Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Good Dog's Guide To Good Manners (10 Ways To Stay Out of the Dog House)

Now that summer is here and we all get to socialize a lot more, it's a good time to review some basics. This is the Good Dog's Guide To Good Manners. Please feel free to add to this list in a comment if I've forgotten anything, because sharing is also good manners. And it's to help us all be better dogs, right? For the greater good!

1. Don't jump. Whether you jump on people or jump to get something out of someone's hand (if you're small like me), jumping is discouraged. Mom's mantra is, "good dogs keep 4 feet on the floor." If I've heard her say it once, I've heard her say it a thousand times. (She also says that if I'd listen she wouldn't have to repeat herself.)

2. Don't chew things. Whether you call it mouthing or chewing, the same thing is happening. Just say no. Keep your mouth closed, and your teeth to yourself. Small children's limbs aren't snacks and other dogs' harnesses aren't chew toys.

3. Don't beg for food. It's not good manners to stare at people when they're eating. In fact, sometimes it makes them grumpy. I know, firsthand, that begging very effective for scoring a taste or two for yourself, but it's just bad manners to watch people eat. That's what mom says anyway. She says a good Pet Parent will reward a well behaved dog (that doesn't beg) with some taste samples just for being good.

4. Don't body slam. When you're running at the park, or with a pack of children, don't run into anyone. Especially not on purpose. It's polite to remember that everyone has personal space. Mom says I need to work on this, and scolded me for body slamming a new friend at the dog park. Busted!

5. Don't sit on laps that don't belong to you. Sitting in your Pet Parent's lap is okay. Your mom or dad know you and love you. Other people don't know you, therefore they don't have the opportunity to love you yet. It's bad manners to sit on people that you don't know. Also, don't stand beside them and lick their face when they're sitting on a bench. Weirdly, some people don't like this.

6. Don't bark. You can say hi with a word or two, but a lot of barking is not favorably looked upon by the 2-leggers of the world. If you see another dog, don't bark. If your Pet Parent leaves you for a minute, don't bark. If you're excited to get into the woods and chase squirrels, don't bark then, either. Our people expect us to communicate by looks and wags instead. Good thing we're good at that!

7. Be calm. If you're on a leash, don't strain on the end of it, jumping and lunging like you're dangling from a bungee cord. If you're on a bench , don't climb on people or repeatedly jump up and down and up again. If someone is petting you, sit calmly and enjoy it rather than turning and twisting in circles and confusing everyone. This one is hard when you're just an excited kind of dog. This is why Margo doesn't get to go anywhere. She has no Be Calm manners.

8. Poop in the grass. If at all possible, that is. Going potty on pavement is considered about the same as going potty inside the house. It's just a giant NO. Also, going potty on trails or beaches is a giant NO, too. Take a step off and get in the grass if you can. If you can't, just give your mom the apologetic puppy eyes and she'll totally understand. When nature calls, sometimes you just have to answer it.

9. Listen to your Pet Parent. If you're Pet Parent calls you, you're expected to come instantly, no matter if you're home or in public.  NO always means NO. If you hear it, stop what you're doing. This is appreciated by everyone, all the time. When you're told to do something, just do it. It's not fun, and I sometimes like to play deaf (WHAT?!), but mom says dogs with good manners obey all the time.

10. Don't bite. EVER. This is never a good thing, any time. Biting is taboo and will get you sent to the dog house out faster than anything else. Never bite other dogs, never bite people and don't even bite chickens when they escape from the coop. (Ask Margo about this. She got in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.)

If you follow these rules, you'll be a well loved dog anywhere you go, and well behaved dogs get far more privileges than those with bad manners. Let's work on our good manners together to have the best summer ever!

1 comment:

  1. I would say I am darned good about nearly every one of these! Except....I DO bark, it's what Shelties do. We work 24 hr security.

    I would add, "be nice to your kitty brother or sister" if you have one........
    Barks and licks and love,