Door rushing can be both a dangerous and annoying behavior.
Most people who arrive at your home prefer to not have a dog jump up on them when the door is opened. A large dog can cause damage to clothing or injury to the person. Moreover, the behavior can be extremely dangerous to your dog if he should race through the open door and into a busy road or take off for a run through the neighborhood.
There is no need to live with these behaviors when you can easily fix them through positive, effective training techniques.
Technique #1: Teach your dog to perform a sit/stay.
Teaching your dog to sit and stay in a variety of situations is the best means of controlling him at a door or gate. It is also great for teaching him to accept other distractions without over reacting. The sit and stay reinforces a calm attitude and attentive demeanor. As dogs always seek to repeat rewarding behavior, you will need to be certain that your teaching methods involve lots of rewards and positive reinforcement.
Door rushing is a reinforcing behavior in itself. Your dog is rewarded by reaching the other side of the aperture. What can be more rewarding than that? Positive interaction with your dog. Rewards for remaining in a controlled sit, such as toys, treats and touch.
Technique #2: Gradually move closer to an open door while heeling.
Once your dog learns how to heel on a loose leash you can teach him to ignore an open door by turning in the opposite direction each time he begins to forge ahead of you to go through the aperture.
Once again, rushing through the door is a self-rewarding experience. Your dog will learn to control his approach to the door as he does not ever reach it unless he moves with you.
Technique #3 – For the untrained dog:
Each time you open the door just a smidgen, throw treats nearby. When your dog goes for the treats instead of moving toward the opening door, praise him. Gradually increase the amount you open the door as your dog begins to look for where the treats are thrown when you move the door.
This technique is called conditioning. Your dog is learning to associate the door movement with a reward dispensed in the opposite direction.
Regardless of which method you use, be patient, consistent and practice often with many different doors, gates or even from room to room. Your dog needs to learn that he will be rewarded for controlling his impulses instead of acting on them.