Why Does My Dog Bark at the Doorbell?
Here's why your dog reacts to the doorbell ringing:
It's Exciting and it Interrupts their ActivitiesA ringing doorbell means something new is going to happen. It is a change of the daily routine. A doorbell ringing interrupts your dog from their activity: eating, playing, sleeping, etc and the noise of the ringing doorbell was a rude awakening. Whatever the interpretation of the interruption, it is still an altering of what was happening. For a dog, that's reason enough to speak.
Wants You To Know & Protect You & Your HomeIf your dog can't see you or your reaction to the ringing doorbell, he might wonder if you are aware of the signal that someone is waiting at the entrance to the home. By barking, he is alerting you to the fact that the doorbell is ringing and that you need to take the appropriate response action. Dogs quickly associate sound to activities that occur just after the sound is made. In his past experience, the ringing doorbell is quickly followed up by the opening of the door. For the dog, the bell ringing and the subsequent door opening are synonymous with a new person coming to the home. Your dog just wants you to know that there is a stranger trying to gain access to the home -this is a protective activity and is their natural instinct but it can be retrained.
Your dog is so excited to see what is going to happen and who is at the door. They are wondering who or what is waiting on the other side. Dogs are social animals wanting interaction. When the doorbell rings, the possibility exists that the new "someone" will want to pet them, play with them or scratch behind their ears. Dog who are curious normally stop barking when you open the door.
Sometimes a dog's barking is his way of telling you that the ringing of the doorbell is frightening to them. The ringing of the doorbell is often associated with the unknown. What is waiting on the other side? Is it something that might be dangerous to the family? Once again, this is a protective reaction for you and your family.There are several ways to train your dog to stop barking but we like this positive approach to retraining your dog. As with all dog training, the basics are simple, distract, reinforce the new behavior, and reward. Remember your dog is simply communicating with you and most likely trying to protect your family and home. Reinforcing them positively is the best way to reward them for protecting you and at the same time change their behavior.