Pets, like most of us, are creatures of habit.  They have familiar routines, schedules and behavior.  One of the first lessons I learned with Eko as a puppy was that when those routines are thrown off, your pet can be thrown off as well.  For example, I was quite pleased with myself when I taught Eko how to sit and lay down.  I invited a friend over to show off Eko’s new tricks, but as soon as my friend walked in the door all of Eko’s training went out the window.  Eko didn’t listen to a single one of my commands!  There was a new person to smell and play with, why listen to boring old Will? That one experience reminded me how important it is to work on your pet’s manners in all types of situations. It’s a task that never really ends, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun sometimes.  This past weekend I had some friends over and it was an excellent opportunity for Eko to practice good manners when there were lots of people (and food!) around. Rhodesian Ridgeback

We have a strict “look but don’t touch” rule when it comes to food.  However there is a lot of temptation at a party.  I wondered whether Eko could keep his nose clean (of Spinach dip) once company arrived

From the first guest to the last, whenever a new person arrived I first made Eko sit away from the door before he could say hello.  He did a great job, but once the party got going Eko almost knocked over a few glasses in his quest to have everyone pet him as much as possible.  Before they energy could build I told Eko to stay on the couch to cool his jets.

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Of course he sulked, but I made sure to give Eko treat for staying on the couch while all the fun stuff was going on behind him.  After a couple minutes he rejoined the party and was an excellent host  Rhodesian Ridgeback

Eko creeped to the edge of the table, but I am happy to report he never made a move for the food

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Ever the gentledog, Eko made sure to shake hands with everyone he met

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Not surprisingly, Eko was the center of attention all party long

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By the end of the night this pup was all partied out

Eko was far from perfect (aren’t we all?) but I was very happy with how he handled the crowd.  In fact, the night went so well that everyone was eager for me to host another get together soon.  I have the sneaking suspicion they all just want to see Eko again, but I can’t blame them for that!

Anyone have rules or training tips for their pets when you have company over?


29 thoughts on “Petiquette”

  1. Good job, Eko! I usually have to hang out on my special mat for a while when friends come over. Then I get to hang out and say hi to everyone, but it’s back to the mat if I get too excited.

  2. We thankfully have awesome friends that are more than willing to help us out with verbalizing commands for Taylor to follow whenever they come and visit. Our goal is to have Taylor listen to every command no matter who is giving it to her.

    • That is another important step I forgot to mention. Eko was always attached to my hip as a puppy, so it took a while for him to realize that he also had to behave when I wasn’t the one giving commands.

  3. He sure looks like a host with the most! Good on you, Eko! Yep, our biggest concern is at the door too (as well as finding a snout in the spinach dip!) It can be chaos with so many sets of legs, coats, and bags. Like you, we keep Juno clear of the immediate doorway – at least until everyone’s sorted themselves out and they’re ready to head in. It’s like taking a deep breath – everything goes more smoothly!

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