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Curing Door Dashing – How to Stop Your Dog Bolting Outdoors

Curing Door Dashing – How to Stop Your Dog Bolting Outdoors

A Furry Escape Artist on My Hands

Having a door-dashing dog can be an absolute nightmare. One minute, you’re enjoying a peaceful afternoon at home, and the next, your canine companion has made a mad dash for the great outdoors, leaving you frantically chasing after them. It’s a scenario that strikes fear into the heart of any dog parent.

I’ll never forget the time my own pup, Daisy, made a beeline for the open front door as a visitor arrived. Before I could blink, she was out the door and zipping down the street, leaving me in a panic. Thankfully, with a lot of patience and the right training techniques, I was able to put a stop to her door-dashing antics. And let me tell you, it was a journey filled with more than a few comedic moments (who knew that running away from your dog with a squeaky toy could be such an effective strategy?).

Addressing the Root Causes

So, why do some dogs seem to have an irresistible urge to make a break for it every time a door opens? According to the experts at Preventive Vet, there can be a few contributing factors:

  1. Lack of Exercise: A bored, pent-up pup is more likely to see an open door as a ticket to adventure. Make sure your canine companion is getting enough physical and mental stimulation to curb that restless energy.

  2. Prey Drive: That squirrel or bird that darts by can trigger a dog’s natural instinct to chase, and the open door becomes an irresistible invitation.

  3. Wanderlust: Some breeds, like Hounds and Huskies, are just bred to be a little more independent and curious about the world beyond their four walls.

  4. Intact Male Instincts: Unneutered male dogs have a strong drive to roam, seeking out potential mates and exploring their territory.

Regardless of the underlying cause, one thing’s for sure: once a dog discovers the thrill of a successful door dash, they’re likely to try it again and again. And that’s when the real trouble can start, with pets potentially getting lost, hit by cars, or encountering dangerous wildlife.

Setting Up for Success

The first step in curbing door-dashing behavior is to make it physically impossible for your pup to succeed. As the Reddit community suggests, installing baby gates, exercise pens, or retractable door barriers can be game-changers. These physical barriers ensure your dog never gets the chance to bolt out the door, no matter how tempting it may be.

But simply blocking access isn’t enough – you’ve also got to teach your dog an alternative behavior. As the experts at Preventive Vet recommend, the “Sit-Stay” at the door is a fantastic option. By rewarding your pup for sitting calmly as you open and close the door, you’re essentially training them that good things happen when they resist the urge to dash.

And let’s not forget the power of the “Go to Bed” command. The Wildest suggests that teaching your dog to settle on their mat or bed when the door opens can be a lifesaver. Pair this with some yummy treats, and you’ve got a recipe for a pup who’s more interested in staying put than making a mad escape.

Maintaining Vigilance and Consistency

Of course, no matter how well-trained your dog may be, accidents can still happen – especially when guests are coming and going or kids are running in and out. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain a strong recall, as The Wildest advises. Invest the time to teach your dog a reliable “Come” command, and you’ll have a much better chance of retrieving them safely if they do manage to slip out.

And remember, consistency is key when it comes to door-dashing training. Make sure everyone in the household is on the same page, reinforcing the same commands and behaviors. That way, your pup will have no choice but to learn that sitting pretty and waiting patiently is the way to go.

A Happier, Safer Future

With a little time, patience, and a whole lot of positive reinforcement, you can say goodbye to those heart-stopping door-dashing moments. Your canine companion will learn that the great outdoors can wait, and that the real fun happens right at home, where they’re safe, secure, and showered with love and treats.

So, if you’re tired of chasing your furry Houdini down the street, take heart – the solution is within reach. Keep those training sessions consistent, those barriers firmly in place, and your recall game on point. Before you know it, you and your pup will be living the dream – a peaceful, low-stress home life where the only dashing that happens is the mad dash to your treat jar. And you can’t put a price on that kind of bliss, now can you?

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