Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Doors and Doorways

I have always insisted Marley wait for permission before crossing a doorway. Living in a city it is extremely dangerous for a pet or child to run outside. I'm especially strict about her waiting for permission before exiting the car.

This was fairly easy to teach, this is what I did:
  • First we learned stay and wait in obedience class.
  • Each time we encountered a door leading outside I asked her to sit/wait. I then open the door and invite her outside.
  • Once outside I asked her to sit while I locked my door.
  • If we were returning from our walk we repeat the process.
This ensures she will sit and wait nicely while I juggle all my stuff while closing the door. I don't know about most people but leaving the house involves a lot of juggling of purse, leash, beverage, book and snack. Having my dog wait just ensures I don't drop anything.

I am extremely concerned about Marley jumping out of the car to chase squirrels. For this activity I enlisted the help of Marley's favorite people.
  • I waited until I knew she could wait and understood sit/wait at doors in my home.
  • I started to ask her to wait while I stood in front of the door (basically using my body as an obstacle).
  • Once she didn't try to jump out, I started moving slightly to one side (basically creating a situation where there was a slight opening).
  • I waited until there was enough opening for Marley to jump out if she chose, pretty much the entire door width.
  • I then enlisted Marley's friends and asked them to call her name and basically entice her to leave the car. We started with me blocking the door and reminding her to wait.
  • She was pretty good about it until I moved to the side of the door and she jumped out, thankfully she was wearing her leash.
  • I picked her up and put her back in the car and repeated the command wait.
  • I kept the sessions really short and we repeated this each and every time we were at the car.
This took a long time for her to learn this to my satisfaction. At this point I trust her to stay in the car while I walk around the car. She is very good about waiting for permission to leave the car; however, I will never try this anywhere near a road.

  • This was posted at the request of Bruiser's mom; I would strongly suggest completing an obedience class before trying this.
  • This is what I do every time we leave the house or leave the car. If for any reason Marley doesn't wait, we start over at the beginning.
  • We had to start at the beginning when we moved. Marley stayed on a leash until I had time to begin teaching her the rules applied to our new home.
  • I do not put her in situations where she can fail; therefore, I will never do this anywhere near a busy road.

1 comment:

bc_lover said...

Train play eat sleep train play eat sleep train play eat sleep. What a life! ;)