Like managing other undesired behaviors, decide what you would like your dog to do instead of rushing the door. Choose a behavior that is incompatible with door rushing, such as sit-stay, not crossing the threshold, or go-to-place. In this video, KPA CTP Steph Folkman chose sit-stay for her dogs, with the goal of having the dogs’ hind quarters touching the floor as she opens the door. Steph breaks down the process into small steps, asking her dogs to sit before she approaches the door. She rewards the sit with a treat and then puts her hand on the doorknob. If the dogs remain seated, Steph increases the criteria slowly until the doorknob is turning and, eventually, until the door is opening. Note how she rewards her dogs for remaining in a sit at each increment. If the dogs were to move out of their sit, Steph would reset them in a sit again and start over. With patience and practice, Steph’s dogs have learned that they have magical power to open the door simply by sitting!
For more ideas about how to get started training your dog, check out our blogs and the Dog Trainer Foundations course! The Immersion version of the Dog Trainer Foundations course offers an even more personalized, structured learning experience plus five hours of coaching to help you get to the next step!