The Way Dogs Exit Cars Predict If You Will Have Calm Walks with Dogs

Seeing dog owners letting their dogs run wild when the car door opens is quite a familiar scene. It’s adorable at face value… but it’s a tricky if you want to have calm walks with dogs.

“Doggy Dan, do you mean I also have to keep an eye on how my dogs exit the car so I can have peace while I walk outdoors with them?”

Yes, you’re right.

All your problems with leash pulling, aggression, overexcitement, and yes, even protectiveness will be reduced by simply ensuring you take control WAY BEFORE your dog steps out of the car.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Control Starts with the Car Exit: The way dogs exit the car sets the tone for the walk. Controlling this aspect ensures a more manageable and enjoyable outdoor experience.
  2. Calmness is Key: Encouraging calm behavior from the start, such as opening the car door calmly and giving clear commands, can significantly influence your dog's energy and responsiveness during the walk.
  3. Establishing Leadership: Teaching dogs to exit cars calmly reinforces the idea that you are in control. This understanding helps in reducing undesirable behaviors like leash pulling and overexcitement, leading to more peaceful and enjoyable walks.


Table of Contents

  1. A Quick Recap of Doggy Dan Rule #5: How You Can Control the Walk
  2. The Way Dogs Exit Cars Influences How Your Walks Will Go
  3. How to Help Dogs Exit Calmly
  4. What Happens When You Help Your Dogs Calmly Exit Cars
  5. Learn More About How You Can Take Charge of Your Dog's Walks with the Dog Calming Code

A Quick Recap of Doggy Dan Rule #5: How You Can Control the Walk

In my previous blog about the Doggy Dan Golden Rule #5, I discussed how you can truly gain control of the walk.

In the same blog, I mentioned three pillars for a successful walking experience:

#1: You control the walk and the energy.

#2: You set the rules on what is acceptable and what is not.

#3: Your dog has to know that it’s you who calls the shots.

Using this Golden Rule as a guide, letting your overexcited dog run out of the car like a sprinter immediately strikes out your chances of becoming in control of the walk.

Read on to learn more about why the way dogs exit cars can make or break your outdoor walks.


The Way Dogs Exit Cars Influences How Your Walks Will Go

If your dog sprints out the moment you open your door, they will be hard to control throughout your time outdoors.

You see, the one who controls the walk matters to dogs.

If you control the walk, your dog will listen. If you let them run the show, they'll do things on their terms.

Now, most dog owners don't make anything big out of the way your dog eject themselves out of cars.

But I'm here to tell you that how they leave the car matters in the grand scheme of your dog's time outside.

Let me give you an analogy…

When I was younger, my parents brought us to exciting trips. My siblings and I would run out of the car, so excited to just be out there. That often gave my parents a hard time because calling us back was impossible once we were out.

They needed our help, but we shut them off.

My parents learned some hard lessons from those experiences.

The next time we went on a trip, they made sure to talk to us before we headed out.


“You help out first before you play,” mom and dad would say.

It was easier for us to follow their orders since they set the instructions. And if they did ask us to do something, we immediately listened.

We knew what we had to do. We knew what was expected of us.

It's pretty much the same with our dogs! If you've ever gone outdoors with your dog, you’ve probably experienced dealing with a hyperactive dog that just doesn't listen no matter how many times you call!

They pull the leash no matter how hard you pull back.

They also get snappy with almost every dog they meet, making socialization really hard.

How to Help Dogs Exit Calmly

So, how do you execute this simple hack for a calmer, more relaxed time with your dog outdoors?

Really, really, really be the CEO of the walk, and the boss of every step!

Here are some ways you can follow below:

#1: Open the Door Calmly

The operative word here is calm. It's like dog training's prime rule: when you're calm, your dogs are calm, too.

You can encourage your dogs to also be in a calm mood by not being agitated, anxious, or restless yourself. Try not to be jittery or preoccupied before opening the car door.

Don't raise your voice or get angry when you command them to be still.

I recommend doing some breathing exercises and calming yourself before you open the car door; this helps dogs start off with a calm energy, too!


#2: Give Clear Commands

Be firm with your commands. Say “stay” if you want them to stay and “sit” if you want them to be still. Make sure your dogs understand these commands way before you use them on your walk.

#3: Use a Leash if Necessary

You can use a leash if your dogs need extra help calming down. I even use a leash to my dogs if they're too excited to calm down.

Just attach a leash onto your dog to help them ready for their walk… the calm way.

#4: Give the Go Signal

This is the most important part.

The outdoors has many distractions: leaves, flying birds, kids playing in the park, and other dogs.

Your dog — especially when they're already too distracted — will jump so fast you won't have time to react… or even chase them!

They sprinted even without your signal. You've already lost control. They've already shut you out.

This is why the go signal for your dogs to run free SHOULD COME FROM YOU. Your dogs must understand that everything — walks included — happens on your own terms.

(Why does doing things on your own terms matter in dog training? I talk about it here.)

What Happens When You Help Your Dogs Calmly Exit Cars

Dogs Listen to You More

You know that moment when your dog seems to tune into your every word? That's what happens when they learn to exit calmly.

When you don't allow them to run away from you without your command, they understand the language of patience and respect.

When you're in control, your dog doesn't just hear you; they listen. They become more attentive and more tuned into your cues.

Recall training will work. Leash training will work. Even helping your dog relax will work!

All because you don't let your dog overstep you as their leader.


Their Energy Levels Are Retained to an Adequate Number

We've all seen it—the zoomies, the endless circles around the lawn.

However, when dogs learn the art of calm exiting, their energy levels balance out.

They aren't bubbling pots of hyperactivity waiting to spill over.

Instead, they maintain a steady, manageable energy level. Their energy stays in the level 2 or 3.

Now, They're still the playful, spirited companions we adore, just without the chaotic overdrive.

They Recognize Boundaries

When dogs understand how to exit calmly, they also understand the invisible lines we draw in our lives.

These boundaries could be anything from not rushing out the door to waiting patiently for their food.

They learn that not everything is a free-for-all.

This recognition is crucial. It's not about limiting their freedom; it's about teaching them respect and safety, ensuring they know where they can and cannot go, what is theirs to explore, and what is off-limits.

They Know They Are Not in Control

A dog that understands calm exiting also understands they're not the one calling the shots. This understanding significantly reduces tendencies like aggression, overprotectiveness, or leash pulling.

They realize that you're the leader, and with this realization, comes a sense of security and peace for them.

They don't feel the need to be overly protective or assertive because they trust in your guidance. It's a beautiful shift from chaos to harmony, from uncertainty to trust.


It Creates Better Walking Habits

The great thing about dogs is they're fast learners.

Once habits are formed, our dogs will stick to them.

Sure, you're going to experience frustrating, really challenging walks at first. But stick with the essentials — including teaching dogs to exit cars calmly — and your dog will catch on quickly!

Learn More About How You Can Take Charge of Your Dog's Walks with the Dog Calming Code

A dog who knows how to be calm during a walk is a dog who understands these:

a. They're not in charge.

b. Their owner is in charge.

c. They are expected to behave a certain way during their outdoor walks.

And teaching these things to your dog goes beyond simple commands.

In my online dog training program, The Dog Calming Code™️, I talk about how you can train dogs to be calm, chill, and happy while enjoying the walk outdoors.

Because when you're bonding and spending time with your dog outdoors, there's nothing better than a walk that’s free from the stress that commonly comes with dog walks!

Check out the Dog Calming Code here.

You got this!

~ Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

3 Responses

  1. I recently discovered your blog and am really impressed with the useful information that you provide on starting dog walks calmly. The advice is simple and straightforward to apply. Your blog keeps readers like me up to date on the latest dog training techniques. Thank you for sharing such great information!

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