If your dog has a habit of rushing through an open door, you will learn a lot from this discussion. It’s important to stop your dog from running out of the front door because it’s dangerous. Dogs are unaware of the dangers that they may face on the busy street; all they think about is the challenge and reward of escaping.
The maddening problem is not new to husband and wife, Joshua and Kat, who are keeping a door dasher in their home. Their 2-year-old mix terrier, Leno, bolts out of their front door every chance he gets. According to Joshua, the dog has mastered other commands, such as roll over and shake, but is having a hard time following basic commands like “stay” when the front door is open.
It’s completely natural for a dog to dart outside as soon as he sees an opening because of the many interesting views outside the couple’s home. There’s a dog across the street, a passing cat, and children playing outside.
If you’re also dealing with a dog who treats every door as an escape hatch, training your dog must be your next priority.
It starts with the basic SIT and STAY command.
These basic commands are your dog’s foundation to succeed in this exercise. Do not bring your dog to the front door until he learns the concept of holding or staying for a few seconds. In Leno’s case, he’s already familiar with the commands, but his learned skills are useless when he sees the front door open.
Josh and Kat must review the sit and stay command with Leno before moving on with the training.
You can now begin training
For safety measures, equip your dog with a harness and a long lead, so he can move freely. The restraint must be securely tied from inside the house. The dog will be able to reach the door, but he won’t be able to get past the door because of the lead.
- With your dog next to the closed door, perform “sit and stay” command and reward him if he obeys.
- Put your hand on the doorknob, and then ask the dog to stay. Let him hold the position for 5-10 seconds, then give the reward and release him. Repeat until he hold for more than 15 seconds.
- Repeat the steps above but open the door for about 5 inches wide. Let the dog sit-stay for 10 seconds, reward, and then release.
- With the door half-open, request dog to sit-stay, and throw treats or toys outside the door. Call his attention when he’s being distracted by the open door.
- Repeat the previous step until the dog can hold for 30 seconds while the door is open.
- By the time he learns to sit and stay at every command, open the door wider or step outside and let him hold the command for 5, 10, and eventually for 30 seconds.
*Perform the training gradually, and if the dog is showing signs of disinterest or over excitement, stop the exercise and try again the next day. Do not move to the next step until he succeeds with the preceding steps.
In this video, Zak will show you how to teach a “real world stay” with Graci the Portuguese Water Dog.
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