Train Your Dog Not To Run Through Open Doors

Dogs that escape and run through opens doors are at a very high risk of dying.  Yes, it’s true and I have known people who lost their dog because of this one bad habit.  Don’t let it happen to your dog, instead train you dog to do a sit stay at the door and not cross the doors threshold until you invite it out.

Training this exercise is one of the “Manners at the Door” exercises that every good dog should know and every good dog owner should take the time to teach their dog.  It really isn’t that hard to do so let’s get started.

Ideally this is an exercise that should be taught to your dog early before it learns that it can escape through the door.  To get started your dog needs to be able to do a good sit-stay exercise.  For this article we will assume that your dog does do a good sit-stay.

Start the training by having your dog do a sit-stay while you open the front door and step out crossing the threshold.  In the beginning you can face your dog but do not allow the dog to get up.  Continue the training and if your dog is doing well step through the doorway but face away from your dog.  It would be nice if you have a helper that can tell you if your dog gets up so that you can correct it.  If a helper is not available you can actually use a mirror to help you see what your dog is doing.

The next step is to come up with a word that means for the dog to come through the door.  That special word can be a s simple as “Door”.  The next time you exit the door wait 15-20 seconds and then invite your dog out with the new door command.

Now here is an important thing to remember.  If for example you do this exercise 10 times a day you should only use the door command once, maybe twice.  We want the dog to expect that the majority of the time it will not be allowed to cross the threshold.

When the training is going well with you right outside the door you will start increasing the distance that you go from the dog.  For example your goal should be that you can walk to your mailbox or the curb without your dog running through the door.

Remember that the dog’s safety comes first and we don’t want it running through the door.  Using a 30 foot long line attach one end to the dog and the other end to something solid that can hold the dog if it decides to run.

Now with the help of the long line you can continue the training as you are adding more and more distance from the dog.  Practice this daily and you will have a dog that is reliable and will not dart out the door the next time the UPS/Post man  delivers a package.

Mark Mansfield
 

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