How to Keep Your Dog Calm When the Doorbell Rings

“Ding, ding, ding!” Ugh, you know what that means. Your doorbell rings and that sets your dog off. Barking, going crazy, jumping at the door — you know the whole, frustrating drill. Worst of all, they seemingly don’t listen or care at all when you tell them knock it off!

So what exactly are you supposed to do here?? Do we just keep crossing our fingers hoping our dog won’t rush out the door, possibly attacking someone? Of course not! Today, we’re going to show you the command you should be using, how to teach it, and what to do if that still isn’t working.

Now, let’s get to covering how to keep your dog calm when the doorbell rings!

How Do I Keep My Dog From Going Crazy When the Doorbell Rings?

How to Keep Your Dog Calm When the Doorbell Rings

To stop your dog from going crazy when the doorbell rings, teaching a Wait, Sit, or Stay command is usually but not always effective. When your dog continues to go nuts every time they hear that bell, even with repeated work at the command, then there is a deeper behavioral issue.

Your dog is not responding to your command attempts because their underlying problem is with trust. That being, they do not trust you to protect yourself, them, or the home.

You’ve likely heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that within every pack there will be a pack leader. When you have unwittingly not shown your dog that you are capable of this role, then they will assume it themselves.

So when your dog ignores commands and continues to go crazy whenever the doorbell rings, they are essentially telling you that they are in charge and that it’s time for them to takeover because there is a possible threat at the door. Since they view themselves as pack leader, it’s natural that they feel that this is their responsibility.

Prove to them that you are a capable pack leader, and you will ease their fears, allowing your commands to actually be effective. From then on, when the doorbell rings and you give the command, your dog will listen and obey. You’ll be able to have visitors stop by — expected or not — without worry!

“Okay then, sounds good. But how do I do that??” Don’t worry, it’s simple enough! This type of thing is easier to learn by watching rather than reading, which is why I’d recommend checking out an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan.

His video series will show you exactly what to do to become your dog’s pack leader, which will make your commands finally be effective. Doorbell ringing craziness won’t be the only issue you’re likely solving. You’re probably having issues with barking, aggression, leash pulling, and more — all of these are ultimately rooted in pack leadership confusion and will be gone too!

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. Don’t worry if you’re not experienced with these types of things, because his videos are made for regular people so they’re very easy to follow and they get right to the point. And absolutely everything (of course) is done in a 100% humane and loving manner — so no worries about being mean!

Why Does My Dog Freak Out When the Doorbell Rings?

Your dog freaks out when the doorbell rings because they know that this means someone is coming to the home. It may be a friend or family member that just stopped by on their way somewhere else. It could also be another dog coming to your home.

Whatever the case might be, when your dog hears that ring they know there is going to be someone at the door that they’ll be interested in. Sometimes they’ll be excited because they hope to play with this new person, other times they get hyper and aggressive because they feel anxious and worried about them.

Either way, your dog freaks out when your doorbell rings because they associate this with someone new and they are excited (maybe for good reasons, maybe for bad) to see who’s on the other side.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Rushing at the Door?

To stop your dog from rushing at the door when the doorbell rings, you should start by teaching them a Wait, Sit, or Stay command. You’ll need to practice this during times when you’re not actually expecting visitors. Once they’ve learned to follow your verbal command, you can then test them by having someone else ring the doorbell.

To teach them, use the verbal cue (whichever word you chose), then sit or stay with your dog. Gently push their tushy to the ground if necessary. Calmly repeat the verbal command while they are doing it. Once they’ve successfully done it for a short period (about 3-5 seconds), give them excited verbal praise, pets, and a treat.

This will take time and repetition to learn but they should pick it up shortly. Once they’ve got this down, you can introduce the added distraction of the doorbell. After the ring, continue to stay by their side and gently keep them in place while repeating the command. Give verbal praise, pets, and a treat when they successfully stay quiet by your side.

Eventually, your dog should get used to the added difficulty of following your command while the doorbell rings. They’ll also get desensitized to the doorbell in the process, making it much less interesting to investigate even when you haven’t given the command.

Still, not all dogs will respond to commands given when the doorbell rings. If that’s the case with your dog, then it’s because there’s a further behavioral issue at the root of their problem. If you’ve given it time and repetition, and your dog is still not picking things up, then this behavioral problem is the likely cause.

I’ll let you get to Dan’s videos now so that you can have this whole issue behind you sooner rather than later. Remember that if giving your dog the commands wasn’t working at first, they should respond once you’ve gotten control of their pack leader issues! Good luck!

The Author



Hey there! I'm a dog behavior expert and lover of travel. Since 2016, I've been sharing my knowledge on dog training and behavior, while exploring the Pacific Northwest with my two rescues.