A dog barking to let you know he needs to go outside can be quite disturbing. No one wants to hear a piercing bark or several startling yappy barks when your dog wants to go out. There are several ways you can teach your dog to let you know he needs to go outside or even come inside. A scratch at the door is one way to quietly and respectfully let you know he’s ready.
You don’t want your dog actually scratching and damaging your door, but pawing at the door creating a gentle knocking sound or, for small breeds, scratching a few times at the door will create a soft sound communicating your dog’s needs to you. Your dog can let you know what he wants and when he needs it without scaring you or annoying apartment neighbors with loud barking. Give your dog the power of communicating to you by training him to scratch at the door when he needs to come inside or go outside.
Training a simple pawing at your door will require patience and repetition. Again, you do not want your dog to cause any damage, so you are training your dog to paw once at the door to get your attention. You will need to practice this when you are house training or when you know your dog needs to go outside. Training when he does not have to go potty will be easier with less anxiety of having an accident, but just be sure you are rewarding your dog by opening the door and playing with him outside.
Puppies are great at learning how to communicate. Older dogs can learn too, but they will need to rebuild old habits. This isn’t a difficult task. You may want to make sure your dog is house trained before adding this communication task to the mix.
Have patience with this training. Try to keep these training sessions short to avoid any floor accidents or anxieties over making it outside. Because this training will occur in short moments before your dog needs to go outside or before playtime outside, you will have to train as often as you can. Turn each heading outdoors moment into a training session, so your dog does not have the opportunity to forget. Also, be sure to have treats handy for rewards. Keeping treats near the door for these quick on the spot moments will help to remind your dog how he’s supposed to communicate before heading outside. If your dog communicates in other ways while training, do not reprimand him, simply redirect and spend more time training.