Follow the Pet (Dog) Etiquette rules when Entertaining, so everyone has a good time when dining together–both the guests and the dog!

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When you host a dinner party, there are so many etiquette rules and ideas that you are expected to follow, right?

We all love our pets, but, sadly, this doesn’t mean your friends and guests will, too.  We’re always trying to make sure our pet behaves, and that everyone has a good time (both the dog and the guests).

Pet (Dog) Etiquette when Entertaining

Yes, we had a dog, Haggis Barley McStitch, a Cairn Terrier who we were so in love with. Because we have Alder now, and we entertain a lot, we already know our little dogs have never been angels!

In the past, when guests would come, we’d corral Haggis out in Paul’s office (separate from our house). He’s not good with kids. He was, until one kid ruined that for him when he was a puppy (we know exactly what happened), and now it’s impossible for other kids to be able to love on him.

Once he grew up, we’d let him stay inside to see if he could behave himself when we had company over. Behaving himself, for Haggis, meant to contain his excitement, and not jump up on the guests when they walked through the door.

Talk about hospitality! Our dog LOVED to greet people at the door! :)

We didn’t want our guests to be annoyed, but on the other hand, he was a part of our family.

alder the whoodle

How to know if you should put the dog out:

  1. Evaluate your guests’ body language: Are they pet lovers? Do they seem to like your dog or animal?
  2. If the dog can’t stop jumping up: Especially when excited, usually when greeting the guests, who are often bearing gifts of delicious platters of foods in their hands!
  3. If the barking is out of control: Our dog is a protector, so one thing can set him off (which can be scary or alarming when you’re not expecting it).
  4. Beggars at the table: If the dog can’t leave your guests alone, chin in laps or annoying, slobbery behaviors.
  5. Stealing food: If you’re entertaining casually with food at easy reach, watch out.
  6. If your dog is super-protective and nips at people he/she perceives to be a threat to you (even when they’re good friends).

We have friends who keep their dogs in the laundry room or garage, or crate them. Usually these are larger dogs who can literally make you fall over if you run into them.

Alder the Whoodle

Now with Alder the Whoodle, many times we’ll let him calm down, and he does pretty well. If it’s warm out, we put him in the Sprinter van (with water, his ball), because he loves to sit in the drivers seat, no matter what, and just watch. He’s happy there.

We’re still in the process of teaching Alder now to be a gracious guest. We’ve yet to break his initial excitement when people come through the door. He usually settles right down, but if not … out to the van he goes.

We know he’s not perfect, and we’re always thankful when our guests are gracious in return, as we are when we go to friends’ homes with pets!

Here’s the question today:

Do you keep your animals in the house when you entertain? Or, do you do as we do, and watch the “body languages” of your guests?

Dog recipes to try:

Apple Carrot Dog Treats

Charcuterie Boards for Dogs

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Pet (Dog) Etiquette when Entertaining