Dog Etiquette

May 22, 2010

After a conversation with a fellow daschund loving friend this week it got me thinking. Ya see, we were discussing the potential for a daschund play date, whose house to have it at, and who to invite. The who to invite is always the problem. People will claim all day long they have such a sweet and loving dog and when you come in contact with their pup it turns out to be a total wack job. Considering her Lenny is 9 we don't want to invite anyone with a wack-a-doo dog. Here is a list of owner myths and walking tips we hit on while talking:

Big Massive Myth Numero Uno:

Person: "Does your dog bite?"
Owner: "No, my (wack-a-doo) dog has never bitten anyone."
Person: (then proceeds to be bitten by the dog)

You dog may not bite you, but it such as heck will bite someone else. Yes I am the first to admit, Ellie and Maddie have never bitten anyone, but that doesn't mean they won't. It just means the person they would like to bite hasn't shown up and made them feel the need to attack. The sweet girl at the vet always asks me if Ellie will bite to which I always reply "No, but there is always a first." I love my girls like they are my children, but like some wack job kids, they are still animals and could be unpredictable if provoked. So if you have a dog and someone feels uncomfortable around it, respect the person and put the dog up.

Tip #1
Invest in a baby gate. I had to buy one after Jeremy gave the the wonderful anniversary gift of a manic teething Maddie. She had a taste for carpet and I wanted my deposit back on my Townhouse. Locking her out of the living room was the best thing I ever did. The gate comes in really handy now because we have two doggie doors, one in the laundry room that opens to the kitchen. When Jeremy leaves for work he shuts one doggie door and gates the laundry room. The pups then have access to water and food in the laundry room, plus shelter if it is too hot or bad weather, and free roam of the backyard all day. Which they love by the way. We have also had people come over and timid Maddie gets uncomfortable so we put her over the baby gate till she chills out. Last thing I need is a kid provoking my "hasn't bitten yet dogs" into the "wack-a-doo" club.

Myth #2:
If someone has a dog they must like all dogs, especially your dog.

So not true. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than a dog I think is unpredictable or that I just flat out don't know. If this is the case with your guest revert to tip number 1 and lock the dog up. Nothing is worse than house guest that are obviously uncomfortable and it is easily fixable.

***Note: A larger baby gate will be needed to lock your mother-in-law in the laundry room, she can probably jump over the regular one. {just kidding people don't have a cow}

For instance, I try to walk the girls everyday, but sometimes the weather/stray dogs get in the way of that. The other day I took Maddie out, made it maybe two houses down and saw a huge Boxer roaming around. FYI I had a Boxer named Sammie who lived to the ripe old age of nine and I loved her to death. But this random unknown big dog wandering around makes me unconfortable, especially with 10 pound timid Maddie. I'd hate to provoke some dog that is bigger than us to attack or chase us home.

On the other hand...

Tip #2

When walking a dog, make sure you restrain it when passing a fellow walker/runner or just get on the whole other side of the road if you aren't sure how the dog will react.

I've taken Ellie walking a million times and every time she sees it her civil duty to kill all runners, kids on bikes, motorcycles, and recently an old man on a motorized scooter. Ellis has a conpletely different personality from Maddie, she thinks she is a 200 pound dog and will attack and kill anything in her way. This explains why I was attacked by a huge lab that Ellie provoked. Just so happens the couple that lives behind us has a 120 pound German Shepard. I only weigh 5 pounds more than that dog! And all of that leads me to this...I took Ellie walking the other day and turned the corner to nearly come face to face with the old man that weighs less than his massive dog and couldn't decided if I wanted to A. Run B. Pick up Ellie and run, because we both know she isn't running anywhere or C. Cross to the other side of the street in hopes it would ignore us. We crossed to the other side of the street by the way. After we crossed the dog crossed too, so we crossed again. The old man never saw us, but his dog sure did. Luckily I was able to keep my nutty daschund from doing her "I'm gonna beat you up bark" and managed to keep myself from having to hop a fence to get away.

Well that is all I have time for today, Old Navy is having their huge Memorial Day sale and I have got to go stand in line. If you have any other tips and myths let me know I think I may do a follow up post on this.

Have a great Saturday!