Many of our dogwalking and petsitting clients have asked us why their dog always barks at the mailman, delivery people, and others who come to the door. It’s as if it’s in the doggie union that all dogs MUST bark at these strangers at the door or they get kicked out of the union.
It’s quite simple, really. Your home is also your dog’s home. And even if your dog can see the mailman, you might think he would recognize him. But instead, your dog goes into attack mode and fiercly defends his territory.
Well, that’s the answer right there. Your dog instinctively wants to defend his territory when he sees the stranger coming. The mailman or delivery person, doing their job simply comes and goes in a matter of seconds. To your dog, this means that his threatening behavior worked to rid his territory of the intruder.
So, the next time the mailman or a stranger comes to the door, the dog recalls that his tactics worked the first time, so he does it again. And, lo and behold, the stranger leaves again. Your dog learns over and over that whenever he barks at these strangers that come to the door, they quickly leave. If you do not step in and correct this behavior, it just continues. And of course, the deliveries come when you are at work, so your dog is free to defend his territory at will and how he sees fit.