The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #72 The Doorbell

April 28, 2021 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 3 Episode 72
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #72 The Doorbell
Show Notes Transcript

Do you have a dog who goes crazy when the doorbell rings? Today's podcast is all about helping you create a training plan to change your dog's unruly behavior to a more calm, well-mannered behavior. 

Support the show (

This is the puppy training podcast episode number 72. The doorbell This podcast is designed to help you on your journey of becoming best friends through love and learning as you train your own dog from home, and I'm here to help you every step of the way, this is the puppy training podcast. And I'm your host, Amy Jensen. Hey, everybody. Today I want to talk about doorbells. I've taught this a lot in the past, but I realized I haven't done a podcast on it yet. So I'm actually going to share with you a part of our doorbell class that I taught a while ago as this podcast today, and I think you'll enjoy it. So here we go.

Alright, so I'm excited about today's topic, because this seems to be something that I hear about a lot. I wish my dog wouldn't bark on the door ring doorbell rings, I wish the dog wouldn't, you know, get so excited when somebody knocks on my door and a guest comes over how do I fix this? What do I do. So if you have a very brand new puppy, or if you have an adolescent dog, or maybe even a dog with a little bit older, we have a mix, it's in our program, any dog can learn this, and you can start at any time, the first thing I want you guys to do is to think, what do I want my dog to do? So instead of thinking, I don't want my dog to do this, or I don't want my dog to do that, we really have to have a very clear picture of what we want our dog to do. 

So when I you know when happens at my house that the doorbell rings, or somebody knocks on the door, I like that my puppy will run and sit on the chair and stay there until I released him. And that's what I want it to look like. And once you have that very clear picture of what it should look like, then you can come up with a training plan. And we're going to take that plan and teach it to your dog step by step. And then we're going to use what's called habituation. So we're going to go throughout the day, and I might just randomly knock on the wall. And I might do that, you know, 20 times a day to the point where my puppy doesn't really care when something knocks on the wall or on the door. And I might have my kids go and ring the doorbell, you know, five or 10 times a day at the beginning until my puppies like oh, yeah, that's not that exciting anymore. So it's kind of a combination of all of these things to get your puppy to be like Bruno was in the video where he just runs to the door, he gets up on his chair, he sits there calmly and waits until I release him and then he gets off. 

As you can see Bruno's spot is that chair, and when that door opens, there is a very clear path for him if you wanted to, to dart out that door. And I know some people are like, that won't work for me. And that's totally fine. You don't have to be have the chair right next to the door where it opens as your puppy spot. So here are some other ideas. It could be a chair in a different room, it could be a dog bed, dog beds are nice, because you can move them around. So you could have a permanent dog bed set in a room somewhere. And it might even not even be in the room next to your door, it could be in the great room that's down the hallway. Or maybe it's around the corner in the kitchen or something. So that's totally doable. Some of you I know have really nice built in dog beds back in your laundry room areas. And that's a really great spot to train your puppy to go the doorbell rings, he goes back in the laundry room in his bed, he stays there until you release him to come out. That's fabulous. an adjacent adjacent room with or without doors. 

I happen to have on the left side of my entryway, you guys couldn't see it in the video, but I have an office and there's some French doors there that close. That's a great you know, another place with a natural barrier that you wouldn't even have to have help. You could put your puppy in that room or he just knows to go in there. When the doorbell rings, you shut the doors, you do your business, then you let him out a crate is another great one. 

While we're doing this training, your puppy is obviously not going to get this today or tomorrow, this is going to be some one of those behaviors that takes a while to train and to strengthen and lengthen. So if you have a brand new puppy that seven, hopefully not seven weeks, but 10 weeks, 12 weeks, even eight weeks that you're just brand new starting out with him, this is going to be something that you're going to have to wait until he's a little older to have the patience to do what we're asking him to do. You can start the behavior of every time the doorbell rings, you're taking your little puppy to his designated spot. And you're doing what you saw me do with Bruno as I'm feeding them treats while the person answers the door and comes in and talks and things like that. You can totally do that with a brand new puppy. Just don't expect your puppy tomorrow to just sit there by himself without food. He's just not gonna do it without rewards, because it takes time to build this behavior into them. And to lengthen it to the point that they have enough patience to sit there while you're doing something that they think is super exciting. So just be patient as you go through this but a crate is a good. The reason I was mentioning that is because a crate is valuable because if you have that brand new puppy right now that you can practice this behavior and teach it to them but they might not be ready to actually do it when a guest comes. In that case, I would just put them in their crate, shut the door. You can go into the door, talk to your guests. The important thing is that your dog is not getting the opportunity ready to practice jumping on the guests as they walk into your house, we don't want them to be able to practice any of those behaviors. So I do highly recommend that you come up with some plan for when the doorbell rings or when a guest comes over. Because this happens. This is a life experience that happens on a daily basis with our dogs. And so we need to have a plan of what it's going to look like with our puppy. Otherwise, I guarantee that your puppy has a very clear plan in his mind of what that's going to look like. And I can guarantee it's going to involve probably some crazy energy and some jumping, possibly even some barking when that doorbell goes off. So let's make a plan. Now what do you want it to look like? Really detail, you know, make a detailed outline of step by step of what that's going to look like with your dog. And then we can start to make a training plan with it. The last one I put on here is on leash. So when I'm training a brand new puppy to do this behavior, I put them on leash, a little 4-foot lightweight leash, so they can kind of just drag around that way if they were to jump off their bed, and they have a way of, you know, getting them back under control and back on the bed where you would like them to be. The first part is the doorbell goes off, we're going to lower our puppy to their chosen spot. Hopefully at this point, you have a pouch, a treat pouch, or you have a jar full of treats, and you're going to lure your puppy onto their spot, and then you're going to walk to and then your other goal is to turn the knob. And then if possible, open the door. 

Now I broke those out on these instructions, because you might have to start with just walking to the door. We might get our puppy on their dog bed. And then maybe we can take a few steps and walk to the door and then come right back to our puppy to make sure that he's still staying on the bed. And then we're releasing him. And I would do that stage. Come you know until your puppy is comfortable, and you can walk to the door without any worry that he's going to break that that's your first step. So if you haven't taught your puppy the go to bed command or you haven't picked a spot, this is brand new to him, you know, I would lure him onto his chosen spot, you might have to even stand right next to the chosen spot and repeat that several times and then release him and build up to step three, which is walking toward the door. 

I know some people will get frustrated because they'll put their puppy on the spot and then they walk immediately to the door and the puppy breaks. And then they are confused or frustrated why their puppies not staying on the mat. So if you are one of those people that's totally fine, it's understandable. I would challenge you to go read the stay lesson and the go to bed lesson. Make sure your puppy can do the go to bed behavior for at least 20 seconds before expecting too much with this doorbell exercise. It also helps to add the four DS the distance duration distraction, difficulty to the go to bed behavior first. If you know me, well you know I'm a huge fan of setting your dog up for success. So teaching them the basic skills of staying in place, no matter what is happening around them makes this doorbell concept go much faster. That said you are welcome to start this process but at the same time, make sure you're working on the go to bed with the 4D'S to give your puppy those skills necessary to succeed. 

To recap, ring the bell, lower your puppy to the mat, treat them for staying there while a helper opens the door. Then release your puppy when you are ready. And then repeat that over and over again. Puppies need lots of repetitions for learning to seek in. Now remember, we don't want to keep bribing our puppy. We don't want to keep lowering them. So after about five to 10 repetitions and they start to get it I would pay them for going to the bed versus lowering them there. 

A few tips for you before we go - one practice before actual guests come again set your dog up for success. They need to have the ability to remain in place for 20 plus seconds with the 4DS added as mentioned previously, before we start practicing this with actual people to practice with family members. 

First, it will be much easier for your puppy to stay on their mat when it is a person they are familiar with. Then you can work up to people they don't know and may get more excited about it. 

Three keep a leash handy or on your dog so you have a way to manage the situation as needed, especially to prevent any jumping on the guests when they walk in or jumping off of the bed prematurely before being released. 

Four, enlist the help of a friend so you can focus on standing near your puppy when they are on the better mat and your friend can open and close the door. 

Lastly, once your puppy skill level improves hosted doorbell donut day, invite neighbors over to ring the doorbell get a doughnut for doing so while your puppy gets much needed practice. 

All right you guys that's it for this week. I hope you have fun with this one. If you need help training your dog to do this, check out the online puppy school. We even have a sign already to go for you to hang on your front door, alerting guests on your training and how they can help. Have a great week and happy training. If you have a question about anything you heard on this podcast or any other puppy training question, visit my site Baxter & to contact me.

Transcribed by