Doggie Door Manners

Door manners are a crucial foundational skill that every dog should learn. Not only does it ensure their safety, but it also prevents them from running out and potentially getting into dangerous situations. In this article, we will explore the importance of door manners and provide a step-by-step guide on how to teach your dog this life-saving skill.


  1. Understanding the Importance:

Having your dog run out the front door can be incredibly dangerous. They may dash into traffic, get lost, or encounter other hazards. Teaching them boundaries surrounding the door is essential for their safety and your peace of mind.

  1. Preparation:

To begin training door manners, you will need a leash and some tasty treats. The leash will help you maintain control, while the treats serve as positive reinforcement for good behavior.

  1. Setting the Stage:

Start by having your dog on a leash near the door entrance. Ask them to SIT and WAIT, setting them up for success. This position ensures that they remain calm and patient.

  1. Unwanted Behavior:

When you open the door, your dog may try to dart forward. In this case, say “Oops!” and promptly close the door. This teaches them that attempting to run out is not acceptable. 

  1. Reinforcing the Desired Behavior:

Reward your dog with a treat and verbal praise when they successfully wait near the door. This positive reinforcement helps them associate the behavior with a reward, encouraging them to repeat it.

  1. Gradual Progression:

Once your dog can wait calmly near a closed door, gradually increase the difficulty. Open the door slightly and repeat the exercise. If they remain in position, reward them. If they try to move forward, close the door and start again.

  1. Introducing a Release Word:

Introduce a release word like “FREE” or “BREAK” to signal that your dog can move forward. This word indicates the end of the wait and allows them to pass through the door. Be consistent with using the release word during training.

  1. Generalizing the Training:

Practice door manners in various locations and with different types of doors, such as front doors, back doors, or car doors. This helps your dog understand that the behavior is expected in any door-related situation!


Teaching door manners to your dog is a life-saving skill that should not be overlooked. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can establish boundaries and reinforce good behavior, ensuring their safety and preventing potential accidents. 

To work on Door Dashing Etiquette, contact a Good Dog, DYNO trainer today!

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