Preventing Door Dashing.
Dogs can be pretty quick to dart through open doorways with the intention of greeting visitors, or making a break for the hills. Some dogs will spy their chance to slip through the tiniest of gaps, at every opportunity. This can be frustrating for owners, as well as being quite dangerous. Read on for our Holidays4Dogs tips for preventing door dashing.
Our approved Holidays4Dogs carers are particularly vigilant when it comes to ensuring guest dogs cannot escape into dangerous situations. In addition, carers never leave dogs unattended in their gardens and are supervised at all times.
But what can you do if your dog is a bit of a Houdini?
It might seem obvious, but the best way to stop your dog from dashing through doors is to not give him the opportunity to do it in the first place. The more occasions a dog has to dart through doors, the more likely he is to do it. It is a self rewarding behaviour because usually the dog gets to do something fun on the other side – AND, potentially, he gets attention from his owner by being chased.
Standard baby gates are invaluable in creating safe areas around the home. This way, when external doors are opened, the dog is prevented from door rushing.
You can purchase gates specifically made for dog use and these are more useful for large breeds of dog as they are usually taller than standard baby gates. If you are handy at D.I.Y. you could even make your own. However, do make sure it is sturdy enough and has no hazardous parts to it.
Make sure your dog has enough exercise, games and activities to keep him busy. If a dog is really bored, door dashing is a great way to make things more exciting.
Male dogs, in particular, may be much more inclined to make repeated attempts to escape if they have not been neutered. Therefore, it is well worth considering neutering your dog. Female dogs too, can have a tendency to want to roam if they have not been spayed.
Once the other two measures have been put in place, you can now safely train your dog not to door dash.
- Put your dog on his lead and go to the door. You may use a command such as “wait” if you wish.
- Reach for the door handle and ask your dog to “wait”.
- If your dog moves forward, take your hand away from the door handle, pause and try again. If he waits, reward with a treat and repeat.
- Once you can touch the door handle without your dog surging forward you are ready to open the door a fraction.
- If your dog moves forward – immediately close the door, pause and try again.
- If your dog waits – reward with a treat.
- Repeat. You may have to do this many, many times until the door is wide open and your dog is not surging forward.
- Finally, you may give your dog a release signal for him to go through the door, such as “o.k.”
- You will need to be very persistent and patient with these training techniques and aim to practise this with every door you go through. Do the same with car doors, crate doors and gates while out walking. Every time he gets up to move, close the door and start again.
In addition, its a good idea to teach your dog to go to his bed and to come back when called. Both of these exercises will help prevent your dog from door dashing.