Trainer stresses teaching your dog this doorway rule is vital to avoid harm, and it's not what you'd think

Dalmatian dog stood by porch door
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Have you ever opened the door to greet a visitor, take the garbage out, or head off to run an errand only to have your dog sprint out in front of you? If so, you're far from alone. In fact, having an enthusiastic pup try to dart out the door before you can stop them is one of the many frustrations we pet parents have in common. 

Even if you try to keep them amused with one of the longest lasting dog chews, there's something about the opening of a door that leads to freedom and the great outdoors that excites our fur friends like nothing else. 

While we don't blame our canine companions for wanting to make a break for it, Adam Spivey, the founder of Southend Dog Training, says that teaching your dog thresholds is so important - both for their safety and the safety of others.

In a video shared on Instagram, which you can view above, Spivey explains that an open door should never be a signal to your dog to rush out and that they instead must wait for permission from you before moving beyond the threshold.

"Make sure before you open the front door, you are between the dog and the door. You never want to open the door when the dog is there, you don't want to be leaning over the dog."

Spivey says that the reason you don't want to be leaning over your dog to open the door is it creates a situation where there's space for them to run outside. 

"You want to get into the habit of when you get to the door, before you open it you make sure there's space between you and the door so that when you open it, you can step out. If the dog tries to rush out, you can shut the door."

Why is threshold training so vital? Well, according to Spivey, having your dog wait for permission before crossing the threshold could potentially save their life. It's something that you can use not just at your front door, but also when you're out walking and want your dog to understand that they need to stop at gates or particular pieces of the sidewalk as opposed to darting out onto busy roads or blind corners.

Looking for more great training tips? Then be sure to check out our top tips for how to crate train a dog.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.