Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure

Training Guide: Prevent Your Dog from Running Out the Door

Learn effective techniques to ensure your dog stays safe inside, even when doors are open.

Door training.

Why Door Training is Essential

Door training.

Training your dog not to run out of open doors is crucial for their safety. Untrained dogs can dart out into traffic, get lost, or encounter other dangers. Proper training not only keeps your dog safe but also provides peace of mind for you as a puppy parent.

By investing time in door training, you can prevent potential accidents and ensure a harmonious living environment. This guide will walk you through the steps needed to effectively train your dog to stay put when doors are open.

Place Training

Teaching your dog the “place” command involves training them to go to a specific spot and stay there until released. This can be very useful in managing behaviors like begging or bombarding house guests and provides a safe, designated area for your dog as people are coming and going from your home. Your dog should be proficient in the “place” command before starting open door exercises. 

Step 1: Establishing Commands

Select a specific spot for your dog to go to, such as a mat, bed, or designated area. Make sure it’s comfortable and easily identifiable for your dog. Lead your dog to the spot using a leash and encourage them to step onto it. Use a command like “place” or “mat” and reward your dog with a treat when they are on the spot. Use a clicker or a verbal marker like “yes” or “good” to mark the moment your dog steps onto the place and immediately follow the marker with a treat to reinforce the behavior. Introduce a release command like “okay” or “free” to signal to your dog that they can leave the spot. Make sure to use all commands consistently to avoid confusion.

Step 2: Duration and Distance

Once your dog understands the “place” command and goes to the spot when asked, start increasing the duration they stay at their place. Gradually increase the time by a few seconds each session, rewarding your dog for staying in place before giving the “free” command. After mastering extended periods of time at their place start creating distance between yourself and your dog’s place. Give the “place” command drop the leash and take a step back. If your dog remains in place, reward them! Gradually increase the distance one step at a time until your dog is responding to the place command with you on the other side of the room.

Step 3: Distractions

Now that you and your dog have perfected steps 1 and 2 we move on to the final and most important phase, teaching your dog to stay in place despite the presence of distractions. Teaching your dog to respond to your commands while other thing are going on around them is vital for real world scenarios. Start with small distractions, like moving around the room or turning your back to them, making sure to reward them every time the stay in place. You can then move on to larger distractions like throwing a toy across the room or walking out of the room for a few minutes before returning and releasing them from their “place”.

Open Door Exercises

Open door exercises in combination with place training is an incredibly effective to way to keep your dog safe and under control when guests arrive or when your door needs to stay open for extended periods of time (e.g, bringing in packages, groceries or furniture). 

It’s important to start small, give your dog the “place” command and open the door just a crack, wait a minute or so before closing the door, releasing your dog from their place and rewarding them with tons of praise! As your dog excels, start opening the door wider and wider each training session until you are able to leave the door wide open with your dog remaining in place. Eventually you should be able to step outside with the door open and have your dog remain in place.  

The next step in door training exercises requires a buddy! Recruit a friend to help you out with this one, preferably someone who does not live in the home with you and your dog. Have your friend ring your door bell or knock at the door, give your dog the “place” command, open the door and invite your friend in, once the door is close release your dog from their place and give them tons of praise! Repeat this exercise, increasing the length of time you wait between closing the door and releasing your dog from their place each session. 

Additional Tips

Patience

Training takes time, and setbacks are normal! Stay patient and consistent with your training approach. When you start introducing distracts into your training routine your dog is bound to give in to temptation at first but do not give up! 

Practice

Practice makes perfect! Consistency and repetition is key to ingraining any new training practices into your dogs brain. New exercises should be done at least once per day until your dog has mastered each stage of your new training program. 

Keep It Fun!

Training sessions should always be short and fun! You will always have better results if you and your dog are enjoying yourselves! Keep it to a 15 minute session max. Never scold your dogs for messing up, calmly reset them, start again and always reward them when they get it right!

Food For Thought

These training exercises will help you keep your dog safe and well mannered in many real world situations but it is also important to note that training your dog is not just about teaching commands; it’s about building a strong, trusting, and respectful relationship between you and your dog! Training work can significantly enhance the beautiful bond you share with your dog by improving communication, spending quality one-on-one time together, deepening your emotional connection, and celebrating the joy of shared achievements!

Do not hesitate to call or email Royal Flush Havanese anytime, 365 days a year! We are always available to answer questions and provide any guidance or support you may need!

 

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