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  • Writer's pictureThousand Hills Pet Resort

Dog Training Tips: Preventing the Door Dash

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

By Emily Schultze

If you are a pet owner, you probably have developed your own unique method for how to get out the door without also letting out any unwelcome companions. Whether it is in your house, your car or any other place with a door, dogs seem to have an instinct for knowing when they will get an opportunity to make the dash to "freedom". While you love spending time with your pet, you most likely want to make sure they don’t get hurt in their effort to follow you as you leave in the morning. In this week’s training tip video, New Life K9's educators Rosa and Nicole go over how to manage and limit your dog’s door darting tendencies.

The best way to prevent your dog from making a run for it every time they are near an open door, is to work on communicating with them when they do and don’t get to come with you. While the first training technique that comes to mind might be to practice simple commands like “Wait”, Nicole and Rosa touch on how talking to you dog in a similar way you would address another person actually is more effective.

Nicole demonstrates this technique with Peanut, a dog who has joined them for the video. Nicole walks over to a gate that is in front of the door in their office, and tells Peanut to “Have patience, please” as she opens the gate. Peanut then waits to go through the gate until she gets a signal from Nicole that it is okay to leave.

Using a phrase such as “Have patience” and maintaining a consistent tone allows your dog to more easily recognize the context of this particular situation. If the command “wait” was used instead, the dog could become confused because they do not know how long they should wait or what they are waiting for. Nicole also notes that she will say “I’ll be right back” if she is going to leave without her dogs, so that they will know they are not waiting to go, but for her to leave through the door.

Now, you won’t be able to just say “Have patience” to you dog right away and expect them to know what you mean. Instead, you will have to practice with them so that they can get a chance to learn this or another phrase of your choosing. The first thing to keep in mind is to begin slowly, and then build up to more difficult or challenging situations for your dog. If you know your dog is more excitable, start training when they are more tired. Also, don’t begin training when you are in a rush, instead set aside an afternoon to practice. Then you can work on your phrase and opening the door slightly until your dog begins to understand the exercise.

If you practice these tips, you can help prevent your dog from dashing through the door every time it’s opened. If you have any questions or want to find out more information, you can contact us at the Thousand Hills Pet Resort training page.


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