Door dashing is when your dog either pushes past you in or out of any doorway or rushes out the door when leaving the house.

There are five main things wrong with this behaviour.

1. It shows a lack of manners and respect for personal boundaries on the part of the dog.

2. The dog could hurt or knock down the human when pushing past. Think of children, elderly people or those who are sick or injured.

3. The dog could get hurt or in trouble with whatever is on the other side of the door i.e. the road, with cars driving on it.

4. If you are leaving the house for a walk, the dog dashing out the door sets the wrong tone for the walk. It can be difficult to get your dog to listen to you if they can’t even leave the house politely.

5. It shows a lack of leadership by the human.

These are the reasons why we teach our dogs about thresholds. Keep reading for the step-by-step process to stop your dog from door dashing.

Step-by-step process

  • Start with your back to the door, facing your dog
  • Wait for your dog to sit and then look at you
  • As soon as they sit and look, reach for the door handle to open the door
  • Anytime the dog gets up, immediately stop opening the door
  • Block the doorway with your body and have your dog return to the sit and look position
  • Continue opening the door
  • When you are ready give your dog the command to exit as long as they are LOOKING at you
  • The command should be specific to this activity and DO NOT use your recall command.
  • If your dog rushes out the door, bring them straight back into the house to try again.
  • Keep going until your dog walks slowly out of the door with you after you have given the command.

Keep going

Once your dog has learned what THEY need to do to for you to open the door (sit and look) and to WAIT for the command to exit, now you can build in distractions.

By this I mean having your dog wait longer with the door open before you give the command.

Step outside the door before you give the command to exit.

Go to the door, outside and back inside without giving your dog the command to exit. They don’t always need to go outside.

Be outside the door and move around without giving the exit command.

All of these will build up the distraction for your dog and let them understand that it doesn’t matter what is happening outside, they are not allowed to cross the threshold of the door unless you give the command.

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