My dog is constantly running to the door, and I’m afraid that it may escape one day and become lost. It’s microchipped, but I still worry about what could happen.
From the Editors of The Dog Daily
The worst thing you can do is let your dog actually run past you through the front door. This usually gives your would-be escape artist a taste of freedom and adventure that it will never forget. But such uncontrolled wandering outside comes with dangerous risks. The goal is to keep your dog safe and inside.
First, reinforce basic “sit” and “stay” commands. Your dog should adhere to these no matter the temptations, be they the opened front door, a new female dog friend, or more. Second, the organization PAW in Greenbelt, Md., suggests that you teach everyone in your home, including regular guests, “the doggie doorknob rule.” This holds that no one should even begin to open the door without first knowing exactly where the dog is. If worse comes to worst, keep your dog on a leash and by your side when expecting multiple guests and where such vigilance becomes difficult.
Another tip, shared by Patricia McConnell in her book For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend is to train your dog to associate the sound of a doorbell -- or a knock at the door -- with a desired reward, such as a food treat. This should be accompanied by a “go to your place” command, during which you lure your pet to its safe designated area with a treat or toy. This safe spot could be another room or a crate. Practice taking your dog to this area, and do this well before guests are expected to arrive. Before long, your dog will learn to go by itself to this safe spot, where it will wait a bit for a reward.