Sunday, August 29, 2010

Our new exit strategy

i think i posted awhile back about our issues with calm exits from the house. or at least Loks. well, we seems to finally have that sorted out. my initial vision for entryways was that my dogs would not bolt out of doors without permission and they would exit calmly upon receiving permission. well, we've had the not bolting down for ages. my dogs very rarely go out the door without permission. but we were having major issues with calm exits. it seemed that at least Lok had put far too much value on leaving the house and his release word "ok"had taken on the character of his flyball "go"command.

so, i decided that rather than my dogs assuming they were to stay inside until released, they may assume they can come outside with me unless told to stay in. this has totally transformed our doorway behavior. a simple "stay in" and all the dogs know theyre not coming with me. we even have it down to the point where i can tell one dog to stay and have the other two come with me. its very slick. Lok is not totally calm about exits yet, but he is a lot better than he used to be, and Jun and elo are perfect.


  1. Nice!! We have not mastered this in my house at all! I release by name individually and can have a group stay at the door, but no luck on calm exits. I can say "easy" to get a little "blast" off some of the dogs, but mostly they fly through when it's their turn. See you this weekend and you'll have to show me how you mastered this!

  2. Lok was TERRIBLE about it. And I have a really small entry way with three stairs and a wood floor. And he would literally FALL down the stairs, do the cartoon-running-in-place thing on the floor, scratch my feet all up, and finally make it out the door. Sometimes he'd start before I'd opened the door and just smash his face into it. The release somehow built WAY too much value into something that already has a ridiculous amount of value for him. So I just stopped releasing him. You want to go outside? Sure! Anytime! Unless I tell you to stay in. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a LOT better.

    So my dogs do the opposite of yours--they stay by name! Whoever doesn't get told to stay in can go outside as soon as I open the door.

  3. ROFLOL That's exactly what we have for the back door, with the cartoon running on the wood floor. Except, also cartoon like, they'd all jam together in the sliding door opening like sardines and no one could get through. Java would jump on their backs and pop out over top, it was just sad! So now everyone stays until released, which I was hoping would reduce some of the mass chaos but really just turned it down to 1/5th mass chaos. lol

  4. I just like to tell myself that dogs that can't go out doors nicely or walk on a loose leash are just a function of having high drive crazy dogs. Then I don't feel like such an incompetent dog trainer!