When the doorbell rings, does your dog stand at the front door barking his head off and crowding visitors as they try to enter your house? Why do dogs go nuts when there is a knock on the door ? And what can you do about this behavior? Find out on Raising Your Paws Podcast, episode 44.

Here are some details about one of the options mentioned. It’s a practical solution – give your dog something else to do instead– train them to go to a mat!

The mat will provide a special place for your dog to go and lie down until you release your dog from it. The mat can be a small rug, (I purchased an inexpensive one just for Rosy) a bath mat,  or a dog mat. It’s good to reserve it just for this purpose and be able to roll it up if you want to  take it with you for travel.

When I used to live in a condo on the second floor, to stop Rosy from wanting to run out the door and onto the landing to greet my visitors as they climbed up the last few steps, I placed the mat in the front foyer against the wall about 10 feet back from the door. Anytime the doorbell rang, instead of twirling in excitement, and barking and barging in front of me, I instructed her to go to her mat. There she would lie, waiting in anticipation, barely containing her excitement, but still contained until the visitor entered and I released her to “go meet”.

Here are a few videos that teaches you how to do mat training.

From Vet Street.com.

Here is another one – talking through some of the steps.

For detailed written instructions about the steps, here is the link to a good article.

In the videos the trainer is using a clicker to mark the correct behavior. You can also use a word, like “yes” instead of a clicker.

Having your dog be able to go to a mat helps anytime you would like your dog to get out from under foot, like, while working in the kitchen, or when repair people are at the house. For teaching your dog how to “down–stay,”having this defined space can assist some dogs to understand the training better. When you and your dog are away from home, taking the mat with and laying it down, gives your dog a safe and familiar place to be. When Rosy would accompany me to dog food demos at pet food stores, I always took her mat. I didn’t even have to tell her to go there, once I laid it on the floor, she’d plop down on it. I’m sure you’ll start thinking of many times and situations in which having your dog go settle in one spot and stay there, will be very handy.

Full Show Notes for Raising Your Paws podcast Episode 44.

Title: Use Your Voice So Your Dog Listens & The Key Difference Between Training Cats and Dogs.

Did you know that the pitch of your voice and how you say words, can affect if your dog ignores or obeys you? I’ll explain how to use your words in the most effective way so your dog will be more apt to listen to what you are asking.

Where ever did we get the idea that you can’t train a cat? In part two of my conversation with, feline behavior specialist, Sarah Ellis, from International Cat Care, and co-author of the book, The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat, we talk about what you can do to prepare felines for major changes in the home and when training cats, if punishment is a good or bad way to stop problem behavior.

Does your dog start barking every time the doorbell rings and scare visitors with their noisy greeting? Since dogs are aware that the front door is the entrance to the home territory and a place that everyone in the family treats as important, many dogs take on the role of being the sentry. Hear what you can do to manage or change this behavior.

Please subscribe to the podcast for free at iTunes and at Stitcher.

Resources for the Episode.

Source for the story about how you use your voice. “The Other End of the Leash,” By Patricia McConnell.

International Cat Care Website.

Dr. Sarah Ellis.


Dr. Sarah Ellis, Facebook page.

Amazon link to order “The Trainable Cat: A Practical Guide to Making Life Happier for You and Your Cat” by John Bradshaw and Sarah Ellis.