So, our corgi Bella has always been very protective over our home and everyone in it, barking whenever the doorbell rings and when she hears an outside noise that's out of the ordinary. I understand corgis are barky dogs, but her barking and anxiety toward people coming over has worsened.
When the doorbell rings, immediately she is thrown into a barking fit and will not stop until the door is opened. I can tell this makes the visitor uncomfortable, especially young children. Not to mention after the door is opened she jumps and expects all their attention. My long time friend has recently told me her daughter no longer wants to come over because she thinks Bella is a mean dog, which she certainly isn't, she's just "overly friendly" as we like to call it.
My whole family and I are wanting to help coax Bella's behavior down, making her less noisy when the doorbell rings and less attention-seeking when guests enter. I suppose her guard dog attitude is simply a trait that cannot be changed, but I'm hoping to find some help in her anxiety toward the doorbell and jumping issue.
Can I ask what makes you think she's anxious and not just alerting? It's pretty common for dogs to bark when a doorbell rings.
Is she crate-trained? If so, get a partner. Cook some hot dogs. Cut back her kibble. Have someone ring the bell as you toss the hot-dog piece into the crate. Repeat. Add a cue such as "in your bed!!". Pretty soon she'll see the doorbell ringing as a cue to go to her crate instead of bark at the door. Then wait til she is calmer to release her to see your guests. Enlist a cooperative guest to practice rewarding her for sitting nicely for visitors.
Not that my dogs sit nicely for visitors. :-) Mine bark til the newcomers arrive, then Jack bugs them to play non-stop. lol We don't have many visitors.... Anyway, the method described above will work with many dogs but of course all are different.
The thundershirt works amazingly well for Luke when we have guests over. Not a peep out of him while he's wearing that thing.
I would keep a leash on her when people come over so she can't jump up, and don't let anyone pet her or even look at her until she's calmer. Eventually she will learn that she needs to sit quietly to get attention.
--I would keep a leash on her when people come over so she can't jump up, and don't let anyone pet her or even look at her until she's calmer. Eventually she will learn that she needs to sit quietly to get attention.--
I like the hot dog practice sessions, and Jane's words above that suggest she doesn't get any attention until she is calm is a training system I wish more people would employ. I love all dogs, but some people don't seem to give their dogs, or children in some cases, much credit for learning how to behave around visitors. I think owners like you, who take the time to try to learn how to manage behaviors have happier dogs and visitors. Good luck!