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  • Writer's pictureKari Bastyr, MS, CDBC, CPCN

Dog Training: Why does My Dog Run Away when I Open the Front Door?

Last year, I met a wonderful client, Susan, who got a black lab puppy named Dorothy.  Dorothy has grown up to be an ambassador of the breed except for one thing: She has a really hard time with impulse control at the front door. She likes to run through it anytime it’s open, and with kids running in and out, it is happening quite a lot!  She also runs down the street and doesn’t come when she’s called.  And, according to Susan, the most frustrating time is when her monthly wine club delivery comes and she has to open the door, AND carry a big box of wine in. Wine deliveries are important but so is Dorothy’s safety!  This year, they got a new black lab puppy named Etta Mae.

A free-standing dog gate at the front door.

My first concern is that both dogs have access to the door when kids are running in and out.  So, I asked Susan to order a free-standing gate with a walk through door. She is a dream client, because ordered it the same day!

Now the dogs are behind the gate when the doorbell rings. Susan walks through, shuts the gate, and can get her wine deliveries, and the kids can come in with their friends.

We are working on down stay and calming down when the doorbell rings, but having the gate will help tremendously as the girls learn they can’t get to the door.

Environmental management is always the first step in changing behavior.

If you need a free-standing walk-through gate at your front door, here are a few options:

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