How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door

Medium
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

There are so many reasons why it's a bad idea for a dog to jump at the door, especially a glass one. From the large dog who accidentally smashes the glass to a small dog leaving paw prints, keeping 'four on the floor' and not jumping up is the best idea.

Sorting this problem requires a little lateral thinking. First, you must figure out why the dog jumps at the door. For example, is it his way of asking to go out to the toilet or does the dog get super-excited when the doorbell rings? Identify the role played by jumping and you can teach an alternative behavior that is both safe and acceptable.

As with many training issues, prevent the dog doing the unwanted jumping while you're retraining. This can be as simple as putting the dog in another room when visitors are due or leaving the door to the yard open when you're not training.

Defining Tasks

Jumping up is an action the dog teaches himself. He learns that jumping up makes the door open or visitors appear. This means the behavior is ingrained, which makes it harder to break. This is why it's important to reduce the opportunity for the jumping, while you retrain.

Successful trainers don't just tell the dog what not to do, they put an alternative action in its place. That way the dog knows what is expected in order to make the door open or the visitor enter.

Train little and often, say twice a day for 10 - 15 minutes at a time. Always used reward-based methods and keep the sessions fun. Last but not least, end on a positive note with a command the dog is able to do.

Getting Started

All you need are basics, such as tasty treats. In addition, you'll need props such as a mat (for the dog to lie on instead of going to the door) or a bell (to ring instead of jumping at the door).

  • Treats
  • Props, such as a mat or bell.

Be aware that punishing the dog for jumping at the door is ineffective and damages the bond between you. Instead, teach the dog the appropriate response so he knows what's expected from him.

The Stop Bad Habits Method

Effective
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Stop Bad Habits method for Not Jump at the Door
Step
1
Understand the idea
OK, so your dog jumps at the door when the doorbell rings. You open the door to let in guests who then give him a big fuss. In his mind, jumping at the door gets a big reward. To re-educate the dog, you have to stop those accidental treats. Think around your particular problem and see what you can come up with.
Step
2
Visitors phone ahead
Get visitors to phone when they are nearly at the house, so you can put the dog in a back room. This removes the opportunity for the dog to jump at the door and reinforce his bad habit.
Step
3
Leave a leash on in the house
Keep a leash on the dog in the house. When the postman knocks, grab the leash to stop the dog charging for the door.
Step
4
Withdraw attention
If the dog jumps at the door, don't respond in the way he expects. If it is safe to do so, walk away and withdraw your attention. This means jumping up is not rewarded and becomes less attractive as an occupation.
Step
5
No shouting!
Don't shout at the dog for jumping at the door (your attention is rewarding to dogs). Have visitors ignore the dog as they enter. Both of these strategies avoid rewarding the unwanted behavior.
Recommend training method?

The Teach 'Bark' Instead Method

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0 Votes
Teach 'Bark' Instead method for Not Jump at the Door
Step
1
Understand the idea
Your dog has a habit of jumping at the door when he wants to go out. Try encouraging a different signal, which you reward.
Step
2
Work with the dog's existing skills
Decide where the dog's strengths lie. For example, if his loves using his voice, then teaching him to bark as a signal works well. For the dog that loves scratching, consider a bell for him to strike with a paw.
Step
3
Link 'bark' to the door opening
For the vocal dog, wait for him to ask to go out. Instead of immediately opening the door, encourage him to bark. Perhaps show him a favorite toy, one he'll bark to get hold of. Or talk in an excited voice, so he picks up the vibe and barks back.
Step
4
Praise and reward
Immediately when the dog barks, praise him, give a treat, and open the door. Now he learns a bark is more rewarding than jumping at the door.
Step
5
Be patient
It takes time but the dog learns that a bark unlocks the door and jumping serves no purpose. It can be helpful to do this in conjunction with the Stop Bad Habits method.
Recommend training method?

The Teach 'Mat' Instead Method

Effective
0 Votes
Teach 'Mat' Instead method for Not Jump at the Door
Step
1
Understand the idea
Let's move to the scenario where the dog jumps at the door to greet visitors. While retraining, plan ahead and stop access to the door when guests call. The plan is to teach an alternative action, such as lying on his mat, which you establish as the desired reaction.
Step
2
Teach the dog to go to his mat
Next is to teach the dog to lie on his mat. It helps if the dog is already trained to 'stay'. You may need to teach this command in tandem if not.
Step
3
Position the mat
Place the mat at a distance from the door. Place a treat on the mat and as the dog goes to the mat to eat it, say "mat". Now try standing a couple of feet away. Point to the mat and give the 'mat' command. You may need to toss a treat onto the mat to get the dog to respond.
Step
4
Increase the mat's distance from the door
This teaches the dog that "mat" translates as "Sit on that spot to get a reward". This is easy for him to do, so he's likely to obey. Gradually increase the distance from the mat as you give the command.
Step
5
Have the dog 'stay' on the mat
Once the dog is regularly going to the mat on cue, increase the amount of time he spends there with a 'stay' command. This will help your dog's self-control when visitors do arrive since he shouldn't move until released from the 'stay'.
Step
6
Practice with visitors
Now enlist the help of a friend. With the dog regularly obeying 'mat', add in a knock on the door. (A knock only, the person doesn't actually enter.) By tossing a treat to the mat, you can override his desire to jump at the door--especially when there's no fuss from a visitor.
Step
7
Come on in
Your final step is to have people enter while the dog stays on the mat. Have visitors completely ignore the dog but walk over to his mat. If he stays put, he gets a treat.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Pippa Elliott

Published: 11/03/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Johnny
Labrador heeler mix
5 Years
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Question
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Johnny
Labrador heeler mix
5 Years

My dog, Johnny, is a Labrador heeler mix who is mostly an outside ranch dog. The past week he has been jumping on the doors like he wants in but when I go to the door he steps away and cowers. He will sometimes open the door and come into the laundry room and hide. I know yelling and aggression are not the right answer for any situation. I am unsure how to redirect him or have him do something else as I am unsure what he wants and also, when the behavior is happening, I am not next to him. How can I train my dog to stop jumping on the door?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, I would see if you can spy on him using a camera - like a phone/tablet/video baby monitor/security camera/gopro with on mute to see if something is triggering the behavior outside - like something he is running away from or something he wants to get to inside that he hears - like food being prepped. Since he is running in and hiding, it sounds like he either might be trying to get away from something outside, or wanting to look inside. If you discover a trigger, then you will need to address whatever fear or curiosity that is itself also. If the behavior is simply pup being bored, wanting in because of comfort, or trying to see what's going on inside, I suggest booby trapping the door. Place something that won't harm pup but is uncomfortable against his side of the door - something like bubble wrap or a scat mat up against the door are two examples. You don't want to harm him, just make contact with the door unpleasant. At the same time, practice being outside with him, telling him to Sit or ring a bell (whichever you prefer), rewarding with praise and a treat, then opening the door. Practice this daily, and after a few days of practice, spy on pup from inside and let pup in whenever he begins to offer the polite behavior on his own. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Biggs
pitbull
3 Years
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Question
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Biggs
pitbull
3 Years

Hello, we adopted Biggs from the shelter about two months ago. His main areas of challenge include jumping on the glass door when he wants to come inside and pulling pretty badly during walks.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelsey, For the pulling, check out the article linked below and the Turns method. Practice it with pup's muzzle slightly behind your leg and as soon as pup starts to move their head past your leg, turn directly in front of pup. Timing is important here - if you wait until pup is further ahead this will be hard to do. Practice in an open area like your yard, calm cul-de-sac free or cars, park, or field at first. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the door jumping, work on teaching pup a sit. Before you let them inside each time, have the sit. Open the door a bit and command Sit. If they obey, open the door all the way and tell them "Okay". If they disobey and try to rush the door, close it more so they can't get through and wait until they sit before opening it again. That alone may be enough, but if not, when pup jumps on the door, open it slightly and spray a small puff of air from an unscented air canister at their side or chest - avoiding spraying them in the face, then close the door again - not letting them in yet. When they are calmly waiting at the door or especially if they sit to be let in instead, let them in or toss them a treat if it's not time to come in yet - to encourage the polite manners. Don't use citronella for this, only unscented air, and avoiding spraying in the face. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Nova
Siberian Husky
3 Years
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Question
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Nova
Siberian Husky
3 Years

I just got my 3 year old Husky a few days ago. She is used to being an inside dog with her previous owner but now is having to be an outside dog. At night she jumps on the screen door and howls making it hard for anyone to sleep. I’m curious if there’s a way that will at least keep her from jumping on the door

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jasmann, First, I would consider having pup sleep in a crate inside at night even if she needs to be outside during the day for her own security and safety. If that is not an option, you can do the following. You can purchase a door guard and ignore the behavior to two weeks until pup adjusts to being outside. If you cannot ignore the behavior due to neighbors or another reason, you can also set up a camera to spy on pup from the other side of the door, like a second phone or tablet with skype on mute. When you see or hear pup scratch or beg to be let in, briefly open the door, tell pup "Ah Ah" very calmly and spray a small puff of air from a pet convincer at pup's side or chest. Do not spray in the face, and only use unscented air. Don't use citronella - it's too harsh for their sensitive nose. After correcting very calmly (your voice shouldn't sound mad, just matter-of fact that what they did was incorrect), then close the door again. Repeat the correction each time pup scratches or demands in other ways to be let in. When you see pup sit calmly, leave the door, or lie down, open the door, calmly walk over to their place bed in that room, and sprinkle a couple of pieces of dog food onto the place bed to reward the calmness and patience. Don't reward pup right at the door though, you want the train pup to go rest on the place bed and not beg at the door - if the place bed is where rewards happen and you return to, that should help motivate pup to simply go lie down on it when you leave the room. Be sure that pup is receiving mental and physical stimulation through training sessions, games like fetch or training games, and things like walks during the day also to help pup feel more content outside alone. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Braxton
Australian Shepherd
4 Years
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Question
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Braxton
Australian Shepherd
4 Years

Braxton is a 4 year old in a newly adopted home and jumping up on the sliding glass door when visitors approach. The entrance to the apartment unit is right next to the sliding glass door. I would like to train him not to jump onto the door.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, I would recommend teaching pup a Place command and working on pup staying on Place until they can remain on place while you let guests in - practice place for short amounts of time, then work up to 1 hour, then work up to you being able to leave and re-enter the room again, they up to your family and friends going in and out the front door over and over again while you enforce Place from close to pup, then to real guests coming over while pup stays. Once pup is completely calm and guests are inside, release pup and encourage guests to tell pup to sit and give a treat that you provide for being calm. For the door jumping itself, work on teaching pup a sit. Before you open the door each time, have them sit. Open the door a bit and command Sit. If they obey, open the door all the way and tell them "Okay" (while they are on a long training leash to keep them safe if the door doesn't go into a fence, which I am assuming it doesn't). If they disobey and try to rush the door, close it more so they can't get through and wait until they sit before opening it again. That alone may be enough, but if not, go outside or have a friend go outside with you to trigger the jumping. When pup jumps on the door, open it slightly and spray a small puff of air from an unscented air canister at their side or chest - avoiding spraying them in the face, then close the door again - not going inside yet. When they are calmly waiting at the door or especially if they sit to greet you, open the door to go inside to greet them or to toss them a treat if it's not time to go in yet - to encourage the polite manners. Don't use citronella for this, only unscented air, and avoiding spraying in the face. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dexter
Miniature Dachsund
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dexter
Miniature Dachsund
10 Months

Hi, Dexter has now found his voice... and is using it. We are practicing shush and quiet with rewards, and ignoring him where we can. Both of which work part of the time. However especially challenging is when out, and he see’s people, both those he knows.... excitement, and those he doesn’t... a mix of excitement and fear. Any ideas please

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
234 Dog owners recommended

Hello. Barking and excitability can be a challenging behavior to turn around. Because it is so complex, I am sending you an article full of great information that can help you. https://www.petplace.com/article/dogs/pet-behavior-training/excessive-barking-in-dogs/

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Question
AMBROSE
Pit bull
7 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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AMBROSE
Pit bull
7 Years

AMBROSE CHARGES THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR WHEN HE SEES A SQUIRREL. HE WEIGHS 98 POUNDS.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marissa, Does pup also charge windows? If pup doesn't run into the windows also, you could try putting something on the glass to make it obvious that there is a door closed and not an opening. Things like decorative window decals that easily come off. Most dogs do this behavior because they constantly assume that the door is open and are trying to run outside - when that's the case, giving an obvious visual reminder of the door there can help. Other dogs are so driven after the animals, that even though there is a door they are aware of there, they are trying to get through it anyway. For those dogs, you likely need to teach an avoidance of the squirrels altogether. Check out James Penrith from TaketheLeadDogTraining. He has a Youtube channel. He works with dogs that chase and sometimes will kill livestock. To stop the charging you would need to pursue training like that. Once pup is leaving them alone, I would also teach pup to do a polite behavior automatically when they see a squirrel to also give pup a way to redirect their focus - like running to their dog bed and lying down to receive a treat there from you - to remove the temptation of the window completely and help them focus on the treat and relaxing on the bed instead. Day 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgNbWCK9lFc Day 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kpf5Bn-MNko&t=14s Day 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj3nMvvHhwQ Day 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxrGQ-AZylY Mild cat issue - teaching impulse control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWF2Ohik8iM Moderate cat issue - teaching impulse control using corrections and rewards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dPIC3Jtn0E Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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