Try this expert’s simple tip if your dog loves to run out of the door — it’s easier than you think!

Dog running out the door
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Does your dog like running out of the front door as soon as it opens? If so, you’re not alone! It’s quite common, as dogs associate it with going for walks, and in turn, more freedom (and exciting scents and sounds) than they might have in the house.

But it can be dangerous, particularly if you live on a busy road, or there are people outside that your dog might knock over or injure in their excitement. So, it’s a good idea to get your dog to wait inside until you’re ready to leave with them — even if they’re sporting one of the best dog leashes, they could take you by surprise. 

And, with a simple tip from certified dog trainer Melissa Goodman of Mission Pawsitive, you’ll be well on your way to achieving that.

In a video Goodman recently posted to Instagram, she explains that she’s working on door manners with a dog, Hank, and saw that when they were practicing the ‘stay’ command, he’d often dart outside as soon as she released him.

“To help him slow down, I simply scatter a few treats on the floor as I release him,” she says. “After doing this a handful of times, this is what it looks like on our next session.”

The video then skips forward to Goodman’s next training session with Hank, and Hank is able to walk out of the front door calmly, and alongside her, even without any treats being dropped. 

One thing Goodman points out is that the idea a dog shouldn’t walk out in front of you is just a myth, and this way of thinking isn’t what’s prompting her to stop Hank from darting outside. As she puts it, “I just want a dog to walk out with me for safety, and because it’s more enjoyable that way.”

She continues, “If he darts out, I don’t get upset or punish him. Instead, I make the situation easier for him by scattering a few treats on the floor to help physically slow him down. By doing this repetitively as I released him, moving slower became more valuable and shaped a better habit.” Here’s the science behind positive reinforcement for dogs for more on why this is a better method.

Sometimes, the simplest solutions can be the most effective. To stop Hank from rushing outside, Goodman hasn’t needed to try anything too complex. All her method required was some delicious dog treats. 

But what if your dog also gets excited when somebody comes to the front door — like a visitor or delivery person? Here’s how to stop a dog from jumping up

Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering pets, lifestyle, health and culture, and he has six years' experience in journalism. He was senior editor at, and has written for The Independent, GoodToKnow and Healthline

He's also spent the last few years studying towards undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in journalism. While a cat person at heart, he's often visiting his parents' golden retriever, and when he's not writing about everything pets he's probably drinking coffee, visiting a cat cafe, or listening to live music.