Why does my dog try to dart out of the door?

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Oh, that exhilarating rush of freedom! How great it is to escape the confines of the house and roaming in what seems to be the wild. Just the act of running seems self-rewarding!

Only problem is, the dog can get seriously hurt, whether she is getting hit by a car, in a fight with another animal or even ingesting something toxic. On the other hand, it also reinforces some pretty objectionable behavior by ignoring you as the “pack leader,” fighting and knocking over kids and just generally alienating the neighbors.

So what do you do?

First, you must establish yourself as the “pack leader.” There can be no question in your dog’s mind as to who is the benevolent leader she wants to please — or she’ll use every opportunity to take advantage and test you. The best way to do this is to engage in a few minutes of basic obedience training every day. Not only will this establish you as the leader, but it will provide mental and physical stimulation for the dog—and it will be a BIG bonding experience for you both.

At the very least, she should know the commands for “sit” and “come”—but you may also want to take her for a couple of obedience classes.
Sit: Begin with your arm down, alongside your body, with your fingers pointing toward the ground. Raise your forearm and hand by bending your arm at the elbow. When the movement is finished, your palm should be facing up and your hand should be above your dog’s head. If you have a treat in your hand, your dog will follow the hand movement with his nose and eyes. Her rear end will tend to go down, so she ends up sitting. (If her rear end doesn’t go down automatically, you may need to gently push it down.)
Come: Hold your left arm straight out in front of your body. Then slowly move your hand across your body so that your left hand ends up touching your right shoulder. Speed up the motion of your arm once your dog learns the command.

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