Dear Tango,

When I see a door or stairs or car door, or any kind of passage to anywhere, I just gotta bolt through it, up it, down it or whatever the case may be.  Half the time I have no idea what’s on the other side but on the off chance that it might be awesome, I’ve got to get there first!  Occasionally, a person may get trampled in my efforts, which seems to really annoy my peeps.  Could you please tell them that if it upsets them so, they should stay out of my way?  Thanks!

Signed,  Determined Door Crasher



Dear Door Crasher,

I wish I could tell your people to get out of your way.  I wish my own would, at times!  Fact is, though, it is in our best interest not to bolt through doors.  As you mentioned, we’re not always thinking about what’s on the other side; it could be traffic or guard dogs on duty or any number of dangerous things and we won’t know until it’s too late.  Unless you have a death wish, it is better to send your people through first!

It also true that how we go through a door sets the stage for what happens on the other side.  If we go through with our tails on fire, that is how we’ll enter and how we’re likely to stay.  If we go through calmly and politely, that’s how we’re likely to stay.  Trust me Dude, it’s a small price to pay to be welcome wherever we go!  You don’t want to be one of those maniacs who barrels in and takes over; nobody likes them, not the human version and not the dog version!
Stairs, haha, I do get the entertainment value there!  But if you break your peep’s ankles, there go your dog walks for six weeks or so!  The short term yahoo just ain’t worth that!
To Door Dasher’s People,
If you want to teach dogs to go through doors, car doors, stairs, etc., calmly and politely, you just need patience.  Don’t get angry about it, just don’t let us go through until we are truly calm and polite.  Oh, and don’t fall for the fake version, where we are sitting but our nails are dug into the floor, maintaining take off traction!  You need to wait until we are truly relaxed.  It will take as long as it takes.  By waiting us out every single time, you’re teaching us that being calm gets us through the door and excitement does not.  It is pretty straightforward and will make the world of difference in your dog’s behavior when they do get to the other side.

I hope this helps keeps you safe and welcome everywhere you go, my door crashing friend!

Love,   Tango

Topic: Ask Tango

Posted 14 September 2013, 3:23PM

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