It Takes A Village To Raise A Pet

I recently read that September is National Courtesy Month.  I don’t know who gets to decide these types of designations, but Eko would like to submit an application to make Jan – Dec “National Give Me More Treats Month(s)”

Courtesy is important for everyone, but it is especially important for those of us with pets.  When I am out with Eko I always expect him to be polite, friendly and deferential to everyone we meet.

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I love seeing signs like this one. Eko and all dogs are ambassadors – the more courteous and well-behaved they are, the more likely we are to see more of these signs

But teaching Eko to be courteous was, and is, a group effort.  Without the help of innumerable kind strangers I would have never been able to reinforce the good manners I want Eko to practice.

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As a puppy, Eko used to disregard commands given by anyone but me.  It was important he learned to behave when other people gave him instructions

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Eko thinks everyone is his best friend so it took a lot of practice to teach him that he needs permission to say hello.  Permission consists of Eko sitting politely and the person engaging him first, not the other way around.  I always like when people ask if they can say hello to Eko because it gives us more practice

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At his best, Eko is polite enough join high-society for a wine tasting!

But let’s face it, Eko is not always at his best and neither am I.  That is why I am grateful for everyone who helped/helps Eko become a more courteous dog and me become a more courteous dog owner.  We can teach our pets good manners, but without the help of others to reinforce those behaviors all our hard work would go out the window.

The only problem is that thanks to all the help I have received, most people agree that Eko is better behaved than I am!


8 thoughts on “It Takes A Village To Raise A Pet”

  1. Luckily Tala is super polite and calm when out and about. So she will happily sit for a couple of hours when I go to a cafe and just accept pats and cuddles when they come her way (often from the Vietnamese staff at cafes who always seem to love her and bring her water without being asked etc.) This leads to the frustrating situation where every time we fly I start moaning to my husband about why can’t there be a test and polite dogs who manage to curl up into a seat (Eko might be getting on the big side – Tala is only 20 kilos) and who would be calm and wouldn’t bark or smell can come on planes! This was exacerbated one time when we had three screaming babies in the row in front of us!

  2. Will, you are such an amazing pet parent and funny too:) Look at it this way, nobody is perfect and that goes for both, us, humans and our canine children, but yes it is always a good idea to expose them to a variety of people, situations,etc., so they are comfortable and well behaved.

  3. what a great post! I will say that Dakota is a perfect gentleman in public (but crazy as a loon at home lol). He will sit politely and wait to greet someone and if they want to pet him he will politely sit and wait until they do so. He is super patient that way!

  4. It is hard to find strangers to help us out with learning how to behave. With everyone fawning over Bailie it is hard to teach her not to race over and jump on people. Life being a polite dog is not easy!

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