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Gail Valenti 05-22-2016 01:02 PM

Keeping Terriers from bolting out door
I have a 2016 Interstate and two little terriers that can't wait to pop out the sliding door whenever we open it. Also, when I'm cooking I don't want them underfoot and would like to contain them in the rear of the van without crating or leashing them. I'd thought something like an easily movable baby gate would solve the problem BUT they are all too wide for the 16" "hallway" in the interstate. Any suggestions?

AWCHIEF 05-22-2016 01:28 PM

Electronic shock collars!:p

PKI 05-22-2016 01:51 PM

We restrain pups in car and let them loose in the trailer. They learned a long time ago that you stay in until the lead goes on. Train, train, train. If not trained, restrain. It's your job, but it's fun because they appreciate being with you. Pat

Lily&Me 05-22-2016 01:52 PM

You don't say how old your pups are, but for the door issue, perhaps consider an obedience class. :)

We went to one at Petco with Lily about 4 years ago, and it was one of the best things we ever did.

I needed to break her from a number of things, including jumping on me as soon as I come home. I used the suggested, incremental, positive reinforcement and it did the trick. The same would work to get them to sit when you open that sliding door.

I keep a container of tiny treats by the door, for just that purpose.

I also keep a long, fabric training leash tied to the handle just to the right of the door opening, so that when I come around to open it....and it's an appropriate place for her to be out...I can just tie her on it and let her sniff around and stretch her legs a bit.

I'm not aware of anything gate-like small enough that you could put it across the back, but you might go into the garden centers and see if there is something like that for flower bed edging that could be made to work.

I have some small, trellis like sections on each side of my back stoop at home, with stakes you push into the ground....the stakes could be cut off. ?

If you can't find something, you might try 6' fabric leashes on them, secured to perhaps suction cup hooks on the walls or rear door, when you are cooking....they can watch you from the benches without getting underfoot.

Good luck. :)


3wd67rg 05-23-2016 10:37 AM

Training them not to do that. Or a leash. We could hold open our door for several minutes but our dog won't leave unless released.

The cooking one is a little harder, when Chris or I cook we have to tell him several times to "go lay down". He wants to be right there should any food fall to the floor while we are working. All dogs believe we are starving them and that they must look for food wherever it lands. Begging is another. He must lay down and is not allowed to stare at people who are eating.

windfallsp 05-23-2016 10:39 AM

Like others who have replied, I'm a firm believer that there's no substitute for training.

Our dogs are trained to not exit any vehicle without a release command. They know "wait" thoroughly, and we reinforce at every opportunity. Like "come," "wait" is a command that could someday save their lives.

As for the underfoot issue, I'd recommend getting a couple of crate mats that you can place in an area that's out of you way, then training a "go to bed" command.

If you feel the need for a baby gate in the trailer, you can fabricate a custom barrier with PVC pipe and plastic lattice from the home improvement store.


kdickinson 05-23-2016 10:41 AM

We have a Yorkie Terrier (we call him our Terrier-ist). We spent, quite literally, $hundreds on training including buying special muzzles, training collars & leashes, clickers, books & videos, Petco classes, and even hired a personal trainer who came to our house - we sent him to her house for 1:1 training. This dog was born in our house and has not lived with any other people. He's not the first little dog we've tried to train and, in the end, we got very little value from the training overall and have concluded that small breeds can be more difficult to train than larger breeds. The small breeds may act bold but it is my opinion that they are actually afraid of a lot of things that are un-familiar to them and react by running off & barking (a lot). I'm sure for every 100 pet owners there will be 100 different views so consider this my personal view only and I take 100% responsibility for not properly being trained and consistent as an owner. I admit that our little dogs pretty much run the house and we are just fine with that.

But - we did treat train Zane, the Yorkie, to come directly to us when we say "Zane Come". It is one of two things he does on command - to sit and stay at dinnertime and come. When I say "treat train" I mean we trained him with a treat reward when he came to us. Now, I can say that command he will immediately come directly to me 100% of the time. In our case I am not sure we could train Zane to not run out the RV door but we do know we can get him to quickly come back to us when he (inevitably) does. The shock collars are effective but they do not work on small breeds like a Yorkie which is typically under 10 lbs (Zane weighs 5 lbs) and I'm not sure how that would really work installation wise. Dogs can learn simple 1-word consistently used commands like "come" but they can't for the most part learn sentences like "don't run out the RV door".

3wd67rg 05-23-2016 10:55 AM

No, sentences aren't really understood, the dog cues into a single word. When I open a door and Turbo moves towards it as if to come with me, I say "back", and he backs up. Then I use "sit" and "stay".

If he actually did run out the door I could say "stop* and then "come". I've called him off of rabbit chases like this.

I won't pretend that he obeys me 100% of the time, but then none of us are perfect.

MaryC 05-23-2016 10:58 AM

Training is always the way to go, the earlier the better for imprinting, but if that isn't working for you, I love crates. When I had my AS remodeled, I had a space between the counter and the dinette left open to the dimensions of a custom aluminum crate. which also serves as a nice table top. When things get too wild, the dogs go in there. Things get peaceful. (we have Staffordshire Bull Terriers, terrier brains with bulldog brawn)

Since you don't like crates, you might consider keeping long thin leashes on them so that you can catch them going out. To keep strong Terriers, we are always in pre-emptive and prevention mode.
You could start a game of sit and wait for a treat while you move to exit through the door. The key will be consistency of course.
We also show and trial our dogs, so, like so many other people at those activities, we have an x-pen yard we set up around the front of our AS so that we can sit outside, BBQ or whatever and the dogs are loose with us. If one gets out the door without permission, they can't leave the area. Though I suspect that many privately owned RV parks will frown on that set up. The state parks don't mind.

Lily&Me 05-23-2016 11:01 AM

Lily understands "no" very well, and will usually stop dead in her tracks when she hears it.

Said firmly, she will even respond to it from others.

When she is acclimating to others dogs, that word is the best way to keep her at snarl, only. :lol:


paiceman 05-23-2016 11:07 AM

I train dogs, I also rehabilitate dogs who have been used in fighting and subjected to abuse and neglect. I also now train Therapy Dogs as well as Service and Emotional Support Dogs. Terriers are often a challenge, but they can be trained. For what you want to accomplish I recommend two words - "wait" and use it at home when going in and out, up and down stairs etc. Use it all the time to make them wait for when you say OK. "Place", one of my favorites, it can be anyplace or anything, point to where you want them to be and say "place". Then they must learn that once there they move only when you want them to move.

I never used to use treats, but has the knowledge of dogs and dog's intelligence and mentality have evolved I am proud to say, so have I. I now use treats all the time, also if motivated by a toy or a ball that can be used as a reward. I am using that for a Service Dog training I am doing for a young man with PTSD. His dog is VERY ball motivated, so when he does a good job, he gets the ball for a bit, then "give" and he now spits it out.

Key, patience and consistency.

Good Luck


eggman 05-23-2016 02:04 PM

While you are training your dogs (easier said than done, right?😉), you might try making a fabric barrier with two short shower or curtain tension rods inserted in rod pockets at top and bottom of fabric. The dogs would certainly be able to break through, but might not know they can! At the least, they would not be underfoot while you are in the galley.

Hiho Silver 05-23-2016 02:42 PM
The spray commander is a collar and a 3 button remote. The 1st button makes a beeper noise. 2nd sprays a small blast of either citronella spray or a no scent spray. (Different refills available). The 3rd is a larger blast of spray. This has been a great training tool for our border collie puppy, and no shocking needed. Just seeing me pick it up and she responds. And if I need to put the collar on her, a beep without the spray is usually enough.

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