Teaching your dog good doorway manners can mean the difference between a pet who waits calmly to go outside and one who runs through every open door. A puppy that tries to escape when the door is opened can easily become lost or get hurt if he runs out into the street.
Teaching your puppy to restrain himself is the best way to control his behavior at doorways that lead outside. Restraining a puppy by holding his collar will only make him frustrated and can actually encourage aggressive behavior. Once your dog has mastered the Sit command, you can use this command to maintain control of your dog near doorways. Your dog will eventually learn that sitting still is rewarded with a trip outside and he will start to sit automatically by any doorway.
When you start teaching your dog to wait before going through a doorway, practice on a doorway within your house:
- Attach a leash to your dog’s collar.
- Give your dog the Sit command.
- When your dog is sitting, open the door and step through the doorway.
- Say your release word and encourage your dog to come through the doorway.
- When your dog is through the doorway, give the Sit command again.
- When your dog is sitting, give him praise and a treat. Then say the release word. When your dog is reliably sitting before and after going through doorways inside the house, practice these steps using doors that lead outside.