Preventing your pup from dashing out the door into the big new world

What’s out there for your pup?

From a pup’s point of view the door is a gateway to adventure. Outside there are lots of interesting smells, sights, and experiences that your pup would love to explore. Door dashing is a common and potentially dangerous behavior. Often families with young children accidentally create a habit of running through doorways to play together outside. This can result in pups rushing through doorways excitedly at other times too, which can be dangerous.

In this guide you will learn how to teach your pup to relax by the door and remain settled when you open it so that you don’t need to worry about your pup escaping and will always be able to start your walk with your pup in a calm fashion.

Until your pup is trained to remain relaxed when the door is accidentally left open, be sure to set up management to prevent them from running out. To start, choose a door in your home that doesn’t open out to the street. A door to the yard is a good start. With your pup on a leash, ask them to go into a position they know we

ll, like sit, down or station on a mat.

Reach toward the door, and if your pup remains in position, mark and reward. Over the next few repetitions build up the distractions gradually, from touching the door, to holding the handle, before opening and closing the door a tiny amount. Each time reward your pup if they remain calmly in position.

Practice and progress to the point where you can open the door fully and your pup makes no attempt to move past you until you release them. You can then drop the leash and practice with other doors around the home. When your pup is good at this you can train at the front door or yard gate, repeating the steps from the beginning each time you change location.

Remember to keep your training sessions short and build up gradually. It may take several weeks before your pup truly masters this skill so in the meantime keep them safe and remember the more your pup practices a behavior the better they become at it.