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March 12, 2013


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
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.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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?

Comments for Petiquette

  1. emma says:

    We like to jump all over guests when they arrive but then we mellow down. I am especially bad with this, but maybe because I am so short as my sister does not jump at all. Mom has tried to get us to knock it off but has kind of given up.Eko sure has it down, though.

  2. Eko sure is a gent.
    I have no problems with people comes over my place, Doggy doesn’t like to be petted, he wouldn’t approach people, he lays down next to the TV and stays there until someone bothers him, then he looks for me and follows me around. I’ve been very lucky, he’s well behaved overall, sometimes gets really annoying because wouldn’t stop following me around like a shadow, that’s dangerous when I’m cooking, I drop things, and I would hate him to get hurt, I’ve been trying to make him stay away while I cook but it’s almost impossible.

  3. catchatcaren says:

    thankfully Dakota, being a Sheltie, is more reticent when people come over. Until he knows someone he is shy so he won’t jump on them to greet them. He is actually really good with guests and good about the food. Now when there is NO ONE over and I am on the couch eating popcorn he is RELENTLESS! He will literally “pop” up where you see his head and then I say “NO” and he goes into his ‘gentleman” pose…but then…UP he POPS again! This goes on until he gets a few kernels of popcorn sent his way

  4. Our biggest rule is no people food given to the dogs. It is especially hard for the grandkids to understand. But the result of our efforts is our dogs don’t beg. Also we can sit with our food in our laps with dog next to us and they pay no attention. Having grown up feeding dogs people food all my life imagine my surprise when I found out this works!

  5. I laughed when I read that you told Eko to “cool his jets”. Haven’t heard that in a while (since I was young, actually) and am totally going to use it for my dogs, too. “Simmer down, now” is worn out and “calm your body” doesn’t have any effect anymore. Eko looks like he had a fun time!

  6. Jennifer Ward says:

    I use cool your jets often with Taylor and my my First Graders in class too! (And my son is 27 so I guess it’s a hippie thing:-) I took Taylor to Cape May this weekend & she was very well behaved and quite the social butterfly- shaking hands right and left. This was AFTER a play on the beach- she was calm, cool & collected. Love the few min on the couch- will try that! Still working on “chillin” during parties here. What a fine gentledog Eko is!

  7. Uncle Austin says:

    Will, its a given that Eko has tons of friends. The mystery is how do you have so many? Im assuming you and Eko were at Emilys party.

  8. Marcela says:

    What a handsome boy Eko happens to be:) I am so glad that you include him in so many of your outings and even parties:) Great parenting Will:)

  9. Boomdeeadda says:

    Buddy was a pretty good boy, he’d lay on his pillow drooling while we ate..LOL The cats on the other hand don’t recognize my authority what so ever. We had guests back for cookies and coffee at the condo the other week when we came back from a downtown restaraunt. I slipped into the kitchen to make cover and when I returned to our guests in the living room, both cats were on the coffee table, facing our guests, just staring at them on the sofa…LOL. “Hello, we are the Diva’s, why are you here?”

  10. Zena says:

    We like to be at the front door in case it’s someone interesting, but don’t bother with people once their inside, we neither of us are too fussed about outer-family members. It’s just our nature.

  11. This post brought back fond memories of my doberman mix Bismarck…back in the ’90s I hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for my single friends, and the main thing I remember about that event is that my food-obsessed Bismarck slurped up an entire tray of deviled eggs while we were in another room. I came around the corner just in time to see deviled egg half #16 or so disappear into his mouth. UGH! Talk about a bad case of doggy gas…looks like Eko did really well in comparison.

  12. caitlin says:

    Good job, Eko!!!

  13. I guessed it: Eko was the center of attention – yeah! what else?

  14. Jorie says:

    So sweet! Eko seems like an ideal party companion: friendly, lovable, and an emergency pillow if guests wind up staying the night.

  15. 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!

  16. Jessica says:

    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.

  17. onebluedog says:

    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.

  18. writetowag says:

    Way to go Eko!!!! Trev sends a big high paw for that…What a gentleman to shake hands!!!!

  19. So true. I learned that aswell, Kirby could be the best listener whien it was just us two but as soon as new people came into the situation it was Leah, who? lol

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