How To Keep Your Dog From Running Out The Door

This is a typical scene; you come home after a stressful day at work, you’ve done your chores of picking up the kids at school and doing your groceries. Once you open the door with heavy parcels in hand, your dog dashes through the doorway and out on the street. It is rush time, so everyone is outside. There are tons of cars which increases the risk of accidents. To top off a stressful day, you have to retrieve your dog and get them back to safety. Of course, this will not be the last time your dog will be an escape artist. Thousands of dogs are hit on the road each year. Dogs have a talent for escaping and getting into dangerous situations. How to keep your dog from running out the door? Teaching your dog to keep out of trouble and stay put at home is crucial to your peace of mind and your dog’s safety.

Why Dogs Door Dash

How To Keep Your Dog From Running Out The Door

Your dog might escape for several reasons. They may lack physical and mental stimulation. Because of this, their hunting instincts are triggered, and when they see small animals dart outside, they want to chase it. Male dogs especially have the drive to explore. A minority of dog breeds have the potential to wander. This is especially true for hounds and hound mixes. They are at the mercy of their noses. Working dogs like Siberian Huskies love to run all day, and they are highly independent and be on an adventure. Overall, any dog, regardless of their breed, will have the need to race out the door if they get the chance.

How to keep your dog from running out the door? Doorways trigger excitement. Your dog has associated it with good experiences since it is where they have to go through if they are taken for a walk outside or play games of fetch on the yard. They also observe that visitors and people they love enters through the door. Rushing out a wide-open door gives an adrenaline spike, so if your dog makes their great escape, it will likely be repeated again.

Dogs that rush out doorways are likelier to be hit by cars, especially if they run off to the main roads and lose their way. They might also get into trouble with other dogs and wild animals. To keep your dog on the safe zone, it is important to put your foot down on their door dashing antics before it gets out of hand.

How to keep your dog from running out the door– top tips

How To Keep Your Dog From Running Out The Door

Safety Precautions

How to keep your dog from running out the door? The first step you should do is to set up an environment that prevents your dog from ever being a successful escape artist. Putting up dog gates are a great way to manage your dog so they won’t have access to the door in the first place. You might be aware of the double gate entrances found in dog parks which help stop dogs from escaping. You can set up the same in your home. Block off entryways in your home, especially at the front door and every other doorway that your dog might find an escape. Pay special attention to garage doors and back sliding doors.

How to keep your dog from running out the door? If your home doesn’t allow you to fit dog gates, you can opt for freestanding gates or install something as simple as dog pen panels to stop access to doorway areas. If you cannot set up space management features, such as gates, ensure that your dog is either leashed, crated, locked in the puppy area, or a separate room with the doors closed.

How to keep your dog from running out the door–Teach Your Dog What to Do Instead 

How To Keep Your Dog From Running Out The Door

How to keep your dog from running out the door? When trying to address your problem dog behavior try to ask yourself what you want your dog to do instead.

If you have already established control features on your home, the next step is to roll up your sleeves with the training aspect of door dashing. Teaching your dog what you want them to do instead of dashing out the doorway will depend on you.

You can teach your dog tons of other stuff to do to curb their door dashing:

  • sit near the doorway
  • do not come near the threshold of the doorway
  • get to bed

While you are training them, you should also get your dog to respond to a return call if they do manage to escape outside without a leash. If your dog knows your recall command, it can save their life.

How to keep your dog from running out the door–5 Steps to Teach Your Dog to Sit and Stay at the door 

This type of training is especially nice because you can teach them to behave properly beside doorways without having to offer food treats. In this type of training, your dog will learn that if they sit calmly, the door will open like magic for them. For the dog to get what they want, which in this instance is to dash out the door, your dog must learn to sit and stay until you give them the go signal. This training will take some patience on your part, and you need to be consistent.

Step 1

At every door in your home, ask your dog to sit. You can establish this by giving the verbal signal “sit”. Perform a hand signal or just wait until they sit on their own. If you are training on a door with outdoor access, keep your dog on a leash for safety.

Step 2

Once they sit and stay put, slowly open the door. Start easy and don’t open the door too wide or too quickly.

Step 3

If they move from the sitting position, shut the door at once. Help them return to a sitting position and repeat. Make it easier the second time by not opening the door wide, or waiting too long before release. 

Step 4

If they can stay in a sitting position for several seconds, start opening the door and say okay and let them pass through the doorway with you. This is their reward. Give plenty of verbal praise. You might also consider petting them or hugging them if your dog enjoys these. 

Step 5

Increase the amount of time your dog has to wait it out. Also increase the amount of time you open the door as they stay in their sit and stay position, before giving them the ok signal. Train your dog at every door so that your dog generalizes this behavior.

As your dog adapts a calm behavior, you might notice that your dog will start to sit and stay at every close door they come across. They will imagine it has magical powers of making the door open simply by sitting calmly and politely on their bum on the floor.

Invisible Boundary Training at Doorways– how to keep your dog from running out the door

This is an amazing behavior to teach your dog that loves door dashing. Your dog will learn not to cross the boundary unless given the go signal. Meaning, they would stay inside regardless of your physical presence. While it may seem like a tough task, this behavior reinforces your dog’s free will to stay put behind boundary lines. Also, you can apply this training for more than just your door. You can even teach your dog to stay out of the kitchen using invisible lines. It is also possible to teach your dog to stay at the back of the car as you open the door. You can teach them to keep out of the dining area or stay away from certain parts in your garden. There are so many applications. 

How to keep your dog from running out the door –Go to Bed Training

Training your dog to get into bed on signal is beneficial in a variety of situations beyond just door dashing. It also keeps your dog from jumping on guests and prevents them from being underfoot in the kitchen area while you cook. Settling them in a specific spot gives them other options other than begging at the table while you’re having dinner.

You can utilize a yoga mat or rubber-based bath math that is convenient for you to bring in different places. You can bring your dog’s mat in establishments that allow dogs, so they will have something familiar and comfortable to sit on while you socialize with friends and do your thing.

Set yourself up for success with your dog. You will want to teach your dog to go to bed without the distraction of an opened door.

Once your dog has adopted a calmer behavior, you can start adding the challenge of getting them to stay on the bed while you open the door.

Train Your Dog to respond to Reliable Recall– how to keep your dog from running out the door

Your dog must respond to you when they are called in case they manage to bolt out of the doorway. Many dogs are escape artists, especially when guests come over, and the door is left wide open or ajar. They also take advantage of the times when children might be coming and going through the doors while playing outside. Once they manage their escape, puppies especially really enjoying playing the catch me if you can game with their human owners. It can bring you lots of frustration, and it can be potentially dangerous.

Once you have established proper door safety measures and train your dog on what to do aside from door dashing, you will see an amazing improvement. You will have more peace of mind that your dog will stay in the safe zone. They won’t be darting outside where they can get hurt or get in trouble.

The Environment Method– how to keep your dog from running out the door

Step one

Consider installing baby gates across the doorway. These baby gates are affordable, effortless to install, and they will eliminate the temptation for your dog to bolt. If you have younger children in the house, the gates will be an additional safety measure for them as well.

Step two

Install tethers and leashes next to doorways in question. Putting a leash beside each doorway within your eye line is a speedy and effortless way to stop your dog from running out. As soon as you head out the door, simply put them on a leash and tether and get your peace of mind.

Step three

This is the isolation technique. Put your dog in a crate for a couple of minutes each time they dash out of the door. If they run out the door, give them an additional 30 seconds of penalty. Keep increasing the time until they get the message. Your dog will quickly learn that going beyond the boundaries will result in a boring time in isolation.

Step four

Give your dog the encouragement they deserve once you see they are making progress, no matter how small it seems. Please make sure you reward them with verbal praise. Always have an encouraging tone and let your dog or pup know that you appreciate their effort.

Step five

Always be patient with each training and give them several days before you give up and consider other options. A majority of dogs will need a few days training to respond to your commands, so don’t lose hope. You can also combine training steps. Patience is the key, and different methods may work for different dogs.

Final thoughts


Thousands of dogs get killed on the road each year, and you don’t want your dog to be one of the statistics. Also, once they are free outside, they might get lost or get stolen. Establish proper door behavior to keep your dog in a safe zone. It is crucial to get a heads up on how to establish rules with your dog. How to keep your dog from running out the door? You will find that training your dog can be a challenge. Applying patience and consistency in each training session will let the lesson stick. Giving your dog praise and rewards will make your dog love following the rules.