How to Stop a Dog From Running Out the Door

by Stephanie Dube Dwilson
    Give your dog plenty of exercise so he is less likely to dart out the door.

    Give your dog plenty of exercise so he is less likely to dart out the door.

    Hemera Technologies/ Images

    A dog that darts out the door is a danger to himself in many ways. He may run into traffic, tangle with other dogs or get lost. Combined with the frustration of chasing him down and the risk that he may knock over you or a guest in his hurry to leave the house, and you can see why this is an important vice to correct. The key to fixing this problem is consistency, everyone in your house must commit to working with the dog, every time they go out the door.

    Step 1

    Attach a leash to your dog while he is in the house. You can just leave the leash loose to drag on the ground, but he needs to have it on so you can easily control him when you go out the door. For safety's sake, connect the leash to a flat buckle collar, not a training collar.

    Step 2

    Control your dog at the door before opening the door. Reach down, grasp the leash and tell him to sit. Do not open the door until he is sitting quietly by your side.

    Step 3

    Make him wait for you. When you open the door, he will probably pop up and try to head out the door. Anticipate this move and shut the door while you keep him from leaving by applying pressure to the leash. Don't open the door again until he is sitting.

    Step 4

    Open the door and step outside. If your dog starts to leave with you, step back into the house and shut the door. Repeat the process until he sits quietly while you step over the threshold.

    Step 5

    Invite your dog outside. Tell him "OK" and let him come out with you. Walk around outside and then head back in to repeat the process.

    Step 6

    Keep him inside. Once he will reliably wait for the invitation to head out with you, start making him stay in some of the time. Simply step out as usual, but shut the door behind you, not giving the "OK" signal to invite him out. When you go back into the house be prepared for him to try to dart out. Open the door and tell him to sit, then walk inside. He should still be wearing the leash so that you can grab him if he tries to run past you.

    Step 7

    Alternate between allowing him to go out with you and having him wait inside until he reliably waits at the door, waiting for your invitation.

    Items You Will Need

    • Buckle collar
    • Leash

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images

    About the Author

    With features published by media such as Business Week and Fox News, Stephanie Dube Dwilson is an accomplished writer with a law degree and a master's in science and technology journalism. She has written for law firms, public relations and marketing agencies, science and technology websites, and business magazines.

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