How to Fire Drill Train Your Dog

Thousands of dogs die in house fires every year. Tragically, sometimes the dog who barks and wakes the family becomes afraid to leave the burning house and dies in the fire. It's important to train your dog how to escape a fire, just like you would any other family member.

Steps

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    Place the doormat or rug on the floor.
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    Drop a treat on the doormat/rug (mat).
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    If your dog doesn't put its paws on the mat, try putting the mat in a corner, and place the treat near the wall, so the dog has no choice but to step onto the mat.
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    Repeat.
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    When the dog is readily walking onto the mat, say the "fire drill" word, such as "outside" in a happy, excited voice. Think what your might say in a real fire, and use that word or phrase. Tell everyone in the family to use the same word or phrase.
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    Repeat.
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    Now start in other areas of the house, and say "outside" and run with your dog to the mat, and put the treat onto the mat.
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    Repeat.
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    Now move the mat out the door.
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    Put a leash on your dog, start in a distant part of the house, and say "outside!". Run with your dog to the mat that is outside the door, and reward the dog for standing on the mat.
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    If your home fire drill escape plan uses a window as a second escape route, you can also train your dog to come to you and wait at a window.
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    In that case, use the word "window" and train your dog to come to the window for a treat. Repeat frequently.
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    In the event that the main fire escape route is blocked, you can call your dog with the happy "window" command, close the door in your room, put blankets to cover the crack at the bottom of the door, and open a window.
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    If your dog is a small dog, in advance you can make a supportive harness, and have a long rope to lower your dog to safety.

Tips

  • Keep a spare collar and leash in a crock or some cute waterproof box outside the exterior doors, so you always have them ready. Lead your dog to your designated meeting location, so you all know everyone escaped the fire.

Warnings

  • If you are outside and your dog is inside, do not stare at your dog. Turn sideways, act happy, and with an excited happy voice say "outside". Staring at a dog sometimes makes the dog think "my human is ready to attack, so I will NOT go towards my human, I will not move."

Things You'll Need

  • Dog (who lives indoors) that can hear and enjoys treats.
  • Treats
  • doormat (or rug)
  • Supportive Harness for small dog, to lower your dog to safety.

Article Info

Categories: Dog Obedience