The Woof Blog

WOOF! How to Train Your Dog Not to Bark at Guests

Okay, so it’s really great that your dog barks when someone you don't know comes to your door or prowls around your yard. But if he's barking all the time, even if it's invited guests that have come over, and when he keeps on barking at them all the time that they’re there, it can be embarrassing for you, and very annoying for your visitors.

Why Dogs Bark

The first thing you need to remember is that it is a natural instinct for your dog to protect his territory and his pack, and considering that you are part of his pack, he will go out of his way to look after you. While this is quite normal behavior, if your dog barks incessantly, you must do something about it as soon as possible, or it could become a habit. So, what do you do to stop your dog from barking at your visitors?

Bribing Good Behaviour

Next time visitors come to your door, have a treat in your hand when you open the door, allow your dog to bark a few times, and praise him for barking, with a “good boy,” or “good dog.” Then, after showing your dog the treat, say “quiet,” and as soon as he stops barking, give him the treat, and praise him again.

When he barks at your visitors again, repeat the process all over again. Do this every time someone comes to your door, gradually lengthening the time each time, that you give him the treat. Keep a box of treats near the door, and have your visitors give him a treat as they arrive. He will eventually realize that when visitors come to your door, it’s treat time for him, and will stop barking at them while your guests are visiting.

Don't Yell!

It might be tempting to yell at your dog when he does things you don't want him to, but the truth is, when you do this and your dog is barking, he just thinks you're joining in! He barks, you yell, so you must agree with him, right?

A calm, firm, low voice works much better, and if all else fails, it's a good idea to keep your dog in a separate room, away from the entrance area of your home, until your guests have arrived and settled. Missing the excitement that goes along with welcoming new arrivals may be all it takes to keep your dog quieter when you have people over!

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