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Do manners really matter?

dry nurse Nola checking the three lively kitties
dry nurse Nola checking the three lively kitties

A dog's tale


Of course having manners are important for your dog as well as yourself. Your dog's manners are really just a reflection of your own.

Why is it important to teach your dog manners? You can just enroll in a basic obedience class for eight weeks and pay $100. Won’t that teach all of the basics needed to have a good dog?

If you have children, you know that the very best students are only polite and kind to others if parents have insisted on them practicing that behavior on a continuing basis. Exceptionally bright children will even learn ways to manipulate others by any means available. You must realize that your fur child is the same. If he is rude one time and is not corrected to stop that behavior, he will continue to repeat that behavior and you are actually enabling him by not insisting on polite behavior. At that point, he is actually controlling you.

Basic obedience training can certainly help to teach your dog your language and specific actions, but does that make him understand what is polite? If a child wins every spelling bee, does she then always respect her elders or even use a napkin? I don’t think so. First, she has to understand what is acceptable and appropriate behavior. Then she will learn the niceties of life and getting along with others.

Is jumping on people every time someone enters your home polite to other people? Is barging the door when it is opened ever really OK? Is rushing at her food bowl before it is actually placed on the floor just a simple sign of over eagerness? I don’t think so. There are many things that a dog does that cannot and should not be excused or accepted just because he is only a dog. Can any dog really learn to be just nice? Can you make exceptions because a certain breed is bred by humans to perform certain tasks, so anything else simply cannot be learned because of genetics?

Maybe your dog is a toy breed that can’t really push people around or really do anything damaging. Do you just accept a poor behavior because you love him so much that he can do no wrong? Maybe you think he really is as sharp as a box of rocks and really can’t learn anything. You must realize that not everyone who enters your home can love anything that sweet faced “Angel” does?

You do not have to except unwelcome and impolite behavior from either your skin children or your fur children. Step up! Become good parents!

Jordan and I were going to a dog training school so  we could both learn what was expected of us at AKC obedience trials. I have always trained working dogs who need specific skills to be good at their jobs. AKC obedience titles are really just a human game, of sorts, so it is important to understand the rules.

One gal had been playing this “game” for many years and had many dogs with advanced or “utility” titles, and even tracking titles. She said, very importantly, that her dogs were fine without knowing how to say please or thank you. She didn’t care if other people couldn’t stand her dogs. She said that they had proven themselves to be superior and that teaching them to be polite would “break” their spirits. They might not be able to perform as well.

Give me a break! You mean they are not smart enough to learn how to be nice? 

Not in my household! I don’t have skin children but I would certainly never allow one to run around a restaurant bothering other diners. They must learn proper etiquette, or the “rules” of civil behavior. This does not even involve “training”. You simply need to define the “rules” in clear terms and insist on them being followed, always. Once you have house "rules", they should be followed by every canine, or human who enters. This is not difficult to do. You simply must be consistent. I might not even remember to always do it the proper way. You must insist! Eventually, even I, will remember the rule every single time, and never have to be told again.

Don’t make excuses for either them or yourselves! I will help you to define what rules need to become your "house" rules, and must always be followed. But first you need to understand your canine
and you can start  by observing. Please and start understanding your friend by

We can all do it and we willl have a very happy household under your rule.

Cat tales

My three newborn kitties have grown up! They will all have certainly reached two lbs by Monday and will have to be returned to "adoptions" at the shelter. They are ready to be spay/neutered and to get their first much needed vaccinations. I really do wish I could just freeze them as they are. All three of them are sleeping with us, two humans, one canine and three other cats.

It has been truly fascinating watching their personalities evolve. "Pinky" the smallest of the two fluff girls is more needy and always wants to be close. She follows me around all day long. "Fluffy" is    personable but is often content to curl up in the middle of the floor all by herself. "Clover", my lucky boy is a bit of each.

Sometimes all three of them brawl, sometimes only two of them do. All three can sometimes be found curled up with one or both of my canines. All of them eat voraciously any time of the day. I know they have to go. It just makes us all sad.

As I hand each one of them over to be packed into a crate to travel, I tell them each to find a happy home with loving people, to grow strong, and have a long, happy, healthy life. I really do cry. I just hope to have another litter soon.

 Tip of the cat's tale

Please spay/neuter your fur children now. You don't want fur babies and I'm quite sure she doesn't need them! There are far too many cats and kittens in shelters already. They don't have enough room, and the older cats are euthanized to make room for kittens more easily adopted out. For some unknown reason, there are too many black kittens around and they become difficult to find homes for. Poor little "Clover" needs a home as badly as the adorable "Fluffgirls" do.