On a daily basis at our dog obedience training facility in Northern Virginia, we work with dogs so they stop running out of the door.
This is what we call “door manners.” In my opinion, teaching your dog door manners is essential for numerous reason, you will see I discuss this in my blog on Pack Leadership.
Importance of Door Manners:
Pack Leadership: It teaches your dogs that you are the first one to do everything. You go inside first, you go outside first, you go up the stairs first, you go down the stairs first, etc. This is a very simple thing you can do to help show pack leadership with your dog. As I explain to our clients, “You never see pictures of ducks lined up and the mother is in the back of the line. You never see packs of lions and the biggest alpha lion is behind all of the small ones.” Why? Because it’s very basic pack leadership, the alpha male and dominant member is always in the front.
Manners: Doing door manners does just that, it teaches them manners. There are few things I hate seeing more than a dog literally almost knocking someone down trying to go out the door before them (or in the door). This should never be acceptable for you or your dog.
Safety: By doing door manners, you have taught your dog that “just because the front door opens, does NOT mean you are free to run out it.” So, when you incorporate door manners in your obedience training they become desensitized to the door opening; therefore, it prevents them from running out it like many dogs do.
Did you know that in 2012, approximately 1.2 million dogs were killed from being hit by a car? Many of them from running out of the front door or chasing something into the street.
ANYONE who has trained with us, has seen us incorporate the door manners into our training, we literally do this with every single dog we train. That’s how important door manners is to us, we do it with 65 dogs per week.
I have included just a few clips of our door manners training in the video below; however, if you look at our YouTube Channel, you will literally see this in over 200+ of our videos.
If you do not have access to a really good obedience training program, this is something you can start doing at home on your own. Put your dog into the sit position and “slowly” open the door, as soon as he jumps up, shut door and put him into the sit again. Repeat this until you get the door all the way open, then release him. If you do this “every single time” you come to a door, I can assure you within a few days you will see a huge difference in your dog’s door manners.
Initially, you will feel this is very tedious, because they will probably get up a lot; however, just stick to it. Each time you do it, you will find that you are having to make them sit less and less.
The biggest key is never let them win! As I say to our clients on a daily basis, “You must be more stubborn than your dog, as soon as you let them get away with it, you just taught them that it’s acceptable.”