We do have a lot of house rules for our dogs. Some of the rules are designed for making us more comfortable, and some of them are for their safety. The rules are so consistently applied that the dogs no longer need instruction to follow them.
When the door bell rings, the dogs run to the door and automatically sit and stay while we open the door and greet visitors, sign for packages, etc. They know to stay even if the visitor goes into a high-pitched voice with something like, "Oh, how cute you are!"
"Wait" is another very useful command. Basically, "wait" means, "stop what you are doing and wait for me to direct you." One of the most frequent uses of "wait" is at the door. Again, the dogs know this so well we rarely have to say it. The dogs NEVER go out a door ahead of us. It's that simple. So, whenever we go outside, on leash or off, they wait at the door until we allow them to follow us.
The "wait" command is used when getting out of the car as well. The dogs know that they cannot leap from the car when we open the door. They must wait until we grab the leash, or otherwise invite them to jump down. Each dog knows that she has to wait. Just because the first dog has gotten out doesn't mean the other one can jump out.
Here Ellie waits to get out of the car.
Lucy waits her turn.
Another often used and helpful command is, "Go to your mat." We have two large dog beds in the great room. This command means that each dog must go to one or the other of the beds and stay there until released. The dog can lie down, or sit, but must not leave the mat until allowed to do so.
-----We use this command often when we have guests who simply can't behave themselves. Some guests will slap their knees, inviting the dogs to jump on them. Others will actually give a dog food from the snack table. So we simply send to dogs to their mat(s) to stop this action. Occasionally they will "accidentally" break this command. If they snooze, or lie for a long time, they forget that they are there because they were told to be there. A simple "Go to the mat" puts them back in place.
Going to the mat.
One thing never needs a command. That is, "Veg out in the sun."
We are certainly not dog trainers, and we appreciate that many people do not feel the need to control their dogs to the extent we do. Our dogs do not feel oppressed, and they love us to death. We do play with them and have fun with them. We often sit on the floor with them and let them put their heads in our laps. But there is a time and place for good manners and we are glad to say our dogs have pretty good ones.
Another Friday is here all too quickly. Despite all previous promises, we still have no gasoline. My husband got to a station yesterday. He put in his credit card and started pumping. He pumped eight tenths of a gallon and the pump went dry. Fortunately, he was later able to get more gasoline. Amazing how giddy a full tank of gasoline makes you feel.
I need to be driving in the mountains!
But we are blessed and ever so much better off than most other people. After all, we have two lovely Golden Girls to amuse us while we are stuck.
Have a wonderful and safe weekend. Indulge yourself at least once each day.