Asking permission

I often tell my clients that their dogs should not make decisions like getting up on the bed or couch on their own. You should wait until their dog asks if they can get up; this always results in the guardian looking at me very strangely. Ask? How is my dog suppose to ask? I am discussing asking; because my Jack Russell asked to get on the bed this morning. She has just realized that the new ottoman is for her use to get up on the bed but once up there she is not sure about going the whole way.

You are probably asking yourself "okay what did she do to ask?" Right? Dogs can ask permission in many ways but usually it is just a waiting game with some eye contact. She was sitting on the ottoman beside my bed as I was typing. She looked at me, then the bed and back again. Then she took her front paw and tapped the bed; she must have done this about 8 times when I told her okay.

I wanted to see if she would eventually just come up but she only came onto the bed when I gave her the okay. It was pretty cute to watch her poking the bed and then directing her eye contact on me as she waited patiently. This is exactly how the rules in the house should be followed. But it doesn't happen overnight; it takes alot of establishing who is in charge and what the rules are that must be followed.

It truly amazes me when I go to a new clients home only to be pounced upon by their out of control beast. The dog jumps up on the couch, stomps all over me and physically tries to take the pouch with my treats in it from me. Hmmmmm. Dogs who get away with this type of behavior quickly become worse in other behaviors.

Not all dogs are made alike; a very true statement. Some dogs need very few rules, they just don't push in life like my Tilley. Then there are the dogs who are constantly pushing and being generally obnoxious. So implementing rules is a very personal deal; because not only are dogs all different we are even more different. What you may think is a totally acceptable behavior I may find completely unacceptable. I like order in my house and dogs running amuck does not work for me.

So the decisions lie solely on you guardian; whether or not you implement and enforce is entirely your decision. But never underestimate your dog; they are way more intelligent than you think. How does your dog know that they have to ask? By setting clear boundaries from the start, establishing that you make and enforce the rules. Obedience training is a must, even the most basic of commands gives you a way to communicate the good manner rule.

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