The doorbell rings. Your small dog barks excitedly and runs to the door ahead of you. She jumps and scratches at the door, so you scoop her up to keep her away while you open it. Standing at the door is a delivery person with a package, so you set your pup on the floor to sign for it. Next thing you know, your small dog has dashed between your legs and past the delivery person. She is off like a shot, thrilled to have the opportunity to explore the world around her. She scampers off, ignoring your frantic calls to come back.
As soon as your small dog runs out the door without you, she is in danger. Cars and other animals all pose real threats to your furry friend. Training your small dog to stay at the door is crucial to her safety. Owners of small dogs often believe they can keep their pups out of danger because small dogs are easy to lift out of harm's way. However, proper training is just as important for small dogs as large dogs, and they can be trained just as easily. With a few weeks of consistent positive reinforcement, you can teach your little dog to wait patiently at the door until given permission to leave.
It is best to start training this task at a door to an enclosed yard if you can. Gather some treats that are the right size for your dog to use as rewards for the behavior you want: staying at the door until invited outside. While you are teaching this skill, it is important not to let your dog get out of the house. Every time she does so, the excitement of the escape will reinforce her desire to repeat the action. If your dog is struggling with this skill, you may want to put her on a harness and leash during training sessions.