Why Does My Dog Bark When Someone Comes To The Door?

Although your dog may be calm and even-tempered, they become the opposite once the doorbell rings. In this case, your well-mannered dog will behave just like any other dog and start barking. You might be scratching your head and start asking why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door? Loud yapping dogs cause a stir and create disorder. You might want to find out the reasons why they get stirred up so you can put a stop to this behavior once and for all.

Why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door? —top reasons

Why Does My Dog Bark When Someone Comes To The Door

They are Alerting You

Majority of dogs are predisposed to associate noises at the door with the presence of the person on the other side. They know that this person wants to come in their territory. Your dog wants to alert you, and the best way they can get your attention is by barking. Since they have such excellent hearing, dogs will often pick up when someone is near the door even before the bell rings.

Barking is the way your dog can call your attention to answer the door. It is the only way that they can get you to act.

Dogs have a keen hearing and are excellent at connecting sounds with certain actions. This is the basis of clicker training and why it is such an excellent way to train your dog. Hence, this is the reason why your dog has such a strong reaction to doorbells.

They have already established a pattern that happens after the doorbell rings. When they bark, you will immediately walk to the door and open it before ever knowing what’s on the other side.

In your dog’s mind, they will need to bark before you open the door.

It triggers their protective instincts

No matter how domesticated and well-mannered they are, many dogs still see themselves as the guardians of the home and family.

Once the doorbell goes off, it sends out the signal that someone is coming to disturb your dog’s territory.

When they bark, they establish their territory and warn the intruder that they are present and ready to guard. Your dog knows that there is potentially something good or bad on the other side of the door.

There might be an intruder, and at the same time, it could also be a family friend whom they are close to, and better yet, it could be the pizza delivery man.

Barking indicates that they are both excited and protective, depending on the situation.

It should be noted that your dog will often take its emotional signals from you. If you are excited to open the door for a friend, they will be excited too.

If they see that you are worried your dog will pick up on your fear and react similarly.

You can find out if your dog is terrorized and whether they think their territory is being threatened when they bark at the door.

Experts say that canine body language will reveal a lot in this case. If their ears are drawn back, and their tail is held low, they are likely scared. However, a threatening posture with the tail held upright and ears up signifies territorial behavior.

Try and see the motivations behind your dog’s barking since that will give you a heads up on how to train them out of this habit.

How to Stop Your Dog from Barking at the door– why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door?

Why Does My Dog Bark When Someone Comes To The Door

Never fear if your dog is a pathological doorbell barker. Everything is not lost, and you can set rules to stop them if you are willing to invest the time and effort.

As discussed earlier, dogs can associate sounds with actions and behaviors. The secret is to retrain them to connect the sounds of the doorbell with a calmer disposition.

Arm yourself with some treats and practice with your dog every time someone knocks on the door. You might have a chance to do this frequently if you get a lot of visitors.

Don’t yell at your dog to stop barking since the anger and volume of your voice will probably drive them to bark further and react fearfully.

Instead, when the doorbell goes off, gently call your dog to move away from the door and get them to sit and stay put. If they follow you, reward them with a treat.

Do this command several times and make sure to call them into the different areas of your home once they have assimilated your training. Using a clicker makes training easier and effectively reinforces behaviors that lets your dog respond appropriately.


Each time your dog refrains from barking at the door and follows your command instead, make sure to reward them with a treat.

With practice, the training will become a habit, and they will automatically connect the sounds of the doorbell with a reward.

If they have established good behavior, a treat won’t be needed every time, but you can still offer them some to keep them interested and keep them calm.

If you have multiple dogs, make sure to focus on the alpha dog when you start training since this will give you an easier time in training the others as they learn to follow the example of their alpha.

Why Doesn’t My Dog Bark at The Door?– why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door?

On the other hand, you may be scratching your head why your dog doesn’t bark at the door.

If you brought home a new dog or puppy and you discovered that they retain their calm and polite behavior when the doorbell goes off, then be thankful to the stars for your stroke of luck.

Barking at noise interruptions like ringing doorbells or knocks at the doors is a learned behavior. If your new dog or pup doesn’t bark, you still won’t get the assurance that they won’t start barking.

They might pick up on this habit next time or next month, so don’t rest on your laurels.

Instead of being passive about their silence, immediately train them for good behavior by giving them rewards each time they are calm and quiet when the door goes.

When you conditioned them to associate the sounds of the doorbells with calm behavior and oncoming treats, they will likely never bark in the future.

Training your dog to connect the sounds of the doorbell with rewards has far-reaching effects in establishing good behavior aside from simply not barking.

One instance is they will not develop irrational fears at disturbing noises. They might even be more inclined to be friendlier and welcoming to your visitors rather than fearful and territorial.

How to Stop a Dog from Barking at the door– why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door?


Having a dog barking at the door can be extremely irritating no matter what the reason is. Fortunately, there are plenty of techniques you can use to prevent your dog’s bad behavior. You can prevent them from barking through modification techniques, classical training, or by targeting underlying problems. Regardless of the reasons your dog barks at the door, you can stop this behavior at once with the right methods for your individual dog.

Step one–Socialize your dog

Many dogs bark at the door because they are not socialized with other people than you. To get rid of this behavior, work on getting your dog adjusted to all kinds of people. Take out your dog for a walk down the busy street where there are tons of people to meet. Make sure that these interactions are fun and enjoyable by giving the people you meet some treats to give to your dog and encourage them to pet your dog in a nice way.

The goal of this exercise is to train your dog to interact with as many people as possible and to let them know that not all strangers are threatening.

One tip you can use is to take your dog to the park or doggie daycare so they can get used to mixing with other dogs regularly.

Step two–foundational obedience training

If you haven’t trained your dog to respond to commands, now is the time to begin. By training your dog how to sit, stay, and lie down, you are laying the groundwork for them to stop barking when you give them the signal. The foundational behavior training method typically involves positive reinforcements. Meaning that when the dog follows your command, it should be followed with a treat or reward to make the dog want to repeat the behavior in the future. Regardless if your dog is a pup or an adult, any dog is trainable with some time and effort.

Step three– teaching the stop command

If you have applied the foundational training with your dog, build on their acquired skills and train them further to stop making noises when you ask them to. Use the trigger words “quiet” or “stop” when the dog has stopped barking. Offer a treat when the dog has been quiet for several seconds. After a few weeks into the training, start saying the trigger words “quiet” and “stop” when your dog is aggressively barking. Wait for them to calm down before offering a treat. The dog will stop barking since they know they can get a treat for their silence.

If the dog has learned to quiet down once you say the trigger words gradually move from giving a treat when it stops, to giving it a treat only every other time. Increase the interval to every third, or every fourth, and finally, just giving them a gentle pet and love when they refrain from barking. Eventually, they will stop barking even if there is no reward to because it is already a habit.

Step four– Acknowledge the barking

It is a good idea to acknowledge your dog’s barking to let your dog feel that they have done their job. Dogs will usually bark at the door to get your attention that someone is outside. For example, your dog may consider the mailman or your neighbor as a source of threat, and it wants to alert you. When you acknowledge your dog’s barking, it can calm them down because they will know that you are aware of the threat and can respond to it.

Calm down your dog by saying thank you.

Step five-set your dog on the task

You might also consider sending your dog on a different task to distract it. Your dog will likely stop barking if you encourage it to do other things. You have the option to choose any task, but the best activity is to get them to play fetch or to retreat to a mat or bed on command. Once your dog learns your command, they will be too distracted with their new activity and stop barking.

When you let your dog play fetch, it has the added benefit of stuffing something in your dog’s mouth, making it difficult to play and bark at the same time.

Step six– desensitize your dog

Exposing your dog to all kinds of noises regularly can make them less interested in barking at the door when the doorbell goes off, and they hear something odd. Make all kinds of varying and sudden noises throughout the day, both loud and quiet noises. Do these for several weeks, and your dog should get desensitized to the commotion. However, when you start this activity, be prepared that your dog will be going on an uproar before they settle down.

Managing Your Dog When You’re Expecting Lots of Visitors– why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door?

On party nights or when you’re expecting an influx of visitors, you should manage your dog’s behavior. You don’t necessarily need to have a perfectly trained dog. You need to apply good management and put it in place.

Establish a safe zone for your dog on the opposite side of your house from the door. Set them up on a cozy spot to snuggle in and give them something to chew on and turn on the radio or television to keep them company. Cover-up noises at the door.

You might also get a family member to hang out with your dog in their safe zone so they can ignore the doorbell all through the night. You might also consider hiring a dog sitter to take the dog out for an activity outside.

Doorbells don’t have to be scary. By combining training and behavior management, you can get your dog to love the ringing noise or at least just ignore it.

Final thoughts

A ringing doorbell is distracting enough but combined with a dog’s loud, high-pitched yapping it can turn up the ruckus in otherwise peaceful surroundings. If you have multiple dogs, expect pandemonium when the doorbell goes off. Why does my dog bark when someone comes to the door? Get into the mind of your dog and know that they have good reasons for their barking. Apply training methods and techniques to get them to calm down and assure them that everything is all right.