Ding-dong, the pizza man is here! Your dog rushes to the front door while barking loudly. As you carefully crack the front door open, your dog pushes his head through the crack and runs out the front door. The pizza man freaks out and drops your pizza while you go out to chase your dog through the neighborhood. Yikes, how can you stop your dog from running out the front door?
Set Up a Pet Barrier
Prevention is key until a dog learns how to respond to the opening of the front door, so set up a pet barrier to block your dog from the door. While it’s impossible to add a regular gate to the front door, you can place a secure front door dog gate inside your home.
Choose a well-made gate that can be expanded around the front door area and one that your family can easily step over. For large dogs that have a history of gate crashing (knocking over gates), choose a wall-mounted version with a hinged door. Gates that are at least 4 feet high prevent excited dogs from jumping over them when the pizza man arrives.
Keep your front door barrier in place permanently; it’s an added safety piece until your dog learns to wait at the door. Also, it’s a great safety measure if neighborhood children walk in and out of your house. This management tool will keep your dog safely contained inside.
Change Your Dog’s Behavior
Placing a front door barrier is an excellent management tool, but it’s important to teach your dog how to positively react when the front door opens. Grab lots of super yummy treats, put a leash on your dog and crack open the door.
When your dog chooses to back away from the door, click (or say “yes”), close the door and then give your dog a treat. Continue to practice with your dog leashed by slowly opening the front door a bit wider. If your dog tries to rush out the door, wait until she stops and click/treat. For more details, check out how to teach your dog polite door behaviors here.