It’s happened to you on more than one occasion, you opened your front door and now your dog just darted out into the world. When you go after them your pet sees it as a fun game of run and catch. But you as the owner are well aware of the dangers that pose to your canine companion in the outside world. Threats such as speeding cars can pose a threat to your dog’s life. You’ve tried everything in your power to make sure that they don’t dash out the front door but nothing seems to work in your favor. But no worries, with the proper equipment and training, you can teach your dog to stay put while opening the door in no time. Continue reading below to see how you can start training your dog today.
Obviously, as an owner, it’s frustrating when your dog does something that you’re not okay with, especially when they dash out the door. But something that you may not know is that every time you’re out trying to catch your dog, you’re promoting their bad behavior. They see being on the outside world as an opportunity to play with their owner; when you run after them they’ll continue running. And every time you capture them and punish them for their behavior, you’re only enforcing them to run away faster every time they’re out.
It’s important you begin training them now because after every time they run out the door, they’re behavior is only worsening. When you begin training, you’re setting them on the path of correcting their behavior and in return, you’ll become a happy and satisfied owner.
The very first thing your dog should learn is a simple command: sit and stay. This will be the beginning step in teaching your dog not to run out the door at every opportunity. When you’re teaching your dog to sit, the important thing they need to master is the ability to stay put for an extended period of time. Your dog must be able to sit down and stay in that position for at least 20-30 seconds. Once your dog has mastered this, you may begin to train them at the front door.
DO NOT attempt to teach them this command at or near the front door or you’ll set your dog up for failure.
If your dog is not wearing a flat buckle collar make sure you attach one onto them. You will need to attach a line to their collar that is long enough for them to be in close proximity to the door. It’s important that you use a line/tether as opposed to their usual walking leash. Make sure the line is tied onto something such as a staircase railing or the sturdy handle of a doorknob. By doing this you prevent your dog from potentially running out the door during training.
You’ve probably noticed that your dog will attempt to run out the door the moment you place your hand on the doorknob. While your dog is still tethered, you will be teaching them to sit and stay when you touch it.
First, command your dog to sit and stay. Then begin to reach for the doorknob. Take notice of your dog’s behavior as you do this:
If they immediately rise up from their sitting position, let go of the doorknob and reinforce the command by telling them to sit again. The goal here is to make sure that they sit for an extended period of time when you reach for the doorknob. Have them stay in the sitting position for about 5-10 seconds and then release them from the position by saying “good”.
Keep doing this until they automatically sit and stay when you grab the doorknob. Gradually build up from 5-10 seconds to 20-30 seconds.
Next, you’ll be teaching your dog to sit and stay when you open the door. When you begin this step, you’ll be repeating the same procedure as you did when you were touching the doorknob. Except for this time, however, you’ll be opening the door.
When you start opening the door, only open it at least 2 inches and command your dog to sit and stay for 5-10 seconds. Close the door and commemorate your dog on their good behavior (say “good dog” but still make sure to keep them tethered). Gradually increase how far you open your door and the length of which your dog must sit. If at any point your dog has demonstrated inadequate behavior, go back a step: open the door less further than what you had before and lessen the sit-stay length until they adjust.
Much like when you touched the doorknob, the goal is to have them stay put for roughly 20-30 seconds.
The final step is to step outside while your dog is still staying put. With your dog still tethered and the door open, reinforce the command of them sitting as you step outside. Again, like the latter steps you want to gradually increase the period of time it takes for them to sit and stay as you increase your distance from the door. If your dog is breaking good behavior, go back a step by walking closer to the door and commanding them to sit and stay. Do this until you reach a max distance of your desire and they stay put for roughly 20-30 seconds.
At one point, to further advance them in their training, step outside and to the side of the door — out of sight from your dog’s vision. You’ll want them to sit and stay even when they don’t see you. Your goal will be to have them stay put again for another 20-30 seconds.
If you’re attempting to improve your dog’s behavior and nothing seems to work in your favor, then don’t hesitate to hire expert help. The Professional team at Giving a Dog a Bone has plentiful experience in training dogs. At Giving a Dog a Bone, we don’t believe in punishment. We only correct and enforce behaviors for you as the owner to appreciate. If interested in our service, call us at (772)-600-8435 or visit our contact page.