Try this trainer's clever tip if your dog loves dashing out the door when it’s time to leave for a walk

Woman and dog waiting by elevator
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A walk might be one of the most exciting things for your dog to experience in their day. And, this means that dogs can often be very excited when it’s time for ‘walkies’.

If your dog likes to launch out of the front door when you’re about to leave for a walk, you’re not alone. It’s something that many dog parents have to contend with. 

However, it can be annoying, particularly if you need to double-check you’ve brought some of the best dog treats with you or you need to lock the door again before you head out. It can even be dangerous, too, as your pup could injure you, or even hurt themselves if it’s busy and there are vehicles around. 

But certified dog trainer Juliana DeWillems, the owner and head trainer at JW Dog Training & Behavior, has offered a tip in a new Instagram post. It might just save your life – or your sanity!

“It’s understandable our dogs are eager to get outside and get moving!” DeWillems explains. “Even if you calm them down before heading out, a lot of times opening the door is a cue to bolt through it. Changing the door opening to a cue to walk through it and then turn back to you can make a huge difference.”

DeWillems recommends giving your dog their most reliable attention cue as they walk out of the door. This might be their name, a positive interrupter, a hand target, or even just showing them a treat. You can then reward them when they turn to you by giving them the treat. 

She continues, “What this does is gets your dog to turn back to you after they walk out the door instead of running to the end of the leash and pulling to start the walk.”

The more you do this, DeWillems explains, the more your pup will start to automatically turn back to you as they go through the door.” This way, you can help keep your dog safe, and save yourself the potential frustration too. Your dog will learn, even if it takes quite a few tries – and dogs can be surprisingly clever. Here are 32 ways to spot if your dog’s smarter than you think.

DeWillems’ advice is easy to follow, too, and takes almost no time at all. You open the door, your dog walks through, you cue attention, your dog turns to you, and they get a treat. Then, you can continue with your walk as normal!

Maybe you’ve sorted the problem of your dog dashing outside when your walk begins, but what if you’re struggling to get them to come back to you when they’re off-leash during your walks? This article might help: 15 helpful ways to get your dog to come back to you on off-leash walks.

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Adam England
Freelance Writer

Adam is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle, health, culture, and pets, and he has five years' experience in journalism. 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.