Dogs Sniffing People - Part 2 (see below for part 1)
Last week I wrote about dogs' desires over-riding a guest's right to personal body space.
"It's her nature to sniff your crotch.
Please feel free to sniff hers."
Yep! That IS a sign some dog owners proudly display!
(To be honest, maybe I'm weird, but I don't really like dogs sniffing my crotch and... I'll pass on reciprocating, but thanks anyway.)
I wrote about how Jetta had been trained to go to - and stay - on the couch or in her bed when a guest came to visit.
Once the visitor was in and ready, he or she could approach the couch (or bed) to pet Jetta, who was THRILLED but STABLE in staying put unless invited to "Come say Hi."
And I teach this to my students. BUT... there's an alternative I failed to mention. So here it is!
How about "Leave it"???? Yes!!!!
In my opinion, the two most-important things dogs should know are to VOLUNTARILY "Ask permission" for everything they want and to "Leave it."
So... when someone comes to your home, your dog quits barking when told to, then runs to his or her bed... and stays there until the guest comes in and gets settled.
Then, it is up to the visitor - who has an inherent right to his or her own personal space - to decide if they want to approach the dog (who stays in bed) and pet/interact, or to call the dog over for same. But the third option, if they prefer to not interact with a dog (and please don't take it personally), is that YOU tell your kid it's ok to come off his bed, but that this human being is a "Leave it."
Just like the cat is a "Leave it." The duck poop in the park is a "Leave it." The 2-year-old's poopy diaper is a "Leave it." The sandwich the 2-year-old is OFFERING the dog. "Leave it." The food you dropped while cooking. "Leave it."
The MEDICATION you dropped! Medication! "LEAVE IT!!!"
And so it goes with the human visitor walking around your home.
Ask permission ("Say please") and "Leave it." The two most-important things a dog should know .
And waaaay better than your visitor being subjected to the sniff test, unless of course, they like that. Ha! Cheap thrills! That's different.
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