Who has a dog that goes crazy at the sound of the doorbell? I do – along with every dog owner that I have ever met. But here is why I don’t complain – in fact I encourage it.
First of all the sound of my doorbell doesn’t carry through the whole house. If I’m in my bedroom or office I won’t hear it, but Fiona will, and she will let me know if someone is here. Secondly, she is making the person on the other side of the door aware of her presence. A barking dog provides a little extra security. The bad guys don’t want to risk getting bit – go figure. Even if you have a little dog this remains true. They still have teeth that can do some damage. Also, barking dogs alert you and your neighbors. It turns out the bad guys don’t want to get caught either. Lastly, it disrupts solicitors. If you want to talk to them you can go outside or invite them in. You can also use them to help you train your dog. “Oh, I’m so glad that you rang my bell! Here – help me train my dog!” They came to you hoping that you would buy something from them. Feel free to take advantage of the opportunity to work with your dog on respecting the door or not jumping on guests.
I don’t correct my dog for barking when someone is at the door or in the yard. I tell her what a good girl she is until I open the door and then she is quiet. I don’t get upset if she barks when someone is working in the yard. I thank her and tell her that she is a good dog while I check it out. If I discover that it’s just the lawn guy or one of the neighbor’s cats I would play with her after telling her how good she is. She doesn’t get to keep barking. She alerted me like a good dog and now it’s time to do something else. If it ever turns out to be a prowler, I will call 911 and let her bark to her hearts delight!
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