Let’s face it; bad dog manners at your front door are irritating, obnoxious and embarrassing!
Plus, the bigger your dog, the more problematic and embarrassing his behavior problem becomes.
Does this sound familiar? “My dog goes into wild behavior when people she loves visit. She won’t stop jumping in their face. She is so big, that even with a leash, I can’t effectively control her! So I am forced to crate her.” I hate it!
If The Shoe Fits, Wear It
See if any of these touch a “sore spot.” Let’s start with some of the most obvious issues these bad dog manners create:
- Friends and relatives don’t want to come back and visit.
- You can’t take your dog anywhere. Since he behaves like this at home, no way are you going to take him out somewhere. As much as you would love to take him to cool places like PetsMart, or sit with you while you sip your favorite Latte at Starbuck’s; all of this is out of the question!
- Your dog’s spiraling bad behavior makes training seem like an impossible task.
- You’re secretly envious of all the other dog owners enjoying their well-mannered dog in public.
How did you wind up like this? More importantly, how do you start over?
It’s Got to Be the Old 80/20 Rule
What I mean by that is: 20% of these dogs are performing good manners 80% of the time.
That’s why their owners take them to Starbucks and sit out with their Latte!
These dog owners probably started daily training with their dog since they got their dog. Reality: It is not hard work it just takes consistency every day.
That leaves 80% of the dogs only performing good manners 20% of the time, and then probably only for cookies. Those dogs stay home because of a serious lack of or no consistent daily training, which leads to bad manners, just like those at the front door.
Is your dog in the 20% or 80% Bracket?
If you are reading this article, I’ll bet it’s because your dog is in the 80% bracket and you’re looking for answers. If so, read on.
Say Good-Bye to Bad Door Manners Even with a Big Dog
Now leashes and stuffed Kongs are probably nothing new to you. You use your leash for walking your dog and the Kong toy is what you stuff for your dog on occasion as a treat.
Huge tip! Start using your leash inside. Greet your visitor with your dog on leash and keep some distance from the visitor so you can control your dog.
Now you may say, “I do that but my dog is so big and powerful I still can’t control my dog!”
I’m going to give you 2 tips that will help you control your dog.
Tip # 1: Train your big dog on a Gentle Leader to get maximum control.
With a Gentle Leader, you are back in control because you can now easily control his head. This does require getting your dog use to wearing the Gentle Leader but don’t be discouraged. He will eventually come around.
Tip # 2: If you’ve been stuffing your dog’s Kong toy with something very boring like a Milk Bone cookie, you’re missing the boat.
It can’t compete with a visitor.
Instead, “Kick it up a notch!” Stuff your dog’s Kong with a Hot Dog! Or stuff it with Lamb Loaf. Both are fresh and need to be kept refrigerated but are really high in value!
The settle routine: put your dog on a leash, go sit in your favorite chair or on the couch. Put your dog in a down stay, give him the stuffed Kong and place your foot on the leash. Allow enough slack in the leash so he can move his head and enjoy his Kong but cannot get up.
Practicing this “settle routine” without visitors each evening will get you your desired results much more quickly.
Next time you have a visitor, once your visitor is seated, settle your dog down by your side, give him that premium-stuffed Kong toy and remember to put your foot on the leash so he can not jump up but is comfortable going after the Kong.
I know, personally, that the difference will be night and day.
If you want a dog that makes you proud, train smarter – not harder. Use your leash and a Gentle Leader, for optimum control of your dog in your home.
I’m always curious about your input – it’s important to me. Do you deal with this situation with your dog? Comment below with your frustration about this.
Remember: “Together, We Can Raise a Happy and Obedient Dog”
Jim Burwell is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 25+ years, serving over 10,000 clients. Jim takes the science of dog training and shows you how to make it work with your family and dog. He gives you the ability to get the same great behavior from your dog.