A guide to navigating the challenge and adventure of life with your dogs.

How To Stop Your Dog From Bolting Out The Door

The Door Dasher is the dog who barges out past you when you open the front door, or who waits until your back is turned for an instant before running off shouting “free at last!” Sound familiar?

How To Prevent Door Dashing
“Come” is one of the most important commands you can teach a dog and is very useful for getting the dog back after he’s run off, but it won’t stop the problem – he’ll still be running out the door. You need to teach the dog to wait at doors.

To do that, teach Rover that he has his cues all out of whack. Because at the moment, the sound of the door knob turning means “prepare to launch.” Change it to mean “stand back and you’ll be rewarded.”

Teach the “wait” command, if you haven’t already. I use wait instead of stay for door dashing because stay means, “Stay in the exact position I left you in until I release you.” “Wait” simply means, “Don’t move forward.”

Step 1: Reward the dog for waiting a few feet back from the door while you turn the door knob.

Step 2: Reward for waiting while you open the door a crack.

Step 3: : Reward for waiting while you open the door halfway, then all the way. Best to do with the dog on a long line (a long training leash or clothesline).

Step 4: Reward for waiting while you step outside the door.

Reward doesn’t have to mean treats. Remember, a reward/reinforcement is whatever the trainee find valuable. What does the Door Dasher find valuable? Getting to go outside. So when he’s waiting nicely at the door, tell him “yes,” give him his release word and take him outside for a walk or just to sniff the bushes in the yard.

Better yet, double the fun and give him a treat before you take him outside. Man, treats AND a walk? Pretty soon your dog will realize that staying inside and waiting for your release cue is a better deal than just bursting out the door.