How do I stop him from bolting out the front door?
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Thread: How do I stop him from bolting out the front door?

  1. #1
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Default How do I stop him from bolting out the front door?

    Hello. Need some advice for my 3 and a half month old pup.
    Like most puppies he follows me around all day. I work and study from home so that means he's with me 24/7. I've been worried about this for a while because whenever I leave our apartment, I have to trick him or distract him and escape, otherwise he tries to follow me out. He figures out that he's been tricked pretty quickly and because the front door is mostly glass, can see me walk away. Then I hear him wailing and barking till I get to the end of the street.
    He stops after a while of course and when I get back I find him sitting quietly either in a room with a view of the front door, or right inside the threshold. Usually there's at least one other person at home because we don't want to leave him completely alone till he's 6 mo, but I'm the one whose leaving upsets him.

    Now he also tries to shoot out of the door whenever someone comes in or goes out and I have to hold him back. So my problem is two-fold:

    a) I don't like tricking him like that every time I leave - I'm afraid it might damage the trust he has in me.
    b) I can't trust him not to run out whenever he sees the door open and that's dangerous.

    Before you ask - he gets regular exercise, responds well to commands and learns new tricks really quick. I don't think him wanting to bolt out of the door has anything to do with pent up energy. He just wants to explore the world outside till the next meal-time. Unfortunately, that's hazardous in a city.

    Thank you. I know I'll get good advice as always. =)
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    Last edited by artemis-wilde; 05-04-2013 at 09:46 AM.

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    mrogers is offline Senior Member
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    I know you can train a dog not to run out the front, I am just not sure how. As for the leaving him problem, we try to make leaving for the day a pleasant time for our dogs by giving them a longer lasting treat like a Dentabone or similiar as we are leaving. They actually look forward to the time they see us getting ready to leave because they know they will have a treat. They become distracted by the treat and don't even look up as we leave. If you don't want to do a treat, maybe a Kong with something in it to distract him would be good.

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    awackywabbit is offline Member
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    Teach him to sit when you open the door.

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    Jefferson'n'Ted's Avatar
    Jefferson'n'Ted is offline Senior Member
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    Years ago, I had an Irish Setter that darted out the front door and got hit by a car. So now, I try to make sure that my dogs are not door darters.
    This is how I taught Jefferson and Teddy:
    I put them on a long line--20 foot or so. (the long line is just for an emergency grab if they dart through.) Take them to the front door and ask them to sit, then ask to wait. Open the door an inch. If they break the sit, I say "ah, ah" and slam the door. (at this stage I try to do this as loudly as possible to make my point.) Once we have 1 inch down, I open the door 2 inches. I slowly moved inch by inch to holding the door wide open. At any point if they moved from the sit, the door gets quickly shut. Once you can open the door without them breaking, step slowly outside the door, then back in. At first you are only taking one step, then two, and so on until you can walk out and walk in without them breaking. At this point, I hold the end of the long line, prop the door open and go in and out several times. Usually their reward is to be given the "okay" to come out of the door.

    I do the sit and wait every time I take them out the front door. They are not allowed to go through the door until I say "okay."
    With Teddy, because he is so, so hyped up I also did this with his crate. Ask for a wait, then allow him to come out. You can do this in cars also--so that if you are taking them someplace, they don't dart out as soon as the door is opened.
    “If I know every single phone call you’ve made, I’m able to determine every single person you’ve talked to; I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. And the real question here, is what do they do with this information that they collect – that does not have anything to do with al-Qaeda? And we’re gonna trust the president and the vice president that they’re doing the right thing? Don’t count me in on that.”
    Joe Biden, 2006

  5. #5
    artemis-wilde is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefferson'n'Ted View Post
    Years ago, I had an Irish Setter that darted out the front door and got hit by a car. So now, I try to make sure that my dogs are not door darters.
    This is how I taught Jefferson and Teddy:
    I put them on a long line--20 foot or so. (the long line is just for an emergency grab if they dart through.) Take them to the front door and ask them to sit, then ask to wait. Open the door an inch. If they break the sit, I say "ah, ah" and slam the door. (at this stage I try to do this as loudly as possible to make my point.) Once we have 1 inch down, I open the door 2 inches. I slowly moved inch by inch to holding the door wide open. At any point if they moved from the sit, the door gets quickly shut. Once you can open the door without them breaking, step slowly outside the door, then back in. At first you are only taking one step, then two, and so on until you can walk out and walk in without them breaking. At this point, I hold the end of the long line, prop the door open and go in and out several times. Usually their reward is to be given the "okay" to come out of the door.

    I do the sit and wait every time I take them out the front door. They are not allowed to go through the door until I say "okay."
    With Teddy, because he is so, so hyped up I also did this with his crate. Ask for a wait, then allow him to come out. You can do this in cars also--so that if you are taking them someplace, they don't dart out as soon as the door is opened.
    Thank you. That sounds like something we can manage with practise. But once he's trained to sit/stay while I walk out the door or come in, what's the next step? I mean his reward was being allowed to go out. So if I say sit and walk out, leaving for a few hours instead of a few seconds, wont he keep sitting in expectation of the reward? - Am I supposed to say "okay" from outside (after closing the door behind me) so he knows he can break "sit"? Part of my problem is that the door is glass, so he can see me leaving and that gets him very worked up. =(
    Apologies if I sound like a dunce.

  6. #6
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    You are leaving a 3.5 month old puppy in your apartment loose? Wow. Why are you not using a crate? That would solve your problem and keep your puppy safe in your absence.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCuY9uX7ods

    agree that a 4 month old puppy shouldn't be loose in the house. is he crate trained? Do you dog proof your house? It is asking A LOT for a young dog to leave them free in the house when you are not there. heck, at that age, you generally can't keep your eyes off them for more than a few seconds!
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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    citronella's Avatar
    citronella is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with the above, but would strongly encourage crating him. He needs someplace where he can feel safe and secure.
    The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!



  9. #9
    Jefferson'n'Ted's Avatar
    Jefferson'n'Ted is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by artemis-wilde View Post
    Thank you. That sounds like something we can manage with practise. But once he's trained to sit/stay while I walk out the door or come in, what's the next step? I mean his reward was being allowed to go out. So if I say sit and walk out, leaving for a few hours instead of a few seconds, wont he keep sitting in expectation of the reward? - Am I supposed to say "okay" from outside (after closing the door behind me) so he knows he can break "sit"? Part of my problem is that the door is glass, so he can see me leaving and that gets him very worked up. =(
    Apologies if I sound like a dunce.
    This is a very similar training technique. This is when I use "NO DOG." No dog command means I am going out and you are not. I use this when I go out to get the paper, or open the back gate to take out the garbage cans.
    You train this very similarly, but the reward is praise or a treat. In this situation I do not ask for a sit. I just say "no dog" and go out the door.
    Your pup is pretty young, so this may take some time.

    ETA: Teddy is not loose in the house while I am gone--he has a track record of getting into things he shouldn't when loose in the house. Jefferson just goes into the family room when I am leaving. If someone else is home and I am not putting Teddy in his room, then I just say "no dog" and leave.
    Last edited by Jefferson'n'Ted; 05-05-2013 at 11:43 AM.
    “If I know every single phone call you’ve made, I’m able to determine every single person you’ve talked to; I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. And the real question here, is what do they do with this information that they collect – that does not have anything to do with al-Qaeda? And we’re gonna trust the president and the vice president that they’re doing the right thing? Don’t count me in on that.”
    Joe Biden, 2006

  10. #10
    bett is offline Senior Member
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    sit. stay. and have a leash on him to step on. and practice.
    rewards when he does, praise praise praise.

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