Originally posted on 12/30/18.
A common issue pet owners have is the dreaded doorbell or someone knock. So much that, we have handout specifically for this topic. To help those with this issue, management can be used to help alleviate the excitement or stress when someone arrives. Consider putting sign up next your doorbell or on the door. Have your friends or family text you when they arrive to prevent the chaos. It cuts down the use of the cue (doorbell) that someone’s there.
Then, we must desensitize the doorbell to be just another sound they hear. Right now, doorbell = someone’s at the door. I’m sure they run to the door and it’s stressful all around. Ring the door bell throughout the day. It’s recommended to do it ever 30 seconds for about 5 minutes. Kids love to help with this activity. Don’t enter that door when the activity is completed. Have them enter the garage or backdoor. Some security systems have the doorbell linked to an app on your phone. You can even Google doorbell sounds and play them throughout the day. They may react in the beginning but that’s normal. Over time, the dog will become less and less excitable by the sound because it isn’t reinforced with someone at the door.
Once the dog is desensitized to the sound, you can begin to change the cue. When the doorbell rings, consider training your dog to go to their Spot. That can be a kennel, rug, bed, whatever you want. You can work on Stay from this position and build on it from there.
So what happens with there is someone at the door? Well, put the dog on leash or place the dog in a crate, outside, or secure designated area. Greetings are a whole different topic! At the very least, teaching a solid Wait, can help bolting from the door or rushing your guests.