Your News: Tips to make sure your dog doesn’t dash

Dog trainer Karen Wild
Dog trainer Karen Wild

Over Christmas, with visitors coming and going, the door can be a hazardous place for your dog, so why not use the Christmas break to do a bit of door-safety training?

Place a lead on his collar and hold the end. Choose a spot well away from the door where you want your dog to remain. As you step away to the door, watch him carefully. The second your dog starts to move from the spot, lead him gently back there. If you wish, you can ask him to ‘sit’, although this is not essential.

The important part is that he learns to stay on the spot no matter where you move. Just because you step away, or touch the door handle, none of these actions mean ‘move’.

Each time he stays, praise him happily. You should be able to reach the door after a few tries, without your dog moving. Go back to your dog, praise him well, and tell him he can move. Repeat, practicing going to and from the door with your dog happily on his spot, then start to add in family volunteers as ‘visitors’ until he sits and waits reliably.

Not all owners have the time to train their dog!

If you are very worried about safety, or really don’t have the time to train him, be practical.

Place a stairgate across an inner doorway (or hallway if one will fit), so he cannot access the door without you opening that gate. Tall gates are easy to find, to help with a larger or bouncy dog. This buys you time to let visitors in and out, and keeps everyone sensible and safe too.