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Danny Gets Party Manners

In April, we will be driving to Montana for my brother’s wedding, and will be taking Danny with us. Not to the wedding itself, but he’ll be in the hotel room with us, which he’s cool with. Fingers crossed the weather’s nice.

I’ve decided to work on Danny’s party manners, which is a completely made-up category. I really have only the vaguest idea of what it means. Here’s the basics, I think:

  • Sitting or standing quietly to be petted
  • Greeting new people without jumping
  • Taking treats gently
  • No begging!

He’s halfway to all of these things, but definitely not all the way there. He’s fine with crowds of people, and there will only be one other dog around during the weekend, Ca-Lo. She lives with my brother and his fiance, and they’ve met before, so that should be fine. If it isn’t, my brother and I have already worked out time-out locations in his house. He’s also had Ca-Lo practice having canine houseguests in preparation.

The one thing I’m worried about, party manners-wise, is Danny’s desire to calm the herd. He doesn’t need everyone to be grouped together, so there’s not an issue with nipping or shoving. But roughhousing and horseplay send Danny into a frenzy of barking a jumping. “Hey!” he yells. “No messing around! Sit quietly and play nicely!” We’ve thought about getting him an orange vest and a clipboard for recording infractions.

He means no harm and does not bite, but he does want everyone to calm down. He even does this at the dog park, when other dogs are wrestling and playing. Danny does not play that way, so he circles the wrestlers, bouncing and barking, until they stop and say the dog equivalent of “Nerd alert!” Then he comes back to me for more fetch.

And we’ve already discussed it — there will be no balls present at the post-wedding backyard barbecue. That’s just asking for trouble.


4 responses »

  1. I suggest you add one or two tricks to Danny’s repertoire. People will be so impressed with a high five, a sit pretty, or a shake, and Danny will feel good about their oohs and aahs. Love your blog. Kathy

    • Danny is the master of shake, and he’ll do it any time, for anyone. I’ve been meaning to teach him high five, but with the command, “Back me up, Danny” or “Can I get an amen?” I think I’ll win more arguments with my husband that way.

  2. Ryan (the brother)

    And I assume no leashes around the actual barbecue… we know that won’t end well. 🙂

    • Yes, if there’s one thing we’ve learned through experience, it’s not to believe that 20-foot leads will solve all our dog problems when cooking outdoors. But we also learned that it only takes one barbecue full of hot coals tipping over to get our dogs to settle down and be quiet together.


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