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Canine Trauma

Dog Charging Through the Door

by Fred Hassen - Master Trainer "Sit Means Sit" Dog Training

I often have problems with clients' dogs that like to charge through doors-----especially the sliding glass door in the back. It is especially a problem if the client has multiple dogs. Let's start with the sliding glass door, and this can be carried over to any type of door. What has caused this problem in the first place?

Every time that you have opened the door, it has been a written invitation for the dog to come through. In other words..... (door sliding) = (dog charging). This has also been verified again and again, therefore proving to the dog that he is exactly right each and every time. The first thing we have to do, is to show the dog that (door opening) = (step back). Here is how we do that:

The second that you open the door, you are immediately to kick your feet one after the other right into the space provided. When you see the dog next to the door, walk up to the door, slide it open---then immediately kick your feet through the opening. Do not wait to see if the dog steps back or not. For now, just kick your feet through either way. Then shut the door and continue going about your business.

We are instilling in the dog that (door opening) = (feet are coming out). We are verifying it each time. Doesn't matter how many dogs are out there. About the 4th time that you do this, the door will open and the dogs will automatically step back. In fact, they will probably even step back as they see you approaching the door.

At this time, you want to start overlaying a "wait" command to the opening of the door----or a similar word. Now, once you open that door, and they are waiting on command----they will start to get brave (trust me on this), and when they see that no foot is coming out even though you said "wait", they will move forward to test the water. Immediately bring the feet back out and repeat the "wait" command. Reinforcement never ends, and it's under control now---just keep it that way.

Fred Hassen is the owner and Master Trainer of "Sit Means Sit" Dog Training in Las Vegas, NV. Fred has numerous titles and awards to his credit which are viewable at Fred has many years experience in the K-9 training field. He is also available for seminars. You can reach Fred at

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