How to get results with this technique in less than five minutes… Owning a dog who consistently bolts out the front door means putting up with a dangerous (not to mention annoying) habit.
Most dog owners don’t realize how easily this habit can be fixed. There are two primary ways to teach your dog to actually choose not to bolt out the front door.
The first technique reminds me of a three-panel “Sunday Funny Pages” comic strip I saw in the Los Angeles Times a few years ago.
The first panel contained a picture of a mother telling her girlfriend over the phone that she has just hired a professional dog trainer to teach Fido to not drink out of the toilet. In the background, her three-year-old son is standing next to Fido as he drinks out of the toilet.
In the second panel, the three-year-old son reaches for the toilet seat and proceeds to slam it into the back of Fido’s head, while he’s drinking the toilet water. Fido is shown seeing stars!
And finally, the third panel shows the mother speaking again on the telephone with her girlfriend… now two weeks later… saying, “Yes, the training worked miracles! Fido no longer drinks out of the toilet!”
With this first technique, you can achieve super-fast results by employing the same theory.
First, put the leash and collar on your dog. Next, stand in front of the closed door with the leash in your left hand and the door knob in you right hand. Your dog should be standing on your left side. As you begin to open the door, your dog will start to bolt.
However, now is the time to show him that you have no intention whatsoever of keeping the door open long enough for him to run through. Immediately slam the door closed. And don’t worry if you happen to clip him in the nose a little bit. The next time, you can bet he’ll be much more cautious about not immediately running out the front door. And besides… a little clip on the nose isn’t going to kill, maim, or injure your precious pooch!
Gradually start moving the door open and closed, just like the blade of a fan, very quickly. Every time your dog starts to think about going through the door he will see it again slammed in his face. At the same time, tell him, “Wait.” Ultimately, you can get to the point where you can leave the door open for longer periods of time, because every time your dog makes any kind of move towards the door frame, he learns that the door will slam shut. It’s very simple in the dog’s mind. “If I walk through the door, it’s going to close every time and I might get bumped in the face,” your dog thinks, “Better not risk it and wait until my master tells me its cool.”
When you are ready to walk out the front door with your dog, give him a release command so that he knows when it is okay to walk through the door. This release command is extremely important. Without it, you may never get consistent results because your dog really has no way of knowing that there are certain times when the door will slam shut, and other times when it won’t.
Once your dog begins to understand this simple concept, you can start with some creative proofing exercises. The first proofing exercise I suggest is to tie a long line to the door knob and practice slamming it shut from a distance. Place your dog’s food bowl on the outside of the doorway, and stand far enough away so that your dog thinks he can sneak out and get the food. This teaches him that, even if you aren’t near the door, he still is not allowed to bolt outside without your permission.
The second proofing exercise is to have a friend come in the door from outside, and just as the dog tries to bolt, the door is closed (by the visitor on the outside, rather than from the inside). This makes for complete reliability. Practice these techniques over a period of a few weeks, and before you know it, you’ll see that your dog will really start to look towards you for permission before walking out the front door!