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Preventing and Fixing Door Dashing

This skill involves working on rewarding calm behavior and puppies choosing to remain in the kennel instead of pushing out of the door. 

  1. Put on a treat pouch. 
  2. Wait for all of the puppies to have all 4 paws on the floor and give each of them a treat through the bars/window/gap.  (If the puppies all go for the treat or jump at the kennel, take a few steps back from the kennel until they all have 4 paws on the floor and begin again. 
  3. Once the puppies have all 4 on the floor, open the door (door opening out) and enter into run. (If the puppies jump at the door or try to push out of the door, immediately close the door. Wait for the puppies to have all 4 on the floor and begin again.)
  4.  Latch the door behind you so the puppies don’t push out the door. 
  5. Give a treat to puppies that are standing or sitting calmly. Do not treat or pay any attention to puppies that are jumping, biting, climbing. Calm puppies are the ONLY puppies that get attention and rewards. (If all of the puppies go after the treat at the same time, stand straight up and wait until the puppies remain calm while treating other puppies.) 
  6. Continue to reward the puppies that are standing or sitting calmly. The puppies quickly learn that they get rewarded for remaining calm.
  7. Once jumping puppies remain calm, immediately reward with a treat and CALM attention. 
  8. Perform the activity you need to do in the kennel. (Continue to reward calm behavior from the puppies and ignore jumping puppies displaying undesirable behavior.) 
  9. Before leaving the kennel, give each puppy a treat calmly for good behavior. 
  10. Open the kennel to leave. (If any puppies try to barge through the door, immediately close the door and begin again.)
  11. Exit the kennel and immediately give each puppy a treat through the kennel bars if displaying calm behavior. 
  12. Give yourself a pat on the back because you did an AWESOME JOB! 

If you or your puppies are struggling with this protocol, set up a situation with less puppies or practice rewarding calmness while you’re in with the puppies, before advancing to working with the pups while you are opening the door. Once puppies understand the concept, they will remember faster during future training sessions.

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