Door dashing is a very common behavior that can have obvious dangerous consequences. The first step in stopping this behavior is to find out why your dog wants to run away in the first place.
Why Do Dogs Door Dash?
- Many dogs become bored in their home environment and are stimulated by the opportunity and excitement they feel when they make their escape.
- Dogs that don’t get a lot of opportunity to go outside may door-dash to get a taste of freedom, while others with high prey drive and a deep-rooted instinct to run and chase are driven by their desire to hunt.
- Most domestic dogs live in a sensory deprived environment, so the promise of fun and excitement outside the home is too much for them to ignore – escaping makes them feel good.
How to Stop Your Dog From Door-Dashing
- Start by teaching valuable impulse control. Dogs are born with little self-control and it is up to us to teach them ‘manners’ so they can live more successfully in a domestic environment.
- Teach your dog to ‘stay‘ by putting your hand up and holding it still until you give the signal that it is ok to move, followed by a food or toy reward for complying.
- Once you have your dog’s focus, gradually lengthen the time that your hand is still until your dog can stay in place for a minute.
- Ask him to stay and take a step back. If he breaks his stay, lure him back to his original waiting place and repeat the exercise.
- Repeat until you can walk about ten feet away from him without him following you. You are now ready to move to the door.
- Repeat the exercise by the front door with your dog staying a good distance away from the door.
- Put your hand on the door and rattle the door handle. This is a physical and auditory cue that the door is about to be opened, which might trigger your dog to move towards the door. Lure your dog back to his place until you can rattle the door handle without him moving.
- For each exercise, go back and treat him for staying in one place. This means you are continually reinforcing him for staying still.
- If your dog is complying, then you can move onto the next level. Open the door a tiny crack, shut it again and go back to your dog to reinforce the stay with a treat. Continue until you have the door wide open with your dog staying still.
- During this training process your dog will be problem solving – working out what he has to do to get a reward.
- The next stage is to add triggers that signal someone is at the door and a door dashing opportunity is imminent. Ring the doorbell yourself or having a family member outside do it for you. It is one thing for your dog to sit and wait by a door during a calm training session, but quite another to use self-control after the doorbell has rung.
- Be patient because your dog is likely to react to the trigger of the bell. Calmly lead him back to his place and repeat until he no longer moves when he hears the bell. Open the door to reveal that no one is outside.
- Repeat the exercise with family members coming through the door, guests and then strangers, as long as your dog is sociable and safe around new people.
- This teaching exercise might take time. Don’t rush it and be patient, because you will see success. Remember that every dog is unique and learns at a different pace.
Featured dog- Minnie
Minnie came to the shelter with 3 other dogs when her owner could no longer keep them. She is approximately 4-5 years old. Minnie is a nice calm lady. she can be a little shy until she gets to know you but loves being with people. she does well on a leash and is learning to play with toys. She would make a good companion for someone looking for a dog to take on walks and be your best buddy in the home.
Other available dogs
Red- Wonderful dog. Quiet, loves everyone Great companion
Oscar- Tiny long haired Chihuahua Shy but he is coming out of his shell. Does well on leash
Pixie- Chihuahua blend puppy. Shy but loves attention and being cuddled.
Featured cat- Sissy
Sissy came to the shelter with her mother when her owners could not keep them. She was shy at first but is becoming more outgoing. She is playing with the other cats and loves watching everything going on around her. Beautiful colors. She will carry soft toys around the room and chase them playing fetch. She purrs and cuddles when held in your arms.
Other available cats
Katy- beautiful black/while long hair. Tiny build Loves everyone
Lily and Laurel- 14 week old black and white sister kittens. Playful and full of love and energy
Mr. Whiskers- handsome boy, quiet and friendly. Loves watching the world go by.
Paris- No fuss no muss. Just wants to watch everyone. Special diet
Yellow canary flew into someone’s home. We think it is a young bird. Will chirp and sing especially when you talk to it.
All animals will be spayed or neutered prior to leaving shelter and receive 1 year rabies vaccination and city license. Ages are approximate.
The City of Mesquite Animal Shelter located at 795 Hardy Way is open for adoptions from 11am until 1 pm, Monday through Saturday, Sunday 1pm -3pm. Please call 702-346-7415 during these hours to speak to the front desk. Animal Control may be reached by phone or voicemail at 702-346-5268
The animals submitted to the media may have changed so please visit our Petfinder website for a current listing and more detailed information on the animals. www.mesquiteanimalshelter.petfinder.com
Please also check our Facebook pages for lost and found animals along with pet information. https://www.facebook.com/MesquiteNVAnimalControl and https://www.facebook.com/FRIENDSOFMESQUITENVANIMALSHELTER