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How to Teach Door Manners to Stop Rushing Out

How to Teach Door Manners to Stop Rushing Out

As a proud dog parent, I’ve had my fair share of door-related mishaps. My furry friend, Buddy, would dart out the moment I cracked it open, leaving me scrambling to catch him before he made a break for it. It was a stressful situation, to say the least. But through trial and error, I’ve learned some effective techniques to instill proper door manners in our canine companions.

The Excitement is Real

I remember the first time I had friends over, and Buddy went into a frenzy the moment the doorbell rang. He’d bark, jump, and try to shove his way out, all while my guests looked on in bewilderment. It was clear that Buddy’s excitement was off the charts, and I knew I had to get this under control.

According to dog behavior expert David Codr, this kind of door-charging behavior is common in dogs that lack structure and consistent rules. “Because dogs go through life probing to determine where boundaries and limits are, not being consistent can actually translate into a lot of confusion for the dogs,” he explains.

Establishing the Boundaries

The first step in curbing Buddy’s door-rushing habit was to establish clear boundaries. I started by designating a specific spot, a few feet away from the entrance, where Buddy had to wait patiently whenever someone came or went.

To reinforce this new rule, I’d reward Buddy with treats and praise whenever he stayed in his designated area. It was a slow process, but with repetition and consistency, he started to get the hang of it.

This video from a renowned dog trainer offered a great tip – have family members practice “claiming the door” by standing in the entryway and rewarding Buddy for staying back. The more we did this, the more he learned that the door was off-limits until given the cue to approach.

Mastering the “Wait” Command

Of course, Buddy couldn’t just stay put forever – he’d need to be able to go through the door safely when the time came. That’s where the “wait” command came in handy.

I started by teaching Buddy to “wait” before going through any doorway, be it the front door, the back door, or even the door to the bedroom. This helped him understand that he couldn’t just bolt out without permission.

Again, it was all about consistency and repetition. Whenever Buddy tried to rush the door, I’d calmly say “wait” and reward him with a treat once he backed up. Over time, he learned that good things come to those who wait.

Dealing with Distractions

Of course, the real test came when there were distractions involved – like guests arriving or Buddy seeing something interesting outside. That’s when I’d enlist the help of my family members to practice the “wait” command.

One of us would stand in the doorway, while another would knock or ring the bell. As soon as Buddy started to get riled up, we’d firmly say “wait” and reward him for staying back. It took some effort, but Buddy eventually realized that the door was no longer his personal exit strategy.

Putting it All Together

Through a combination of boundary-setting, consistent training, and plenty of positive reinforcement, Buddy and I were able to overcome his door-rushing habit. Now, whenever someone comes to the house, Buddy dutifully waits in his designated spot, tail wagging patiently, until I give him the green light to greet our guests.

It’s been a journey, to be sure, but the sense of pride I feel when Buddy obeys the “wait” command is unbeatable. And the best part? I no longer have to worry about him darting out the door and into potentially dangerous situations.

If you’re struggling with a similar issue, I encourage you to try these techniques. With time and dedication, you can teach your furry friend proper door manners and keep them safe in the process. And who knows, you might even impress your friends and neighbors with your well-behaved pup!

For more tips and resources on dog training and care, be sure to check out Happy training!

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