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Meet Rocky, my 2-year-old mix of Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Pit Bull Terrier.
We've had him since he was about 2 months old.

Inside the house, he's as well-behaved as the family could ask for, if just a bit of brat( he likes to pull our sheets and pillows off of our beds and sleep on em :D).

When we go for a walk on the leash, he obeys the basic sit-stay command and doesn't pull on the leash often; he doesn't even bark at other dogs, although he clearly shows interest.

The thing is, anytime the front door is left open, or he sees an opening when a family member opens the door, he bolts out and starts doing his own thing, completely ignoring the family's calls and running away when we try to catch him. What usually ends up happening is that we give up and wait for him to come back to the house on his own, clawing at the door when he wants to come in.

He gets 1-2 walks a day, 1 every night and sometimes one during the day. Should I just increase the amount of walks I give him or is there a deeper problem here? I'm all for letting him do what he wants, but I'd rather avoid the scared and angry looks I sometimes get from ignorant people who think that Rocky is a full-bred Pit Bull. Thanks in advance for the help and advice! :)
 

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Why not train him to sit and stay before going outside? I've been working on this with my girl and it's working fairly well. Every single time she goes outside she has to sit, stay and wait for the 'okay' command. Same with inside; sit, stay and wait for the 'house' command. Last time she slipped her leash off and started doing her crazy zoomies around the parking lot we got her inside by saying 'house'. She zoomed right into the house and was all happy.
 

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The surefire fix is to keep the door closed and restrain or leash him when the door opens. The other option is to teach him to go a certain spot like a mat or a rug well away from the door. Ideally, he would be in down/stay while on the mat although you could use a sit.
As you've already been working on the sit/stays, the down stays shouldn't be a problem as down is an easier position to maintain. Once he understands the mat then, you add the door cue....touching the knob means go to the mat. The door must never open if he's not on the mat. The hard part will be keeping the Down Stay once you start opening the door. If you need to teach this on leash, that's fine.
 

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First, your dog and Bridgette could be brother and sister! :p He's adorable!!

Second, we've had the same issue with Bridgette. She still cannot be trusted outside off a leash and would bolt if I wasn't very careful about the door being open. She now knows to go to her crate when someone rings the doorbell or knocks. She stays in the her crate until the door is closed and I call her back out.

She also has to sit and wait before we go outside for walks/toilet. She will now sit and wait for me to open the door and doesn't even try to run out. I wouldn't try this without a leash on because if there were anything super interesting outside she'd still take off on her own adventure.

This issue definitely takes patience and I think the best advice is to work on making sure the door is not opened when Rocky is nearby and not restrained in some way.
 

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Aww, what a beautiful boy!!
Why not train him to sit and stay before going outside?
This sounds so simple, but it works incredibly well. I didn't think my hyper puppies could possibly learn to sit quietly and stay while a door was being opened and a person was walking in or out of it, but amazingly, just a bit of working with them on that and they now sit and stay and no longer try to bolt out of the door. I bet your cutie will pick it up too with a few training sessions!
 

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I taught Tucker to sit and wait at the door and not to go through the doorway until I say "Okay". How I did this was to put my hand on the door knob and wait for him to sit. At first it took a while, but once he understood that my hand touching the doorknob meant sit, he does it right away. The reward was opening the door. Next, I waited for a sit, then started to open the door. If he moved, the door would shut. If he didn't, it would open, slowly. Now I can open the door and he's still sitting. I never say okay until he gives me eye contact, and I vary the time it takes after the eye contact to say "okay", so he doesn't think that just by giving eye contact he can then go through the door.

The only problem with this is, often we are going out a door that opens inward, and he'll sit so close to the door that I can't open it without him moving from his sit. I'm working on getting him to sit farther away so he doesn't have to break the sit until I release him. Also, in our house, all of the doors are glass so he can already see what's on the other side (more of a distraction).

I had to learn to be consistent about waiting to do this at *every* door.
 

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My new puppies (8 months old) do the same thing. I found that using a rolled up newspaper or a cardboard tube works nicely. You don't actually hit him, of course. Tell him to sit and stay (with a leash discretely attatched to something on the other side of the door, giving him room to move through, but not run away), and once he crosses the frame of the door, slap the 'instrument of choice' on your hand (or the ground in front of him) and firmly say 'NO' and/or 'GET BACK'. Never use your hands, then he will learn to fear you (not good). Once you can walk through the door without him following(he needs to be sitting and staying!), reward him with praise or a meaty treat! This takes lots of time and effort, so be prepared! Good luck with your beautiful baby
 

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I found that using a rolled up newspaper or a cardboard tube works nicely. You don't actually hit him, of course. Tell him to sit and stay (with a leash discretely attatched to something on the other side of the door, giving him room to move through, but not run away), and once he crosses the frame of the door, slap the 'instrument of choice' on your hand (or the ground in front of him) and firmly say 'NO' and/or 'GET BACK'.
Hehe, I tried that with Willow when she was a young door-dasher, and it never did work. So would still try to get through the door when she was old and slow. The "sit before the door opens and wait to be released" method has worked with my current dogs.
 

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Hehe, I tried that with Willow when she was a young door-dasher, and it never did work. So would still try to get through the door when she was old and slow. The "sit before the door opens and wait to be released" method has worked with my current dogs.
It still applies to the sit and stay method, simply safer with more control.
 

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It still applies to the sit and stay method, simply safer with more control.
Maybe....but that method would have made Penny very fearful. She's a very soft dog. And, as I said, it didn't work at all with Willow. So it wouldn't work for some dogs, and would be entirely traumatic for other dogs. An owner would really have to know their dog well before they could try something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you guys so much for the advice! :)

I started working on it last night and this morning before his walks. I asked him to sit and stay on a spot next to the staircase before I leashed him and just walked to the door. He got excited, but didn't move.

Next, I opened the door and moved to the side.He moved a lil bit and was double-taking between me and outside, but sat right back down.

After that, I went thru the open door and hid behind the window to see what he was doing. He started walking slowly to the door, but saw me through the window and sat back down. I was impressed at how quickly he picked up on it, but he still has his slips and will probably be too excited once someone else opens the door.

I'll stick to the process on and off the leash; hopefully the time will come when he doesn't run out the open door when there's nobody around.

Thanks again for the help! :D:D:D
 

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I trained my cocker to wait at the door pretty easily. Basically I had him sit right in front of the door. Then I opened the door. He got up and the door closed. I had him sit again and started opening the door. He started to get up and the door closed again. Eventually he figured out that any time he got up the door closed and learned that he needed to sit there in order for the door to open. Then we had to repeat the whole process with the screen door before he got that too. Now, even if he's on a leash, he will sit there at the front door, wait for me to go outside and then wait for me to call him before he leaves.
 
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