‘How To Train’ Door Dashing Dogs


Door Dashing

What is door dashing? It is when the dog will just run out of the door whenever the door opens and does not ask for permission. They just zoom out of any open door.

Why is door dashing unacceptable? Door dashing is unacceptable because it can be dangerous for the dog. The dog could run out into traffic and get hit by a car. The dog could run out and get attacked by another dog, which is what happened to Jacob the pup in this video. The dog could get lost or stolen if the dog is not trained to come when called. The dog could knock over the human while getting zooming out the door.

Reasons to train a dog to wait at the door:
•Safety!!!
•It could save his life one day.
•It helps to improve impulse control.
•It teaches good door manners.
•It teaches the dogs that if he wants to go outside and sniff, play, etc. that the human is in control of those resources.
•It teaches the dog that paying attention to the owner allows him to get what he wants. In this case it is going outside.
•Helps to improve communication between dog and owner.
•Helps to show the dog that by doing the right behavior they will get to do what they want.
•It puts the owner in charge of reinforcement by not allowing the dog to just be self reinforced by running outside.
•The process of training a dog to wait at the door really builds value for the dog being inside the house. Just as much fun, treats, good things happen when inside the house!

I DO NOT believe that if a dog goes through and open door before the human that he is being dominant. To me that is a silly belief. I personally DO NOT even use the word dominant in any of my training, because I simply do not believe in the dominance theory at all! Remember that the dominance theory is just that, a THEORY! It is also a theory that has been proven to have MANY flaws and to be FALSE. If a dog runs out before the human they are not trying to be dominant, but simply want to get outside to have fun. The outside world is very reinforcing to a dog! There is a lot to do out there past the door. Like the song: Girl’s just wanna have fun, Dogs just wanna have fun! Dogs door dash because there is a FUN world out there and they want to explore it. I say let them explore it, but teach them to do it in a safe secure way in order to prevent any accidents or injury to your dog.

If they learn how to wait at the door and then you just release them to go outside, but they have not learned how to come when called, you really need to put the dog on a long line or leash and go out with them. So, train your dog to come when called before you just let him run off outside. Keep your dog safe and use some common sense.

Even though my dogs are trained and I let them go outside in front of my house off leash, I am ALWAYS out there with them. I do not live on a busy street, but I do not take chances with my dogs just because they are trained. I supervise them at all times. I want them to be with me for a long time! I also train them to love going back inside and when we are done outside all I have to say is “back inside” and away they go. You will see this game that I play called the inside/outside game and see what I mean. I believe that reinforcement drives behavior, so go out there and reinforce those behaviors that you want your dog to do. I bet your dog is doing many good behaviors that go unnoticed or unrewarded. Try to ignore those bad behaviors refrain from yelling and start reinforcing those positive good behaviors!

Dogs are like kids, they need to learn these behaviors (come when called, wait at the door, etc.). Dogs do not just come into this world knowing what we expect of them. It is our job to teach them and set them up to succeed in the crazy human world.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Pamela Johnson, CPDT-KA

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