Dashing Out the Door


Our Border Collie sprints out the door as soon as we open it. She is not obedience trained and we are working on that but until that time, I am really worried that she will get out and get hit by a car. She even does this when we aren't looking so keeping her on leash when we get ready for a walk is not going to solve the problem entirely. Is there a remedy for this until we get her obedience trained?


Nothing of course beats a dog that sits and stays, even when you are opening the door, but for those not quite there yet, the long line is a quick fix. Tie the line to the dog, let it drag it around for awhile, then go to the door and open it, let the dog bolt out, and then immediately slam the door shut. The dog gets three negative reinforcements (none of them from you) - a corrective jerk from the line caught in the door, the loud noise of the door slam, and it is now outside the door without you. Open the door, call the dog back, then Praise, Praise, Praise. Words of caution - do not slam the door too early or too late. Too early and you get the dog's tail. Too late and the dog picks up lots of speed before getting snapped back. Both are obviously dangerous.

The same thing goes for the pulling on a leash problem. I prefer the dog making itself uncomfortable if it pulls than the snapping of leads and the issuing of NO! commands. You want the dog to enjoy walking with you, not dread it.

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Page last updated April 1, 1997. All material Copyright 2004 Border Collie Rescue, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas B. Carter
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