Pixel’s advice on meeting people

It was clear to me when Cookie’s puppies were here, that they needed lessons in doing just about everything, as they had absolutely no manners. I’ve been around a while now and have learned an awful lot about people and how to train them so here are my thoughts on greeting people for the puppies to learn from.

The first thing to remember is that people don’t have the manners that dogs do. They tend to stare at you and make high noises, especially when you are young. They’ll touch you all over and expect you not to be uncomfortable with it. You get used to it. The staring can be a bit off putting and when they lunge at you it can be a bit frightening but I’ve learned that they don’t really mean any harm. The noises are quite exciting and if you wag your tail they do it more and you’ll often get a cuddle. I find that the more I wag the more the excited noises come and the better chance there is of attention and maybe even food.

Don’t try going round behind them to sniff their bottoms. They just don’t understand good manners and will turn around to face you instead. If you want to get a good sniff to find out about them you can try doing it from the front, but be careful. Some of them jump up in the air when you do that and I’ve never worked out what it means. Most of them clearly don’t like it though and I can smell anxiety and discomfort so I tend not to do it anymore because when they’re uncomfortable they don’t want to be near you and certainly don’t give you food.

Once you’ve said hello to them, the touching usually turns into strokes and pats and that feels good too. I’ve been told firmly that jumping up at people isn’t acceptable but it’s really hard not to do when they are squeaking and holding their arms out to you, so what I recommend is putting your front end down to the floor, sticking your bottom in the air and bouncing a bit. They like that. Give jumping up a go though if you can get away with it. Some of them clearly love it as they make high noises, look at you and put their hands on you, even if they do sometimes then push you off.

Rolling over is another good one. When your boss is talking to new people and nobody is taking any notice of you, try it and see what reaction you get. If you wriggle about they won’t ignore you for long I can assure you!  I put my foot in my mouth quite often when I roll over, to stop my legs waving all over the place, and that really gets the excited noises going.

If you’re taking your owner out on the lead and it looks as if you’re going to pass by someone interesting without saying hello, I find that whining, tail wagging and tongue lolling will usually get you closer to being petted. You could even try pulling on the lead a bit to get the message across. If a conversation is getting boring, pushing in between the humans will usually get you some attention. I’ve also found that pawing at people does the same, only when my claws get stuck in their clothing they don’t usually like it so much although it means I have a better grip.

If you follow these rules you should be able to get cuddles and treats from nearly everyone you meet, and don’t forget that looking hungry and opening your eyes wide whilst drooling on the floor is a sure-fire way to get that biscuit!