Is your dog a escape artist ? Does he get way to excited when going or a walk or greeting people outside your house ? Here’s some great ways to cut down that arrousal level at the door :
1. Teach relaxation
Gifting your dog with the necessary tools to loosen its muscles when stressful situations are presented is essential for our friends well being.
The trick here is making them thing that is their choice to settle by simply sitting down in your favorite couch or chair and WATCH. Yeah you read right ! Watch and wait for your dog to sit down , yawn , do a down dog or lay down and immediately say your “yes” word and price that calming behavior . Then wait for a chin down or a stretch and do it again . If your dog gets excited cause he knows he is getting treats wait for him to settle down again and reward.
When your pup is mastering the art of getting into ”zen mode” for a few minutes you can start doing a few circling massages when laying flat sideways on the ground.
Practice this at the door when there’s nothing going on around you . Then try knocking on the door from inside . Ask a partner to open the door from inside as well , then with visitors . Little by little add more intrusions , give less treats and give your dog more space to make a good decisión . Don’t get discourage if he seems to not get it when we play with the environment . Just take a few steps back and try it again .
2. Using an Incompatible behavior
In obedience training we call an incompatible behavior to anything that is not the undesirable action . Instead of letting our dog bolt out the door we can : Teach a solid place , sit , down or crate .
By solid I mean , that at your end goal should be that your dog stays were you place him until you say your release word , independently of whats going on around him . Pick any of the commands just mentions above and start randomly capturing (saying yes or good boy) and reward when they do it on their own . You can also lure them into the desirable position. Always start in a place were there no more dogs or people. Practice in a place where your dog will perform at his best. Once he is proficient start saying your release command like “free” right after he does de desirable behavior and lure your dog out of the command.
Practice your stays were there’s not a lot of things going on in your house and go further away on them adding your time as well, If your pup steps out of the position before you say your free word put him back on the position and don’t reward him . When he is staying for 2-3 minutes on a 6 feet distance practice bending over, clapping your hands , open cabinets , etc. Then practice at the door, opening and closing it, knocking it yourself, inviting friends and family to train.
Now, the key factor here is going to be putting him back every time he breaks the command and try to reward for accomplishment as much as you can. Also, train for what you want your dog to perform and don’t go to far to fast.
3. Create an bulletproof recall
This command is considered the most important one in dog training because the base of every single thing. You will need to get your dogs attention in order to ask anything from him. A good recall may also safe your escape artist from a terrible accident .
Start by playing some attention game while walking your dog on a six foot leash. Say your dogs name followed by your recall work while he is distracted and give a yummy treat for coming back to you. If your dog doesn’t come give him a slight pup on the leash as a reminder , bend your knees and call him back again on a high pitch voice, dogs love that! Dont work on recalls from a stay, that will confuse your dog to only respond to you when he is looking at you or when he is on training mode. If YOUR DOG LOVES toys have a little tug or war session or fetch session after each successful return.
Another way of indulging your dog in recall games is by playing ‘Hide and Seek’ . Go to your favorite park , clip a 15-30 foot leash on your dogs harness and ask for a partner to help you by holding your dog from the front hips . Tease your pup with something super high value like a piece of cheese and hide 10 feet away from him then ask your partner to release your dog immediately and reward him with the valuable recompense . Now do it from further and further away and make it harder as you go giving him no other choice than using its nose to find you . That’s a very rewarding bonding experience as well as fun and engaging!
If your dog ever tries to run away don’t chase him unless he is in a dangerous situation . Try to stay calm and lay down or run the opposite direction. Always have treats available so if he decides to come back you bring a good experience to the table . Don’t ever correct him from coming back .
4. Using the door as a barrier
In order to have a successful educational experience we most be able to control their environment manipulate the consequences .
Practice this by opening the door and closing it immediately when you dog tries to bolt out of it . Don’t let him walk outside until he is calm and you have said your release word. Work on this on times when you are not planning to take him out as well just to keep him guessing.