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I recently got a rescue dog, she is about 2 years old. We haven't been doing much training with her because she had been recovering from ACL surgery.

The problem is she will often bolt when the gate is opened, for some reason she just goes straight for the car. If the gate is open she will try to get out and she will just sit right outside the car unwilling to move. She will sniff it and try to get in and will lie down like a stubborn child.

My dad thinks she likes the stimulation of being in the car but whatever it is it makes coming and going a real pain.

Also she knows sit, down, come and drop and does them all very well if i have treats or a clicker but the second we go outside even if there are no dogs around she won't even obey the most basic command like sit.


What can I do? Any advice? I would like to leave the gate open for 30 seconds when I am trying to bring my bike inside or have her come back if she gets out the door.
 

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Another option besides training a really reliable Wait or Stay is to install a 2nd gate/fence. It only needs to be a small 'vestibule' around the 1st gate. Very handy for the times when other people are coming or going and might not have good control over her.
 

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There are a couple of things going on here. One is being overwhelmed outside, you need to generalize the behaviours you have worked on inside..this means retraining the sit, come, down etc using the same methods you used inside, from the beginning and using high enough value reinforcers that the distractions are not so meaningful to her.

The bolting (and aren't you lucky she goes to the car instead of taking off down the road?) may be related to a couple of things...if she hasn't been with you long, or wasn't at the rescue long, maybe she still thinks she is going "home" to her old owners. Maybe the car is a "safe place" for her and she hasn't generalized this to your home yet. Maybe she finds the vibration of a running vehicle calming.

Hard to say, but the double gate idea is a good one, as is keeping her away from the front door itself for the time being and working on a "sit and wait" at the doorway for ALL entries and exits so that she learns that she doesn't go in OR out the door without a cue from you.
 
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