This might sound silly, but when a pet owner and their dog walk through an open door, a pecking order is established as to goes out first. It’s true.
In a dog’s mind, being first in line means they are the leader of the pack.
And walking through an open door isn’t the only one. Entering and exiting gates is on this list as well as going up or down a flight of stairs.
If a pet owner wants to establish pack leadership they should never permit their dog to be steps ahead of them.
“To change this ‘first out the door’ dog mindset, obedience has to come into play,” said a spokesperson for Performance K9 Training. “For example, before opening the front door, have your dog either in a sit or stay command. Be sure they stay in that position the whole time you open your door and then give them the ‘okay’ to go out the door after you have stepped out first.”
A dog may try to challenge this but it can be overcome with good obedience and persistence. If they get up and try to race out, close the door before they have a chance to leave and give a down or sit command once again. This may take several attempts but it can be done.
“It’s important to keep your eye on your dog and the minute they move from their obedience position, close the door,” the spokesperson said. She continued, “Use command words your dog is familiar with such as sit, down, wait and stay until you have gone out the door. And when you release your dog, don’t let them rush out the door. Instead, try to encourage a calm exit.”
Stay consistent with this “out the door” pack leadership training. And when success is reached, don’t forget to praise your dog for a job well done.