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Dog rushing to get through door

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by DizzyNova, Dec 28, 2019.


  1. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

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    Hi All,

    Quick background - we have two dogs, Nova (Rescue dog, mixed breed, age 5 - been with us since 10 months old) and Luna (Cockapoo, age 2, been with us since 4 months old). This post concerns Nova.

    So we've had Nova for 4 years, she joined us at our very first home together and we crate trained her for nighttimes and when we were out. She seemed to like this arrangement as we tried to remove the crate when she was around 2 years old and it made her really agitated. We put this down to the fact that in the old house, the room she was in was on the front of the house so we think people walking past the house were disturbing her constantly. Her behaviour was very noticeably different when we got rid of the crate, so we reintroduced it and she went back to normal.

    Since then, we've added Luna to the mix and moved house (18months ago). Nova and Luna get on great, and the kitchen is now on the back of the house, leading us to attempt getting rid of the crates again. We managed to get rid of the crates about 8 months ago, and Nova has been absolutely fine.

    Nova now seems to have developed a new habit. Whenever we go to leave the dogs (in the evening or in the day), she seems to do a mad dash for the kitchen door, she'll force her way through it (she's quite strong) and then do a mad dash upstairs and jump on our bed. I then have to go upstairs, coax her off the bed and then she'll slink back downstairs and into the kitchen with little fuss. Luna is quite happy to sit in the kitchen while this whole situation plays out.

    If the bedroom door is closed, Nova will sulk at the top of the stairs for a few minutes before coming down to the kitchen.

    It's not too big an issue, it's just if you're in a rush to get out the door, it can add a few minutes to your journey. She seems to only ever do it when I'm running late as well.

    I've tried giving her a treat before I leave the kitchen, which probably works 50% of the time - sometimes she decides she doesn't want the treat so we end up in the same situation. The only foolproof one we've found is feeding them before we leave, as she never turns her nose up at food, the only issue with relying on this is that mealtimes don't always coincide with us going out. I've tried sending her to her bed, but she just makes a mad dash for the door as soon as I'm on my way out.

    Just for reference, she doesn't do this with any other door in the house, just the kitchen one, and it seems to be only when we leave. She doesn't do this with the living room door (which leads to the same hallway),or the other kitchen door that leads to the dining room.

    Any tips that I might not have tried yet?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    It seems like she doesn’t want to be shut in the kitchen when you leave?

    Maybe try using a baby gate rather than solid door (Jack hates being shut behind a door).

    Alternatively, can you shut bedroom and lounge doors and leave them the run of the kitchen, hall stairs and landing?
     
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  3. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

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    Thanks Lurcherlad, giving her access to the hallway is something we can maybe try, I'm not sure whether it would make her more anxious though as it would give her access to the front door so if anyone came to the door she may not like it.

    I'm not sure if it's because the floor is tiled in the kitchen and even though she has her bed in there, maybe it gets a little chilly to her paws (She's a bit of a princess). I could also try leaving the door from the kitchen to the dining room open (carpeted) to see if that stops it as when given free reign, that's where she tends to go and lay so she can look out of the patio doors.

    We;'ll definitely give the baby gate idea a go though, we'll be changing the doors in the house soonish anyway so if that resolves it, maybe we can look to put a glass fronted door in between the kitchen/hallway so she can see out!
     
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  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Jack hates hard floors and panics and goes on tip toe which make it worse as he then has no grip.

    I have a large rug down on the kitchen floor at home to prevent this and take several rugs and runners when we stay in holiday accommodation.

    If she’s actually anxious because you’re leaving her then maybe look at the Sticky on Separation Anxiety and try to work on that?
     
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  5. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    Yes, I’m wondering if this is more to do with separation anxiety.
     
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  6. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

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    It's definitely not separation anxiety as if I let her stay upstairs on the bed she'd be absolutely fine and to be fair I've only noticed the issue in the last couple of months so maybe it is that the floor is colder since we've entered the winter months. I might look into getting a rug to see if that helps.

    If we have people coming over that she hasn't met before we often give her the option of going upstairs as she is quite a nervous dog, so it's possible she just sees upstairs as a safer place where nobody comes to bother her.

    There would be no problem with her going upstairs while we're out, it's just that we're having a baby early next year so we've always enforced the sleeping downstairs rule as we always thought it would be harder to get her used to it later when we had a baby.

    Although when we've finished our pre-baby clear out we will have a spare room upstairs so I might suggest setting her bed up in there if she feels safer upstairs.
     
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  7. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    Is it possible that it has become a bit of a game? We have a silly game that has to be played before our morning walk (most days, if I am in a hurry I can miss it).
     
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  8. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    If she likes her crate why did you eliminate that? Why can't she have her crate since it obviously helps her feel safe and happy?
     
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  9. DizzyNova

    DizzyNova PetForums Member

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    Apologies for the lack of response, I wasn't getting notifications from this post after the first couple of replies for some reason!

    @lorilu we got rid of the crate due to space issues, we have two dogs and it was either crate both or crate neither as leaving one out in the room winds the other up and crating both (which we did do for some time) took up too much room. Although now I'm thinking back to when we lived at our old house, her crate used to be upstairs and Luna's crate was downstairs, she would often do a similar weird 'I'm not going in my crate so I'm going to have a mad dash outside' behaviour (until I would get a really good treat out).

    I think JoanneF is right and that it's become a bit of a game for her, she's a big goofball a lot of the time with us and often gets what we call her "sillyhead" on.

    Since the post, I've been looking at my own behaviours around leaving the house and I seem to have made a lot of headway with it. I found that actually, if I give them their treat and leave straight away it's 100% fine. It's when I have to go back into the kitchen after I've already 'left' that's an issue (say I've left something on the worktops or need to check the bin lock has been put on), it seems to be then that she makes the mad dash for the door. If she is successful and gets out the kitchen door, she will go and lay on my bed until I get a treat out and then she'll head back to the kitchen where she's fine again, I think she just knows that because by this point I'll be in a rush to leave, she'll get another treat if she leaves the kitchen as I'll have to bribe her back downstairs.

    So I'm making more of an effort to make sure I've got everything and everything is definitely checked before I leave the kitchen the first time and it seems to be working.

    Nova is definitely one of those dogs with a lot of little quirks, but I certainly wouldn't have her any other way!
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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