Royal Visit in Barrie
Are you prepared for your Royal Visit ? We’ll admit we didn’t crack the nod for a visit from HRH Princess Ann, though we really thought that her love of dogs and our aptly named and well earned title of The Royal Pets Hotel and Spa would draw her to us. We’re sure the Princess Royal would indeed have visited our guests if her schedule would have allowed. Whilst everyone at Base Borden and her regiment the Simcoe Grey and Foresters prepare to meet her, everyone is having a crash test in manners. It’s a good time to check on how our pets manners are developing.
Basic family pet manners and dog obedience as demonstrated through agility, herding and other dog / parents pursuits, are a little different. We often hear parents checking in their pet for Dog Boarding at the Dog Hotel and apologizing for their pets manners. You would be amazed at how many people feel awful that their dog does not walk to heel. It’s a wonderfully impressive skill when demonstrated and in many past times such as shooting and hunting it is required. But please don’t beat yourself up if the achievements of your dog on a leash, are a little less “show worthy”.
I am currently writing a book on family pets. My desire is NOT to condone poorly behaved or dangerous pets, but rather to reassure everyone that kids are kids and dogs are dogs. It’s okay to break a few of the “old rules” and still have a well behaved (most of the time) but happy member of your family. Their are implications to having your dog sleep in your bed, but as long as you know them, relax and enjoy having them as a close member of your family.
Basic family pet manners as we define them at the Dog Hotel are;
Drop objects, food etc when instructed
Come back when called
Do get excited and happy to greet people
Do try to be with their family whenever and wherever they are allowed
Greeting visitors (people and pets) appropriately
Don’t jump up on people when greeting (most of the time)
Don’t pull Mom or any family member to the ground when being walked on a leash
Don’t steal food from tables or counters
I’m not suggesting that no one should pursue advanced obedience and training skills for their pets. I am however advocating the right to have a family pet that safely and happily fits into your home, but doesn’t follow some of the old rules. Most dogs with some initial training and consistent reinforcement at home can achieve the above mentioned skills most of the time. I say most of the time because honestly we all slip when the temptation is big enough, and we also don’t know how we or our pets will react in every situation until it happens. Fortunately or unfortunately there are those situations that you just can’t and wouldn’t want to practice.
Every breed and individual dog has their characteristics that will predispose them to certain levels of training. Having spent a lot of time around agility centers and other training professionals I can confirm that with time and effort all breeds have the potential to achieve very high levels of training.
But do you want it or need it. Love your pet, make sure they, (and if you have any other children of the non furry kind), have the basics we require from all members of society and enjoy. Pursue higher levels if you can, you desire, or your pet needs it for their own emotional well being and confidence, and if not, relax and love your time with them (on the sofa)!
Jenn Dahinten has been involved in health and pet care for over 20 years and is currently a part of the caring team at The Royal Pets Hotel & Spa, a 5 star Pet Hotel just north of Toronto in Barrie, Ontario.