Dog 101

I like to think I’ve done a pretty good job socializing Eko and Penny and introduced them to all things a dog needs to know about. But with our recent move I discovered Penny’s missed out on a number of domestic lessons.

Due to the sardine-can size of the apartment we previously rented, we never had room for a table. We ate all our meals on barstools at the butcher block, so Penny never learned table manners. Now that we have a kitchen table again we’re dining with a couple of sharks.Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

Eko attempts to use mind control to get us to drop food, but at least he knows not to intrude 

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

Penny knows no such restraint.

Human meal time is now also puppy-class time. Penny’s finally realized she’s not invited to the table

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

But the dogs still try to get as close as possible

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

I’m not sure what’s worse, letting them inch closer or looking at those forlorn stares if I keep them further away

The other introductory level class Penny (and Eko, to some degree) missed is Doorbells 101. Neither of our apartments had a working buzzer, so when the buzzer went off here for the first time the pups were understandably confused.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

“What was that??”

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

It didn’t take them long to figure out

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

And now the pups associate the buzzer with visitors, which is great

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

Except when it’s not. We also use the buzzer for package deliveries to the main foyer. When the dogs hear the buzzer they’ll stand by the door expectantly and look at me like I’m rude for not opening it

To add further confusion to the buzzer, the dogs also hear voices coming from it when someone is at the building’s front door.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, blog, chicago, cute, puppy

“Will, I think this place is haunted.”

As apartment dwellers, the dogs have also never had the pleasure of barking at the postman or other visitors. That’s one class I’m happy they missed!

What about you guys? Any basic things



Ahhh, yes…those starvin-Marvin eyes at dinner time. That was the VERY first thing I ‘ve ever taught my dogs. Nothing worse than pairs of eyes watching the fork move from plate to mouth and then the Pavlov slobber coming shortly thereafter…usually on a leg-blech. I’m sure your guys will be pros in no time with table manners and the doorbell. 😉

Table manners excellent! Smokey heads off to the living room or somewhere at a distance. Kali typically sleeps under the table, politely and not begging. Kind of odd since during food preparation she stands at attention as close as we will allow her to be. During dinner though she calmly sleeps (or licks our feet – we call it Spa Treatment) under the table.
Doorbells – not so much. Smokey – at 10 pounds and a yap-yap dog by nature – usually goes bazerk with barking Tourettes (credit that term to rachelmankowitz, The Cricket Pages) and Kali is a reluctant participant barking but looking back at me the whole time to let me know she knows I don’t want her to do this “but Smokey has got me all riled up Dad!” Smokey grew up in this suburban home and Kali has been here for a year and half. You’d think they’d get it by now that a single bark to announce the caller at the door would be sufficient. As much as I work with them it seems to be out of their control. I probably need to hire a stranger to come to the door like every 5 minutes for a couple of hours a few times a week to practice with them and instill better behavior. 🙂

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