For The Golden Retriever Who Runs Through Doors and Gates


Although frustrating, this is actually one of the easiest problems to correct.

Teach your dog to sit and stay at all doors and gates and to hold that stay until you either give him permission to go through or release him after you have closed the door. By teaching him that doors and gates are boundaries that require permission, you will eliminate the problem.

Start with your dog on a leash, and walk him up to the door. Have him sit, tell him to stay, and then with the leash firmly grasped in your hand, open the door wide and stand aside. If he dashes forward, correct him for breaking his stay by saying, “No, stay!” Take him back to where he started and do it again. If he continues to do it, give him a snap and release of the leash and collar as you correct him verbally. When he will hold the stay at this door, go to the other doors and gates and teach the same lesson, the same way.

If your Golden tries to sneak past you when he is not on the leash, block him with your leg or slam the door in his face as you give him a verbal correction.

If your dog does make it outside, don’t chase him. If you chase him, it becomes a game. Use your snack shaker to call him to you and say nicely “Spot, do you want a cookie? Come! Good boy!” When you do catch him or he comes back to you, don’t correct him. If you do, he learns that coming back results in a correction. Instead praise him for coming to you. 

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.