How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door

How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-4 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

The Stop Bad Habits Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
Stop Bad Habits method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Teach 'Bark' Instead Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
Teach 'Bark' Instead method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Teach 'Mat' Instead Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
Teach 'Mat' Instead method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Jump at the Door
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.

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.

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.

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.

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'.

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.

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.

By Pippa Elliott

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

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Tilly

Dog breed icon

australian/german shepherd mix

Dog age icon

Five Years

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

She jumps on the front door when anyone enters approaches the house, and the excitement gets our other shepherd going as well. When I'm home, I've taught them to go to their "place" and "stay". They're reasonably good at it, but when we're not home, the FedEx guy tells me they are maniacs, and my front door is absolutely ruined. How can I break this habit when I'm not home?

yesterday

Tilly's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Since this is happening when you are not around, this is going to take a bit more creativity. First, good job on the training with Place and Stay. I would practice having someone come to your door over and over again, commanding Place and rewarding obedience to commands, but ALSO rewarding any calm responses, like pup's not barking or rushing the door to begin with after the same person has gone back and forth from your door over and over again and pups find it boring - so stop rushing the door....You want it to be boring and to be able to start rewarding pups for not reacting at all. Have a friend or family member pup doesn't realize they know (someone they don't recognize or someone dressed up differently), go to the door, make noise there, then walk to the end of the driveway for a couple of minutes while you work on calming the dogs down, rewarding the Place and quietness, then come back and repeat being a "delivery person" again. Repeat this sequence as much as 10-20 times until pup starts to get bored with the process and isn't concerned about the person. Be sure to reward good behavior so pup doesn't feel overly suspicious of this person who is coming and going. Work on general desensitization like I described above often. Additionally, you will likely need to correct pup automatically while away. You can either confine pups in another room away from the door, or correct with a remote training collar on pup's "working level" while spying on pup from another location with a camera or through a window - research or hire a private trainer to learn about their proper use and fit first. Or use an automatic treat dispenser that you can monitor and reward via your phone app while away, to teach pup that the door is off limits even while you are away - until pups become convinced that training will be enforced even when you aren't there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

yesterday

Dog nametag icon

Finn

Dog breed icon

Labahoula

Dog age icon

2 Years

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

User generated photo

He slams his paws and body with full force into our sliding glass door when he wants to come in. He is 80lbs. He does not do this to go out. He seems to be getting more forceful. We have tried to stop this behavior with zero success. Help!

June 4, 2022

Finn's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kate, I recommend teaching Out and Sit. I would ask pup to sit before letting them inside and outside each time and reward with a treat when they do so, then I would stop asking and stop giving the treat each time, but look for pup offering a sit on their own and reward pup when they sit on their own as a better way to ask to come in or go out. Out - which means leave the area: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Once pup has learned Sit and Out, also tell pup Out anytime they try to slam or abuse the door. If pup obeys, tell pup Sit, then reward pup by letting them inside if they moved away from the door and sat down. If pup doesn't obey your Out command and move away from the door while outside, I would use a remote training collar on a working level of stimulation, or an unscented air pet convincer to correct pup for disobeying Out and continuing the door slamming. A pet convincer is cheaper and easier to correct with than the remote training collar, and for some dogs works well if combined with the Out and Sit training to ensure pup understands why they were corrected and how to behave to get inside instead - by sitting. For some dogs the remote training collar is needed though because in order to use the pet convincer you have to open the door a bit, give a little attention - even if it's negative attention, and the correction is associated with you, so some dogs might still do the door slamming when they don't see you around. It really depends on the dog which option is better. The remote training collar needs to be introduced and set up ahead of time, is more expensive, but if used correctly pup will associate the correction with them touching the door and not your presence so there is more consistency. Setting a remote training collar up - I would use a simulation based collar with at least 60 levels. A high quality collar will also have a tone and vibration setting option too though. Only use a high quality collar for this. Some high quality brands include: E-collar technologies (mini educator is the one in the video), Sportdog, Dogtra, and Garmin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM If you use a pet convincer, only use unscented air, don't use citronella. Citronella is not only really harsh because of how senstive a dog's nose is (even though is seems gentle to us), but it will linger and continue to correct pup even after pup stops hitting the door - making the training confusing. You need something that stops correctly as soon as pup stops hitting the door in that second. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 6, 2022


Training assistant
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.