Preventing Door Dashing

09/02/2022

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PREVENTING DOOR DASHING

From a puppy’s point of view the door is a gateway to adventure. Outside there are lots of interesting smells, sights, and experiences that your puppy would love to explore. Door dashing is a common and potentially dangerous behavior.

Often families with young children accidentally create a habit of running through doorways to play together outside. This can result in puppies rushing through doorways excitedly at other times too, which can be dangerous.

In this tutorial you will learn how to teach your puppy to relax by the door and remain settled when you open it so that you don’t need to worry about your puppy escaping and will always be able to start your walk with your puppy in a calm fashion.

Until your puppy is trained to remain relaxed when the door is accidentally left open, be sure to set up management to prevent them from running out.

To start, choose a door in your home that doesn’t open out onto the street. A door to the garden is a good start. With your puppy on a lead, ask your them to go into a position they know well, like sit, down or station on a mat.

Reach toward the door, and if your puppy remains in position, mark and reward.

Over the next few repetitions build up the distractions gradually, from touching the door, to holding the handle, before opening and closing the door a tiny amount. Each time reward your puppy if they remain calmly in position.

Practice and progress to the point where you can open the door fully and your puppy makes no attempt to move past you until you release them.

You can then drop the lead and practice with other doors around the home.

When your puppy is good at this you can train at the front door or garden gate, repeating the steps from the beginning each time you change location.

Remember to keep your training sessions short and build up gradually. It may take several weeks before your puppy truly masters this skill so in the meantime keep them safe and remember the more your puppy practices a behaviour the better they become at it.

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