What are ‘Bus Stop Manners’?
Dogs are not people, and people are not dogs, but sometimes it is handy to use analogies to help understand behaviour. This is where ‘Bus Stop Manners’ comes in.
Imagine you are sitting at a bus stop, or at a park bench or sitting at the food court in a mall… you get my drift. A person sits down beside you, staring intently at you, not breaking their gaze, not blinking, just staring.
You likely will feel uncomfortable. Maybe you’ll crack a joke (Fool Around Response), maybe you’ll move and sit somewhere else (Flight Response), maybe you’ll start a fight (Fight Response), or maybe you’ll pull out your phone and pretend to be busy (Fidget Response).
In another scenario, a person runs up to you at the bus stop, jumps in your lap, wraps their arms around you, and declares you to be their new BFF! You start hearing about all of the intimate details of their life. Likely you feel uncomfortable and might have some of the same responses as to the person the first scenario.
In yet another scenario, a person sits down next to you, glances your way and then goes about their business, or perhaps they start a polite conversation “Nice weather today” or “Do you have the time?” They look at you with a soft look to their gaze, being careful not to intrude upon your personal space, and reading your cues about whether you’d like to engage in small talk or be left alone. Finally you’ve met a polite person who understands approproaite social interactions when meeting strangers.
Dogs have similar rules when it comes interacting with strange dogs too, but due to learning history or genetics some dogs end up being the creepy weirdos at the bus stop. This is why it is important to ensure our dogs have good ‘Bus Stop Manners’. Help your dog have good manners – don’t let them be the weirdo at the bus stop.
Your patience and kindness really shine through your training approach. We all had a great time and I am so pleased with how Lili is doing. We were out doing ‘house calls’ this afternoon and Lili did the best ever with her latest new dog-loving senior friend with very little barking, and few worries about the environment, other people, and noises …. I am so appreciative of the strong foundation she received in our virtual lessons with you.
We are so happy with Buddy’s progress! He was amazing today when our friends came over. Thank you for helping us. We are so glad that we signed up for online lessons.
I can’t believe how well we are doing! Rosie seems very happy lately. It’s really, really great!! Thank you for the help!