When you raise your voice, your dog thinks you’re joining in on the excitement and will continue to bark. If the barking is ongoing, try turning your back on your pup so he or she understands that the noise doesn’t elicit a reaction. While your instinct might be to open the door to stop the barks, it actually rewards the bad behavior. Don’t give in! Do not open the door until there is silence. Any time the barking stops, immediately reward your dog with a pat on the head or tell them “good boy or girl.”
Occupy Their Attention
Redirect your dog’s attention away from the person at the door. Does your pup have a favorite toy? Keep it close by so that you can ask him or her to get it, not only to preoccupy their attention, but inhibit them from barking. Teach your pup to react to the stimuli by focusing on another action such as lying down on their bed. Do this by putting a treat on their bed and saying, “go to your bed.” Once your dog responds to this, try opening the door while he or she is laying on the bed, but if they get up, shut the door immediately. Continue until they stop reacting to the door being opened. Next thing you know, your dog will be a calm greeter.
Tire Them Out
A tired dog is a good and happy dog! Ensure your pup is getting enough physical exercise and mental stimulation each day. This will result in less barking out of boredom, frustration or pent up energy. The amount of activity he or she needs will depend on their breed, size, age and health. Are you overwhelmed at the thought of providing your dog with the proper amount of activity they need while you’re working from home or balancing a busy schedule? Let Dogtopia be your dog’s home away from home! They’ll enjoy 8-10 hours of open play in our safe and clean playrooms under the watchful eye of our trained Canine Coaches. Together with their BFFFs (Best Furry Friends Forever) your dog will engage their mind in stimulating brain games and burn off energy as they play and socialize with other like-minded dogs. At the end of the day, you’ll pick up a happy, but tired pup. Find a Dogtopia in your neighborhood and schedule dog daycare today.