How to Keep Your Dog From Escaping Out the Front Door

Kate Barrington
by Kate Barrington
Are you afraid that your dog is going to make a break for it every time you open the door? Settle your fears with the right commands.

It happens to every dog owner at least once – you open the front door and your dog comes out of nowhere and bolts across the lawn. Moments like these can be terrifying for a dog owner, especially if you live near a busy street. Your dog doesn’t know that he’s running head-first into danger and you’re powerless to stop him. Or are you? Keep reading to learn some tips for keeping your dog from escaping out the front door.

Related: What To Do If Your Dog Gets Lost

Teach Your Dog to Sit and Stay

The best thing you can do to prevent your dog from running out the front door is to teach him the sit and stay commands. Once your dog knows these commands you can use them on a regular basis, asking your dog to sit before you open the door so he isn’t tempted to bolt. Here is how to teach your dog to sit on command:

  1. Kneel in front of your dog with a handful of treats in one hand and a single treat in your dominant hand.
  2. Hold the treat in front of your dog’s nose so he can see and smell it but don’t let him have it yet.
  3. Tell your dog to “Sit” in a firm tone and immediately move the treat forward toward the back of his head.
  4. As your dog’s nose lifts to follow the treat, his bottom will lower to the floor – as soon as it hits, tell him “Good dog” and give him the treat.
  5. Repeat this training sequence until your dog starts to sit on command without you having to lead him through the process.

Related: Find Your Lost Pet

Now that your dog knows the sit command you can work from it to teach him how to stay. Here are the simple steps to follow:

  1. Kneel in front of your dog and give him the “Sit” command.
  2. When your dog sits, tell him to “Stay” then wait a few seconds before telling him “Good boy” and giving him a treat.
  3. Repeat the training sequence a few times, making your dog wait a little bit longer each time.
  4. Start to incorporate some distance by moving backward away from your dog a few steps each time you tell him to “Stay” then move back to release him.
  5. Work with your dog over several days until he is staying as long as you tell him to and even when you move away from him.

Once your dog has mastered the sit and stay commands, all you have to do is use them. Each time you plan to open the door to let your dog out into the backyard or to take him on a walk, ask him to sit and stay before you open the door. Make your dog wait while you clip on his leash and don’t let him move once you open the door until you give him the okay. You’ll also need to be vigilant each time you open the door to make sure you know where your dog is.

Kate Barrington
Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.

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