It’s the morning and you go out to make sure the kids get on the school bus all right, only to be met by a glum neighbor. They were burgled last night and the car was stolen. It’s a sickening thought and the idea that it could have happened to you fills you with dread. It has long been known dogs act as an effective deterrent to burglars, but only if your dog makes himself known.
If he barks at the door when anyone approaches, he will send intruders running a mile, guaranteeing to help you sleep peacefully at night. While the sound may be mildly annoying at times, it’s a small price to pay for a secure and well-protected home. Training your dog in this way will also stimulate his mind and make it easier to teach him other commands too.
Thankfully, training him to bark at the door isn’t as complicated as many people think. It consists mainly of obedience commands to reinforce the behavior you want to see. It will also entail managing his environment so he understands what area he is supposed to protect with his booming bark.
If he is a puppy, his brain should be eager to learn and training will probably yield results in just a few days or a week. If he is older and not quite playing with a full deck of cards anymore, then you may need a little more patience and be willing to invest a couple of weeks into training.
Mastering this training will give you a secure and well-protected home. No one will be able to get near your home without your dog warning you loud and clear first.
Before you get going you will need a few things. The door in question will, of course, be essential, so make sure that is accessible and free from distractions. You will also need food or treats and lots of them. If he isn’t so keen on treats, breaking down his favorite food into small chunks will do the trick.
You will also need to set aside 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks until he has the hang of it. Once you’ve got all of the above, just bring a positive frame of mind and patience and you’re ready to get to work!
Very sweet dog, would like him to bark when someone comes to the house like my first dog who I had since I was a kid used to. Any tips? Sweet dog, not aggressive except one time another dog tried to take his toy that me and him were playing with.
Hello Daniel, To teach pup to bark and be more alert, first, teach pup the Speak command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-speak Once pup knows the speak command, recruit friends pup doesn't know to come to your door while pup watches from a window or listens from the other side of the door. Command speak and reward with a treat when they do. Practice with telling pup to speak each time the person comes to the door, until pup barks on their own when the person comes without you saying speak first. At that point, have the person come to your door, wait seven seconds to see if pup will bark on their own, reward if they do, and command speak if they don't - then reward but give a smaller reward when you tell pup opposed to when pup does it on their own. Practice until pup will bark each time someone comes to the door. Practice with different people you can recruit, that pup doesn't know so that pup will learn to do this with anyone who comes to the door. Practice with you in the room and eventually with you in another room - going to pup and rewarding them if they bark on their own without you there - gradually stand further and further away from pup while practicing to work up to them barking still while you are out of the room. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog Olive is 7 year old Lab Mix. She scratches on the door to get inside the house, outside, or in a room where I am and the door is closed - ie the bathroom. I don't mind if she barks to be let in and out (though the behavior is not to go to the bathroom and only because she is bored or wants to sit somewhere else), but she has ruined many doors by scratching on them. It also happens at other people's houses. Her behavior to get into the bathroom or other closed door rooms is linked only to a few people and I would venture a guess that it is separation anxiety related. How do I teach her to bark or just sit by the door? I don't know where to begin!!!
Thank you for the great photo! I suggest having Olive learn to ring a bell although this will work mainly for outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out (The Peanut Butter Method may do the trick). You should also but door protectors in the meantime, or put something there she won't like, such as bubble wrap that feels funny and makes a noise. As for the separation anxiety while someone is in the bathroom, why not give Olive an interactive treat toy or a kong filled with a few treats and peanut butter (no xylitol in the peanut butter as it is toxic!). This may help to keep her busy but also learn that the closed door does not mean she is separated for a long time. As well, don't reward Olive right now for scratching the door by letting her out. Of course, when you train with the bell, that is another story. Good luck!
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