Stop that dog barking!
Some bark because they like the reaction it provokes in you and some bark because they have not been taught not to. It is quite normal for a dog to bark if he hears a strong noise during the night. Continuing to bark after an acceptable time is what you want to deter.
In most cases the way to stop a dog barking is to teach him to bark on command.! This may sound very strange but it does work. At the same time as teaching him to bark you are also teaching him when not to bark.
For the dog to learn this exercise you need to enlist the help of a friend, so that you can set up the situation. You should be sitting and relaxing and then your helper comes to the door and rings the doorbell.. your dog will naturally bark and when he does give him the command speak. Allow him to bark for five seconds and then give him the command quiet,giving him lots of fuss when he does what he is told.
Do not attempt to open the door until the dog is quiet . then go to the door open it and speak to your friend on the doorstep as you would a casual caller and then close the door.. go back and sit down and after an interval of 10 mins repeat the whole exercise.. Alternate between speaking to your friend on the doorstep and inviting him in to simulate what would sometimes happen.
Try to repeat this process over a few days ,building up the association with the dog that he is allowed to bark for five seconds when the doorbell rings but he must stop when you say so and the door must not be opened until he is quiet. You are also getting him to associate the word Speak with barking.
Why must the door never be opened until he is silent?
If you allow him to bark as you open the door then he will associate that his barking is what gets the door open, resulting in future problems.
If he is the type of dog who imagines there is someone at the door and barks often unnecessarily the only way you will get him to be quiet is to go and open it. You may even end up in a situation of the dog training you- every time he wants attention he will bark to provoke you into getting up to answer the door to an imaginary caller.
Having taught him to bark on the command speak,you will then be able to get him to bark if you ever feel in a threatening situation-when you are out for a walk and are approached by a suspicious character,or should you hear a strange noise in the middle of the night.
You can also apply the same training if your dog barks every time the telephone rings. Arrange for a friend to call you and don t answer until the dog is quiet. On these occasions do not practice giving him the speak command as you do not want him barking every time the phone rings. Simply correct him for barking unnecessarily at the telephone.