How to stop your dog from door bolting

You open your door for a split second and your dog is GONE through the door. Door bolting is not only extremely frustrating but also really dangerous. Below we will go over how to stop your dog from running out the door easily.

To teach this you’re going to need to have some delicious bite sized treats ready. Need some? Here is a list of what I use when training my dogs and client’s dogs.

Steps to stop your dog from running out the door

  1. Put a fence or x-pen outside your door while training this to prevent your dog from running out the door during training.
  2. I start by putting a training platform by my door. I use a Kilmb training platform, but you can use anything sturdy such as an ottoman. Make sure it doesn’t shake and is stable under yours dogs weight. It also should not move if they come running to jump on it. By using an elevated platform it helps out dogs stay in one spot vs inching or sneaking forward and gives them something they LOVE to be on.
  3. Starting on leash I lure my dog onto the platform and reward her for going on it and repeat this over and over for a few days. She (or he) should soon get excited to get on the platform. Only reward for jumping on – never for jumping off.
  4. Once your dog is successful at this try it without the leash, and again reward for going up on the platform.
  5. Next, on leash, slowly open the door – just 1″ is great! Then close the door. You should close it before your dog jumps off. They probably got excited seeing the door opening and hence opening its just a tiny amount is really important. Reward your dog for staying and not jumping off. Repeat this multiple times over a few days. As your dog stays for this it’s time for the next step.
  6. Next open the door a bit more, 3-5″ is perfect. Again reward your dog for staying on the platform. Open the door slowly, reward and then close the door.
  7. Should they get off simply ask your dog to get back on the platform and go back to opening the door less.
  8. As your dog understands this game, begin to open the door further and further and reward your dogs progress.
  9. Begin holding the door open longer and continue to give multiple rewards during this time.
  10. When you are ready to go through the door, give your dog a verbal cue that it’s okay to go! “Let’s go” works great but you can use anything.
  11. Over time begin to open the door slowly to ensure your dog is staying on his or her platform.

Additional tips:

  1. No, you don’t need a training platform (ottoman) to accomplish this. BUT it does help this behavior vastly by having your dog on some sort of platform. Don’t have one, try a dog bed or mat that will remain nearby the door. We love this one from Pet PLAY for training.
  2. Remember to go slow, if your dog is more excited at a certain time of day – say around dinner time- you might need to open the door slower than other times – and that’s okay!
  3. It’s okay to talk to your dog. Great time to use your stay behavior.
  4. I give my dog a release word when they can get off the platform, I use ‘Okay’ but you can use anything that is natural ‘lets go’ ‘all done’, etc.
stop your dog from bolting out the door

In no time your pup will be much more controlled and safe when you open your door. Have fun training!

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