Sit UBU Sit! Good Dog.


Dear Dharma, 

I love your site and read all the questions!  So you are the one I turn to now for help.

I don’t know where you are on the dog vs cat spectrum, I am solidly on the “a bad dog is better than a good cat” side, but hey live and let live.  I don’t have a dog at the present (living arrangements don’t permit) but have several friends who are happy to let me borrow their furry babies for an hour when I can.  This is a great arrangement for the most part as I get to play with dogs in the outdoors (we go to the park and have a great time) which I love.

My problem is when I go to one couple’s house, and visit their dog on his home turf.  Outside, this is a great dog, well behaved, lots of energy, and really plays well.  At home, he’s rotten!  He is underfoot, he barks, and (to me) worst of all, he begs for people food at the table when we are eating.  And he gets it too!

Am I out of line to point out that they are not doing him any favors, and probably shortening his life by doing that?  I just think he could be such a good dog, in every way, because of how good he is when it’s just him and me.

Wanna Whisper to Someone Elses Dog!

Dear Whisper,

Dharma wants to be clear that she loves all dogs and cats equally.

Well, okay… Dharma thought she loved all dogs and cats equally, but now that she has the best darn dog this side of the Fraser River, her heart has grown three sizes, three sizes too big.

Yeah, I know.  We’re not really here to talk about my dog – but anytime you want to, please let me know

This question kind of falls into the same category as giving unsolicited parenting advice (see Kids at the Party). It’s all going to come down to the delivery of what you want to say.  Make it sound like an attack, and you’ll get nowhere quickly.

But wait – before we start…

Before we venture down this rabbit hole, let’s first determine that there is in fact a problem here. Are the dog’s owners bothered by the barking, begging and being underfoot?  Because if they’re not, then there is very little you can do about a problem they don’t have.

And to further drill in, is your problem how badly said dog behaves (which, again, not your problem) or that they are feeding him people food, which you think could shorten his life?  I only ask because Cesar says there are lots of people food that is actually okay for pup’s to eat, so maybe check out this list to see if it somewhat eases your worries.

If they are giving poochy pie anything that endangers him, I wouldn’t hesitate to let them know immediately.

For the record, I agree 100% that feeding a dog at the table wildly encourages bad behaviour. But bad behaviour isn’t going to shorten Spot’s life, as long as he’s not being fed things like chocolate or onions.



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