How Do I Get My Dog From Running Out The Door?

Every time I try to leave through the door to the garage, Wolfie is always at my feet trying to get out ahead of me.  Many times I have to get to work and sometimes I am late because I have to try and catch him and put him in another room so I can leave.  There must be a better way!

Dogs running out an open door is a very common and really annoying problem that many dog owners face every day.  It is a big problem because is gets us mad (and we don't need that in today's world), hampers our relationship with "our best friend", and poses a safety risk for Wolfie.  So, what is going on here?

As a trainer, I always tell my clients to check out the world through Wolfie's eyes.  Wolfie watches our body language to constantly try and get clues as to what we are saying and what we are allowing him to do.  A large part of body language is posture and one of the key factors of that is whether we are facing Wolfie or if we have our back to Wolfie.

When we face Wolfie, we are in a dominant stance.  We are telling him that we are in charge of the room.  He needs to watch us and wait for our commands telling him what to do.  When we show our back to Wolfie, we are telling him that we are submissive and even playful.  Wolfie can take this as a "follow the leader" game, chase after us and pass us (out the door).

With this in mind, let's get an idea of what Wolfie is seeing when we go to the door to the garage.  Normally, we say "goodbye" to Wolfie.  We are facing him at this point.  We pick up our keys, coins, etc., and then walk to the door.  Guess what?  We now show Wolfie our back.  We are now in a submissive, play mode.  We are telling Wolfie that we are no longer in charge so he doesn't have to obey and respect us.  We are also asking Wolfie to play.  No wonder he isn't listening to us and running out the door.  So, what do we do?

We need to let Wolfie know that we are in charge as we are leaving.  We do this by facing him and backing up to the door.  As soon as he starts to move towards the door, tell him "no" in a very low voice and hold our hand out like a policeman telling a car to stop.  Slowly back up to the door so that your movement does not generate any adrenaline in Wolfie.

Open the door slowly, continuing to face him.  Correct him again if he begins to move towards you.  Now, step through the door and close it slightly.  In a high voice, tell him "good boy" as you finish closing the door.

What you have done is to use the body language Wolfie is expecting from a good leader to clearly communicate to him what is right and wrong.  Your actions were simple and consistent.  Practice this for about two or three weeks and Wolfie will understand that your leaving through the door to the garage is not a game.  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.


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