Training our dogs to walk politely through any threshold has been one of the best decisions we've made, but it's also the training choice that has required the most amount of patience.
Walking through doors and gates with your dog happens daily for anyone who doesn't use a doggie door. If you take the time to train your dog to wait for you, sit at different doorways, or even settle into a down while you're locking a door, you'll probably find that going out with your dog is a much more pleasant experience.
When you take the time to think about how you want your dog to behave as you go through any opening, you may quickly realize that your dog already behaves politely. Or you may recognize that your dog is calling the shots and pulling you along.
If you're trying to get to the car with items in tow as well as you dog, you may be less thrilled with the pulling when you're dropping boxes or bags or worse, your coffee. Instead of letting your dog lead the way, you should consider what kinds of behavior would work better for you.
Create a routine for common thresholds
When you open the door to their crate or kennel, how do you want your dog to enter and exit? Do you want to teach the wait cue?
When you leave the house, have a routine for how you want your dog to behave while you’re unlocking and locking the door. Do you want to make them sit? Or is standing patiently okay?
When you're taking your dog somewhere in the car, how do you want them to behave as you let them in and out of the car?
Whatever you determine to be the best options for your dog, both for exhibiting good behavior and maintaining a safer environment, be sure to stick to that goal.
Train consistently over time
How many goals you tackle at once is up to you. Some people pick one or two. Other people may decide to hold their dog accountable at every threshold. Whatever you choose, just remember to be patient as much as you can.
Getting through thresholds with these higher expectations requires a lot of patience. There are those days when you just need to get going. But whenever you truly can, make your pup sit or settle into a down or wait before you cross the threshold.
Initially, training at thresholds may not always be a super quick one-minute or less exercise. Results for waiting at various thresholds may also vary. If you're always in a rush to get out the door with your dog, then results will take longer. But if you can start to hold your dog accountable for behaving how you want him to behave at the door, then crossing any threshold becomes a training exercise. A training exercise that also becomes more second-nature to your dog over time,