One assignment I like to give my clients is the “door stay” for safety as well as more patience building.
This is an especially good command to teach before Halloween trick or treaters, movers or delivery people show up and you’re opening & closing your door dozens of times in one day or night.
Step by step instructions:
- In front of your door before leaving, have your dog sit, say “stay”, and then open the door.
- If he moves, say “no” and close the door. (This will teach him that movement causes you to shut the door, much like the original stay exercise which you can see here. So he will learn that staying still allows him to leave – with your command).
- Do NOT use the leash except to stop him if runs all the way out the door. He needs to learn to control himself, especially in case there’s no leash on him at some point and the door opens.
- Once the door is open and he is staying in the sit, you walk through the door and say “OK” and lead him out.
- Build up the amount of time you stay in front of the open door to a minute. This builds up his tolerance for waiting as well starts training stay with possible distractions, such as people & dogs walking by your house.
This exercise is for patience of course, but also for safety so he learns to never try to run out of the door when it is open. You can even practice this when you are not going out to reinforce it.
By practicing this several times a day, you should have a dog who stays put even if he sees a wide open door.
If you are 100% consistent, your dog will learn to be as well!
Here is a video with a couple examples with The Pooch Coach’s dog, Musik.
If your dog needs more practice with just a basic “stay”, here are some tips to get your started: Train your dog to stay.