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July 20, 2013
Dog Sitting Nicely

D a r n  it! I wish I had taken a photo earlier this week of Maya & Pierson sitting nicely when we had guests over.

We had someone from AT&T over the other day to see if they could fix our internet. We were told that our dogs had to be confined while they were here. Why? The AT&T guy that came told me one of his coworkers had recently been bitten in the face by a dog that was supposed to be friendly. Maybe the dog was. But dogs will be dogs. Maya will jump up on people if I am not careful. This can be very dangerous if someone is bending over when they pet her.

So no matter how friendly your dog is, be considerate of your guests. I have a tendency to think, “The dogs live here, you don’t.” But what if Maya jumps on someone and hurts them? It would be my fault. I would be responsible. It doesn’t matter whose house it is. So in order to protect the safety of my guests, here is what I do with Maya and Pierson:

Work on Sit / Stay
Maya gets really excited when people come over. So we’ve been working very hard on the sit and stay commands. I don’t just work with her at home with no distractions, I also work with her when people come over and out in public with other distractions.

Work on No Jumping
I’ve taught Maya not to jump on me, but it has been difficult to keep her from jumping on other people. People don’t know that they shouldn’t pet her unless she is sitting calmly, so it is my responsibility to tell them. When we are at home or on walks and someone wants to pet Maya, I make sure they know that if she gets up or starts to get anxious, back away or turn around and ignore her.

Keep on a Lead
This helps even at home. If Maya is on a leash when guests come over, it helps put her in “work” mode. It also enables me to grab the other end and restrain her if she gets too excited.

Make Sure Pets are Confined
Yes, it is my house. But there will be some cases where it is simply best to confine my dogs. The AT&T guy was just one example. Another situation I have to be careful of because of Maya’s exuberance is when small children come over. Maya is great with kids, but she tends to get so excited that she knocks them over.

What do your dogs do when people come over? Are they challenging like Maya or calm and well-mannered like Pierson? (Sephi was well-mannered too.)

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2 Responses to “Pet Safety Saturday – Safety for Guests”

  1. Jodi:

    We had the same thing with ATT except initially they told me the dogs would be okay but when the tech got there, he insisted the dogs were put away. When I questioned him he very rudely said, “I don’t like dogs.” I guess it’s similar to telling me my kid is fat. 😀 It really rubbed me wrong and I did call and complain about him. I totally understand the safety factor and if they had simply told me that it would have been fine. Grrrr

  2. SephiAndMaya:

    Jodi, I can totally relate. We had guests over to our house this one time for a barbeque. Everybody knows I have two big dogs. One of our guests, whom I didn’t know that well, asked me to put my dogs away because his wife was scared. I was really upset but bit my lip. Why in the heck did she even come over if she was scared of dogs? Needless to say, this couple was never invited over to my house again.