Dog Bolting Out Front Door

Been training my dog and for the most part it’s going well but despite walking her many times a day she still seems to have this urge to bolt and she won’t sit or obey while at the door. Any tips?

Sarah Bowman

Sarah Bowman, trained my problem rescue dog for safe walking in crowded public spaces

Yes, dogs can definitely be trained not to bolt out the door, though I don’t know if one can put a guarantee on it never happening even to a well-trained dog depending what is outside. First, don’t ever let the door stand open while chatting with a friend or seeing off the kids to school, etc. That is the perfect time for a dog to escape to the great outdoor. Always say your good-byes inside or outside the closed door—after ensuring that the dog is on the side you want it to be. While people are passing through, make sure someone is holding back the dog. Never let the dog pass through the front door without its leash on.

If you have a fenced-in backyard, the backdoor should be the only outside door the dog passes through without a leash. If you don’t have a fenced-in backyard with the gates closed, your dog DOES NOT leave the house without its leash.

Someday, perhaps, your dog can be taught to sit politely inside the door as you chat with friends on the stoop but it does not sound like that will be in the near future, given her tendencies to bolt out. Remember how boring it was as a child to listen to grown-ups talk on the phone or at the door? It must be even more so for a dog, especially since it can pick up all those over-powering and enticing smells in the great outdoors.

The above is how I keep my dog in the house. For more ideas you may wish to look through the professional dog trainer Cesar Milan’s website Cesar’s Way, or Google “how to keep dogs from bolting out front door.” You might additional helpful tips by Googling “how to keep dogs inside the house.” There is always Obedience School to try if one exists in your area.

I hope you find an answer. We want that dog to stay safe!

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