Today’s topic is the tackle method. The tackle method is a method that I’ve seen people use for a very long time. This method attempts to get a dog to behave nicely at the front door. One of the highlights of the tackle method is that there is no leash on a dog. You don’t have a treat pouch or a way to reward them, and you’re using your arms to wrangle your dog into submission as they’re trying to get them to behave nicely.
The tackle method is not an approved method for getting your dog to behave. Well, if you’re reading this, this is meant to be a joke, but this is a method that people use all the time, and unfortunately, it’s just us panicking to try to figure out what do I do to get my dog to behave?
So are you using the tackle method? Unfortunately, if you are, I have to tell you it is not going to produce the results you want.
So how do you get a dog to behave at the front door instead of using the tackle method? The hardest part about getting a dog to behave at the front door is being equipped to get them to do the thing you want. I would say 99 times out of a hundred; you’re going to need a leash.
Reward Your Dog
You’re going to need either an elevated bed or a rug, and you’re going to have to have some way to be able to reward your dog meaningfully. That might mean a treat pouch. So before having company over, what you’re going to want to do is have a leash on your dog, guide them over to the rug or elevated bed and reward them.
When I’m working with dogs, people will be surprised and say, “Wow, I never really gave my dog that many rewards in such a short period of time.” If you want a dog to understand how good it is to do something like have manners, you’ve got to make it incredibly valuable the first couple of times you do it. Yes, you could use treats, but better yet, you could use the best dog food you could afford and feed them.
You will have a leash on the dog and guide them over to the rug/bed. When they get on there, relax your leash and commence feeding your dog. Take a little bit of a break and then recommence feeding your dog. Now, there are some particulars here. I don’t want to get into too much detail because it’s hard to articulate exactly what you should do. It’s much easier to demonstrate. However, it may be best that you’re not facing your dog when you’re doing this. It might be better if your dog is slightly behind you and that you’re delivering the food with your left hand but backhanded.
If you get to watch some of my videos of doing this, that will be useful. Maybe I’ll have something here really soon posted on my Instagram, or maybe on my Facebook page. So you all can see exactly how I’m delivering food rewards. So be watching out for those.
When I have the dog on that rug or their bed, I’m just making a lot of rewards. So then, what you do is you have to keep the leash nearby the front door. I like using those magic hooks that you put on the wall that are easy to remove. You want to use something like that, have a leash there, and make sure that it’s always put back. That way, when somebody rings your doorbell or knocks on your door, you can grab the leash and put it on your dog. You can guide the dog over to their place and begin to reward them.
As I said, the tackle method where you wrap your arms around the dog and apologize to your company for how your dog is behaving isn’t going to produce the results you want. But if you start getting the dog onto the rug using a leash and reinforcing them and then putting a name to that like, “get on the rug.” Eventually, what’s going to happen, if you stay consistent with it, is you will produce a dog that will have manners at the front door.
Technique Plus Repetition
The thing that produces a trained dog is technique plus repetition. And I’m not just talking about repetition every other day and only when you’re motivated. I’m talking about several weeks of showing your dog the same thing over and over, and showing them how good it is, and then also drawing clear boundaries.
If you can do that, then you won’t have to use a tackle method, and there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get away with a simple voice command.