7 Secrets to Keeping Your Dog Calm When The Doorbell Rings 

From the postman with a parcel to a friend popping by for a cup of tea, your doorbell probably rings at least once a day.

If your dog doesn’t react, it’s no big deal. But we know from first-hand experience at Tug-E-Nuff Dog Gear that if you have a dog that goes bananas every time the doorbell rings, it can quickly become tiresome.


What causes doorbell barking?

First up, we need to look at why some dogs bark and jump all over the place when the doorbell rings.

For lots of dogs, it all about excitement and they bark in anticipation of what or who is on the other side of the door (maybe it’s a Tug-E-Nuff delivery!).

Other dogs feel territorial about their home and see someone approaching the door and making a strange dig-dong noise come from it as a threat. Instead of sitting quietly on the sofa, they bark loudly to alert you and as a warning to the person on the other side.


So, what’s the secret to changing their behaviour?

The key here is to associate the sound of the doorbell with something positive for the dog (usually, a treat or a game of tug with their favourite Tug-E-Nuff toy).

This won’t happen on its own. You need to plan in some time for training…

  1. Ask your dog to sit near the door, with a treat ready.
  2. Ring the doorbell. If they do not react, give them the treat. If they do, show the treat and get them to sit calmly again. Ring the doorbell again and repeat the process.
  3. Only offer the treat when they react calmly.
  4. Remain patient and calm at all times. Train in short sessions to avoid frustration. Be prepared for a few set-backs.
  5. Over time, you will no longer need to offer a treat each time – but always praise them.
  6. NEVER punish your dog for barking at the doorbell. Never shout or growl back at them. This could actually make things worse.
  7. Positive reinforcement (and lots of time and patience) is the only way to change an established behaviour like doorbell barking.


Have you successfully trained your dog to react calmly when the doorbell rings? We’d love to hear how you did it in the comments…

Thanks to our followers on Facebook who asked for help with doorbell barking. Are you following us?

If doorbell barking isn’t a problem, but excessive chewing is, check out this other piece we wrote about using positive reinforcement to stop unwanted chewing once and for all.

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Liz - November 14, 2018

We’re really struggling with this with our 18 month old Springer. We have a baby gate so he can’t get to the door but he jumps up and down barking madly when the bell goes. People find him quite scary. I’m trying to desensitise him and get him to go into his crate by using a 2nd bell push I can carry round with me. He gets the idea but knows no one’s at the door! As soon as we have a visitor we’re back to square one. I’ll give Debbie’s idea a try and ring the bell whenever we leave it enter the house.

Debbie Quinn - October 27, 2018

Hi there, we start doing similar to what you wrote above, we treated the doorbell as a non event. We rang the bell and reward calm when we leave or enter our home with or without Murphy our spaniel.
I hope your tips helps many more owners and dogs x

Jacqueline Ellis - October 27, 2018

Thank you for this guidance… will certainly give it a try. We have one issue with one of our dogs, now 2 years’ old. He will still keep jumping up at people and more worryingly, children. He is now at Kennel Club training for Gold star having achieved bronze and silver. He behaves impeccably at classes but get him home and he’s a different dog!! any advice?!

Pam Norman - October 27, 2018

Very helpful and confirming! We have managed to improve this behaviour but I can see that one thing we must do is stop telling them to shut up…..you’re right, it doesn’t work and kind of encourages the noise, haha!

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