Door Manners for Dogs -Victoria Stillwell
Barking at the Doorbell

A common problem between dogs and the door is excessive barking, particularly when the doorbell rings.

The key is to desensitize your dog to the sound of the doorbell:

  • Sit somewhere near your front door and ask a friend or neighbor to ring the doorbell. When it rings, completely ignore the doorbell as well as your dog’s barking. Do not stand up, speak, or open the door.
  • Wait till your dog is completely silent before getting up to open the door.
  • Allow your dog to greet your guest as his reward.
  • Repeat this process until your dog becomes desensitized to the sound of the doorbell. This may take multiple 10-15 minute sessions.
  • Be patient! Some dogs learn more quickly than others.

Jumping on people

So what can you do if your dog jumps on people when they come through the door?

  1. If your dog is jumping from pure excitement then it is wise to manage your environment by not allowing the dog to greet people when they first come through the door. Keep your dog behind a baby gate and don’t allow him to greet until he is calm.
  2. It is important to be consistent. Don’t allow the dog to jump up on you when greeting and expect him not to jump up on guests when they come into the house.  Mixed messages are confusing and unfair.
  3. The best way to stop a dog from jumping up is to ignore it while it is jumping. This is an easy but effective way to deal with the problem. Each time the dog jumps up at you – turn your back. Don’t look, talk or touch the dog at any time it is trying to jump. Fold your arms in front and be boring. When he stops jumping wait for four seconds of four paws on the floor then reward this with your attention in a calm manner. If your dog jumps again, repeat. Sometimes the dog jumps harder and higher to get your attention. This is known as an extinction burst.  What has worked before is no longer getting attention so the dog tries harder. Be consistent because eventually he will give up! Remember ignore the crazy and reward the calm.
  4. If your dog is unconfident around guests and jumps to be controlling, do not allow your dog to greet your guests. Put him in a place where he can be calm and confident. When guests are seated allow your dog to come in and say hello. If your dog is aggressive in any way to strangers it is your primary responsibility to keep your guests safe. If this means your dog is away while guests are in your home, so be it. You will have a happier dog and happier guests.

darbyFeatured Dog: Darby

Cattle dog/Jack Russell mix. She is just the cutest thing you have ever seen. She knows sit and is learning to walk on a leash. True to her terrier tendencies, she is always on the go, so she needs to go to an active home that understands puppies need training and patience. She would like going on runs, hikes, or long walks in the neighborhood. Bright eyes and a precious face, with a great personality to match.

Other available dogs- at time this article was submitted there were no other dogs available for adoption.

sunshine 3


Featured Cat- Sunshine

Sunshine came to the shelter after hew owner passed away. She is shy and trying to understand all the changes in her life. Beautiful long hair, she is mostly white with a black tail and black markings on her head. She would do best in a quiet home. She likes watching out the window.

Other available cats:

Manny Xmas 1


Manny- 6 month old male orange and white tabby. Purrs all the time and loves people. Comes when called.

Truffles _6937


Truffles- Female white and gray tabby. She is very talkative. Knows her name and loves being held and petted.


All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximated.
The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268

The animals submitted to the media may have changes so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals.