Barking at the door - what is desirable and what is not? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
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Barking at the door - what is desirable and what is not?

Hello guys,

So here is the situation. So I am chilling on the couch and Rex is laying next to me. When someone gets close to the door, he jumps up and goes half way across the room and makes a series of fast alerting barks. Maybe 10 in a row and repeats until I stop him.

Stopping him here means I get up and tell him no and put him in a down. I open the door. Once it is open, most of the time, he remains in a down and does not bark. Sometimes he breaks the down and approaches non threatening.

I am not sure what I should do. The thing is he does this maybe 10 times a day (3 of which are that someone is actually at the door and 7 someone approaching the door but passing by). A variant. I take Rex to work 3 times a week. The area I work in is the size of a apartment and there is a glass door to the outside. If someone approaches the door, he does the same but less intense than the house.

Trainer says whenever he does, crate him so he gets that it is not necessary. I tried the me going to door and checking so that I signal to him that it is under control, but this did not stop this ritual. Forget distracting him with a treat. When he is doing it, I am only being able to "interrupt" with a no and showing him that I am not happy. But he is looking at me as if he is not understanding why I am interrupting. And does it again with less intensity until I interrupt again.

It is not very cool to get startled whenever anyone comes at the door. Then again, they have protective instincts and I dont want to kill that. I wish I could just tell him its cool and he calms down.

Please let me know your thoughts and input...

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 08:20 AM
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If one thing doesn't work try another. But remember that each thing you try may take some time to sink it. First figure out what you want Rex to do. If you want him to be a watch dog you can't complain too much when he alerts. Maybe you could try, 2 barks and come to you. That way he has alerted and you can decide to get up or not. Get a couple of good friends and a long leash to show him what you want. Friend knocks on the door. Rex barks and right at 2 barks you call him, reel him in or have friend bring him to you. Treat. repeat repeat repeat. Friend just walks past door, Rex barks. At 2 barks give Rex a down command. This might maybe work since it gives your dog the chance to alert without being obnoxious about it.

Just my 2 cents to get some ideas rolling.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 08:30 AM
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I let my girl bark until I open the door then she sees it’s ok and stops. Otherwise she barks until the person leaves and I like it like that. As soon as I open the door I say sshh or nein
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-01-2019, 08:46 AM
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What is desirable is what you want your dog to do. Putting him in the crate is not going to help him learn much. You could try training him to sit as soon as he starts to alert and extinguish him running to the door. Along with the sit, you can teach the quiet command. You will need a leash and probably some people to come around the door so you don't have to wait for it to happen randomly. You would praise him for the initial barking and then teach quiet with the sit so he doesn't learn that any barking is unacceptable. You can also train a release from the sit for him to greet people coming in that you know are okay, as long as he doesn't go into barking mode after you release him and he is stable. I prefer the sit over the down, because the down is more submissive for a dog. If he has good food drive, as soon as he stops barking with or without your command, mark it with "good quiet" and give him a piece of some good food. It will take a lot of repetitions as most training does.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for the feedback

Trying the suggestions and I think we re getting a bit better.


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