etiquette with non-dog people... in your house(46 Posts)
I have a lovely dog - very friendly, but large, hairy and slobbery. He never jumps up, but greets callers enthusiastically with a salivery toy. A bit of a pat and attention and he trundles off, satisfied.
However, what do you do with people who come to the house who dislike dogs? I always tell people we have a dog, but some of dd's friends have screamed and swiped at him, and today someone announced who came to drop something off that they are allergic to dogs and could I keep him shut away whilst we talked. Now, I try to be accommodating, but dog gets a bit confused and barks if he is shut away. He'll lie down and be as good as gold in the same room, but heartily dislikes being exiled behind a door.
I can't quite work out how to teach him not to bother people who clearly don't like him. Is it possible?!
Many of my children's friends are scared of dogs. I have a baby gate on the kitchen door which is for the dog. Just shut her in.
I shut mine in the bedroom if we have non-dog people round. He doesn't bark though and is normally quite happy to have a snooze in peace!
If its not hot and someone was scared or allergic I'd put the dog in the car on the drive. He likes the car so would just snooze in there.
If too hot I'd put him on a lead while the person was here.
I think you have to shut him away or your guests who don't like dogs will still be on edge.
We shut ours in the utility with access to the garden but it's a right pain if DS and friends then want to traipse in and out for football/drinks/Wii/football. Then it's like some comedy of revolving doors with me dementedly spinning. Ous is a ridiculously easy-going Lab who is ancient & I would trust to behave but some people just don't like dogs.
I put mine in the bedroom with the TV on and he just has a sleep on the bed.
We have a baby gate so ours generally just stays in the kitchen or he'll go in the conservatory for a snooze.
Standard procedure for us to put dog where person is not - bedroom, garage, yard, etc - we have this often with other children who come to play - i would hate for them to be on edge or not enjoy their time at our house - and even though we know our lovely dog is 12 years old, and her eyes and ears and not what they used to be, and she'd rather roll over and sleep than jump up, our visitors don't know that and it's not fair of us to make them uncomfortable
For visitors who can't reasonably be expected to accommodate a dog (meter reader, letting agent inspection etc.) the dogs are sent to their crates and the door shut. Anybody else is forewarned and has the choice whether to come or not!
We pop the dog in the kitchen with a baby gate until he calms down - very soppy but bouncy large dog. I do get really annoyed when adult guests make a fuss about not letting dog near them and demanding he gets locked out. It's his house not theirs ! I understand children can be scared of dogs so I usually take them to visit him through the gate ( I get him to lie down and then feed him dog treats ! )
I keep the dog in a separate room behind a stairgate if children are nervous. He lays there with his nose poking through the bars staring longingly at them until they get over their fear enough to stroke him and feed him treats. Once they are happy enough, I let him back out. For adults, we go into that room to sit and use the gate to keep the dog
and kids out. That way he can get to his food, garden etc and we get peace to chat.
I've recently employed the services of a Maths tutor for DD in our home.
When making arrangements I mentioned that we have a dig who barks enthusiastically whenever anyone knocks.
He's an elderly rescue lab who doesn't jump up and would just have sniffed her and wandered off.
She thanked me for warning her as she doesn't like dogs so I shut him in the kitchen when she's here but I'm now wishing I hadn't said anything as surely you should be able to explain to an adult that they'll just sniff you and walk away?
I'd feel differently for children, phobias and allergies of course.
My collie sized dog has a great dane sized crate so we put her in that. She's barely a year old, super friendly and loves to jump up to say hello (we're working on it!). She adores 5 year olds who shriek and run down the garden, she loves running with them, which makes them shriek even louder - it's her favourite game but doesn't go down well with the kids....
I don't mind putting the dog in her crate for an hour with chew toys or a kong. I'd rather not contribute to any child's fear of dogs. If they want to pet her quietly, I'm happy to let her out and supervise that. We don't have any doors downstairs so no other options to shut her in.
All owners of dogs that bite will tell you that he doesn't bite, and that he's never done it before.
All owners of dogs that slobber or jump up on you will tell you that it's just being friendly.
All owners of dogs that hump your leg will pretend they can't see it.
So dog owners reassurances are not to be believed. They might or might not be true.
PigletJohn, my house is my dogs' house too. Obviously I will keep him away from people that are just doing their jobs like delivery men or repair men. Anyone else knows that I have a dog, if they have a problem with him it is their problem and are welcome to stay away.
My point is that a visitor who is told for example "he doesn't slobber all over you" should not believe what they are told.
Is it generally just dog owners assurances that are not to be believed?
when I see a thread about badly behaved pet tigers or rats I may also comment on their owners.
The very easiest thing for me (5 dogs) is no dog goes to the door unless I call.
Usually entrances are narrow, small dc are at my dogs face height, it's very exciting and although I love my friends, lots of people are just fucking idiots.
I've had enough run ins with people that think it's absolutely justified to knee a dog hard in the face or chest if they are coming too close because they've been the victim of the 'he's just very friendly, don't worry' brigade. Unfortunately physical removal from my property often offends so I don't put my dogs in the situation of even being in range.
Squealing dc, shuffling adults trying to wrestle boots and coats off, buggies, someone will be trodden on or knocked over, who needs it?
This is usually exactly where it starts to go wrong if it's going to.
The dogs have their place - the door is not for them to worry about. It's not their job to rush up and frisk visitors or act the giddy goat.
They stay settled down until I invite them to say hello politely. We have lots of children round, it's shocking how many are unsure or actively scared because some eejit has let their dog jump up, knock them down or just have free reign because overexcited with no bloody manners is actually 'aww, look how much he loves you'. Don't get me wrong there will be 10 treat seeking eyes carefully watching for signs of a cuddle being imminent but it's just nicer for everyone including my dogs for it to be this way.
It makes the house rules quite simple - the dogs are not to hassle you, they must be invited. You must not hassle the dogs, you must be invited to play or call them to you, their beds are a no go ever. And we Do Not Tease.
So apart from any very fussy person that might object to sitting on a sofa cushion stuffed with treasure like chews, interesting bits of debris and chewed, used knickers and socks (which I've pretty much assumed was the dogs) we're generally a pretty nice balance I think.
What about the Tiger that came to tea? He was a right cheeky one. Somebody had encouraged bad habits.
Good post Bernard and at dogs frisking people, that's exactly what they do.
Our dog trainer told us about dogs that have been trained to run to their crates when the doorbell rings. It's good to have something to aim for, right?
It's your house so it's your rules. If they don't like dogs then they can stay away. We don't have dogs and my DD is a little nervous of them. When she goes to friends houses where there are dogs I expect her to behave herself around the dog. She knows to let let the dog greet her and then generally they are calm. I would never expect anyone to shut their dog away.
I get stressed around dogs. One of three things ALWAYS happens to me when I'm near a dog:
a) they jump up at me
b) they try to sniff my crotch
c) they want to lick my hand or wipe their wet nose on me
I don't dislike dogs and quite happy to be in the same room, but I just want to be able to stroke or pat them and for them not to jump/sniff/lick
I am a cat person
Bernard - very good post
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