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Even Fur Babies Can Be Badly Parented

Repost if you love your pet…..but don’t care for your guests

There is a Facebook status that I am seeing pop up frequently amongst my on-line “friends”.  Due to the nature of the post, I have been hesitant to comment back to these people for fear of offending, but I’m sure I’ll be safe here amongst etiquette-loving friends.   I’m sure you’ve all seen the post before (those of you who are Facebook users), it’s goes something like this:

TO NON-PET LOVERS who visit our homes and complain about our pets. 1) They live here, you don’t. 2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. That’s why they call it ‘Fur’-niture. 3) Chances are, I love my pets more then I like you. 4) To you, they are animals.To me, they are my babies and family … who are hairy, walk on all fours & don’t talk back and don’t judge! Re-post if you love your pet.

So, here is my response:

1) No, I don’t live here, but you have invited me here as your guest and, as such, should be aiming to be hospitable and make me feel at ease – not make me feel like I’m in the way of your cat.

2) See number 1). And maybe think about giving the place a little clean-up.

3) Well, why did you invite me here, then? I think I’ll just go and leave you to your pets and then we’ll all be happy.

4) If your actual babies barked at me from the second I entered the door and then proceeded to bite and scratch at my legs, you would probably stop them – wouldn’t you? You want your children to grow up being respectful adults that other people enjoy being around, why would you not want the same thing for your “hairy babies”?

Now, I’m no great animal lover, but I’m definitely no animal hater, either. I do understand people’s love and affection for their pets, but the joy of being a host and having guests in your home is to make them feel comfortable and to enjoy their company – not to stand them in a corner so as not to bother your precious pets.

I work as a community nurse, visiting new mothers in their homes to check their babies. This is a free service that mothers volunteer to undertake. I do not appreciate those families who allow their dogs to jump all over me, stick their nose in my bag and lick my hands. I’m here to see your baby, and now I have to go to another home to see another newborn baby with your dog’s lick all over my leg – now, that’s not very hygienic or fair on the next family, is it?

In short, if you can’t be bothered to try and make your home an enjoyable place for guests, don’t bother inviting them over!   0810-11

Just as there are bad parents who let their darling little Fufus get away with entitled murder, there are bad pet owners who don’t teach their pets any manners and feel that the world should revolve around their furballs.  Their pet can do no wrong and so bad behavior like licking, jumping up, barking, etc. are all condoned so that Fluffy The Special Snowflake Dog doesn’t get his feelings hurt.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • The Elf August 17, 2011, 1:12 pm

    Tara, that’s how I interpreted it too. This was a funny way of getting across the point that having a pet comes with a certain attitude about the house, and if that’s unacceptable then we can just meet elsewhere. It is much more of a middle ground than people are saying.

    If someone is allergic to my cats, and I know it, I will spend a little extra time getting up cat hair before the visit. I’ll even lock them away, especially if it is a short visit. But I can’t get all the hair and if you are that allergic then we should just meet at a coffee shop or something. You’re going to have to deal with pet hair on furniture. It is inevitable.

    Some pet owners, especially large dog owners, can be unaware of the effect their pet has on others. Dogs should not be allowed to jump all over new people. A dog should be better trained than that. This usually isn’t a problem with cats – few cats immediately jump up on new humans. Pet hair is passive. Jumping on people is active. This sort of problem crosses the line from “pet owner who is hosting” to “bad host”.

    We used to have snakes. I know a lot of people are afraid of snakes. I won’t take my snake out if you it bothers you. But don’t ask me to hide away my snake either. He likes sunning himself, and that 80 gallon tank with all the heat and humidity controls cannot be easily moved. If it bothers you that much, we can go somewhere else. Hey, at least there isn’t shed scales on the furniture.

    My pets – mammal and reptilian – are my “children”. They’re family. But they aren’t really children. There is a difference.

    For one, mine are quieter and less destructive. 😉

  • The Elf August 17, 2011, 1:32 pm

    RE: Strollers for pets

    Why not? It’s my money and the pet is contained so that they don’t bother anyone. I have one cat that will walk on a leash. The others can’t stand it so a cage or stroller is the only way they’ll get to be outside. As far as I can see, it’s a win-win.

  • Ginger 630 August 17, 2011, 2:19 pm

    I agree to a certain extent. I have 3 cats and yes, they are my babies. I do not have children. If I invite a guest over, it’s someone that I know and therefore, they know that I have three cats. My cats do not bite or scratch. In fact, two of them will hide if guests come over. One of them, Moe, will come over and rub on your leg or maybe jump next to you on the couch to say hi.
    When I clean, 5 minutes later, hair will be on the furniture. It’s a fact of life with cats, just like a sticky carpet or toys that get in the way are a fact of life with kids. If some fur gets on your pants, deal with it. I have a fur remover, so use it on the way out the door. It’s just fur. It’s not radioactive.
    That said, if my cats were aggressive, I would put them away before a guest came over. I would train them NOT to be aggressive. I’m sure many dog owners are embarrassed when their giant dog jumps on people and sniffs their butts. But again, it’s a fact of life. If you are a guest, you need to remember that you are just that – a GUEST. The fur-children will be there long after you’re gone.

  • Ginger 630 August 17, 2011, 2:24 pm

    One more thing – if I was going to someone’s house and knew they had children, I wouldn’t ask that they put their kids in their rooms. I like kids…WELL-BEHAVED kids. But there are times I wish kids would be out away in their rooms, but since I’m a guest, I do not make such requests.

  • Maitri August 17, 2011, 3:13 pm

    As recently as 6 years ago, I was all alone in the world. I had no family, no friends. I went to work, came home, and played on the computer all night because I had no money for anything else. My cats were my outlet for someone to talk to, someone to sing to, someone to cuddle with. Yes, they’re my babies.

    Now, I have real babies, and they supercede the cats, of course. My one cat is aggressive to strangers, so they are both shut away when people visit, and I try to keep the house clean of cat hair as much as possible. But I do not think that I was crazy to be so attached to them when I was so alone. They served a very real purpose of being my family at that time that I needed one very badly. THAT is what animals can do for people.

    I don’t happen to mind dogs jumping on me or licking me when I visit other people’s houses – if I had a fenced-in yard, I’d have my own dog, so I love playing with others’ dogs. But I can understand why other people don’t want to be confronted with animals if they don’t like them or have reasons to not want to be around them. On the other hand, people with pets should be allowed to socialize and entertain friends and family in their own homes. It takes a compromise on both sides, I think.

  • Amy August 17, 2011, 8:01 pm

    I can kind of see both sides of this. I have both cats and dogs. I TRY to train them not to jump on people and not to bark excessively (the dog is still a puppy and she sometimes forgets her manners if she is excited; it is a work in progress). I clean the furniture regularly and especially before I have guests, but animal fur is hard to eliminate entirely. Most of my guests know my pets, are fond of them, and just try not to wear black. When people I am less familiar with come over I warn them in advance that I have animals, keep the animals away if they are uncomfortable with them, and offer a fur-remover before they leave if they want it. I have provided unexpected guests with clean towels or sheets to sit on so their clothes don’t get hairy, and I keep anti-histamines in case anyone should need them. I figure all this is an acceptable balance between my pets- who belong here and are members of my family- and my guests- whose comfort I have taken responsibility for. However, when guests come over knowing I have animals and complain about them despite my efforts, I begin to identify with that Facebook post. When they accept my hospitality graciously to my face and then badmouth me and my home later, I REALLY identify with the Facebook post. It’s a two-way street; I have a responsibility to my guests’ comfort, but they have a responsibility to be respectful guests, too.

  • Cat August 17, 2011, 11:33 pm

    I have miniature horses, miniature donkeys, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, ducks, and cats. Only the cats live inside though one horse has learned to open the front door, come in, and will eat up all the cat chow if he gets the chance. Don’t build a house with door handles rather than knobs if you have a smart horse.

    I wanted to live in the country and I wanted animals. My biggest problem is the number of people who love my animals and who want to bring the children over since nothing I have is large enough to be considered dangerous. (I still supervise all visitors though.) I have had fathers have to peel young daughters off a mini horse who loves children and will stand stock still to be hugged and kissed.

    People who dislike or who are afraid of animals would be uncomfortable at my home. It’s easy to meet them for lunch or a movie. It’s just a matter of logistics. You do your thing; I do mine; we’ll meet somewhere else.

  • Samantha August 18, 2011, 8:41 am

    My biggest problem is the animal-haters who come over knowing I have animals and then expect me to treat my pets like lepers. I actually had a friend come over who got upset about my dog lying on her dog bed and sleeping while he sat on the couch five feet away. He knew I had a large dog and the only thing he said prior to the visit was that he didn’t like being jumped on – and then he spent the visit freaking out despite the fact that I made sure my dog stayed on her bed and didn’t even approach him. I wouldn’t have invited him over had I known what his reaction was going to be. My animals are incredibly well-behaved: they do not bark, jump, beg, steal, bite or scratch. They will come over, sniff a new person and stand beside them politely waiting for pets if I tell them they are allowed to, and will then return to their beds when I ask them to. If a friend is not willing or able to deal with this, there are plenty of options for locations to get together and I will happily accept or make alternate suggestions. People are not welcome to come to my house and demand that I lock my pets up in a room, nor are they welcome to come over and complain about everything that has to do with my owning pets.

    Part of my problem has to with the fact that one of my dogs has severe separation anxiety and will hurt himself if he hears me in the house and yet is shut in a room (and yes, he is on medication which helps, but doesn’t cure the issue) – if this weren’t the case I would be willing to shut them up for short (<30 minute) visits. I do phrase invitations to my home with the disclaimer that yes, I do have animals and no, they will not be shut away into a room and yes, there will likely be some fur around – and then I note that if it’s a problem, I’m happy to make alternate plans. I don’t invite over friends who have made serious issues or allergies known for anything more than outdoor barbecues (where the animals can stay behind the screen door) because I know the visit just would not be comfortable for at least one of us. I also don’t host large indoor gatherings because my pets are problematic in those situations and rather than create problems, I avoid the issue. Small dinner parties with two other couples over are just as enjoyable as large cocktail parties and don’t have the same issue of the dogs or cats being underfoot if they budge at all.

    That being said, when I have “guests” that have jobs to do around my house, my animals are put away securely, the worker is told of where they are and I am almost always there in order to ensure that if they need to move the animals, I can do so for them. That is not a matter of a friend with choice choosing to come visit my home (and therefore my pets), that is someone with a job to do who is in my home because they have to be. Unfortunately, I can’t help the fact that my house will always have some fur around no matter how thoroughly I clean and have always warned companies that I do have animals and that they should make sure their employee doesn’t have serious allergies. I sit in the room with my animals as much as I can in order to keep my dog from hurting himself but I respect the right of the worker to have a safe workplace enough to accept that I might have to deal with some scrapes on my poor pup.

    So I can understand the sentiment behind the chain message but I do my best to respect my guests and when I am aware of issues that voluntary guests may have, I make plans that don’t involve being at my house. When I have involuntary “guests”, I do shut my animals up, despite the fact that it is harmful to my one dog to do so. However, if a guest comes over despite knowing that I have animals and despite knowing that I won’t shut my animals into a room, they are not welcome to complain about those two facts or things directly coming from that. They ARE welcome to say “I would appreciate if your dogs don’t come sniff me” or “may I please have something to cover the couch” or (prior to the visit) “I’m very allergic”. All of which will get respectful responses of “I’ll make sure they stay on their beds”, “Absolutely, here’s a freshly cleaned towel” or “Let’s meet elsewhere”.

  • Chocobo August 18, 2011, 4:23 pm

    Wow, remind me not to come over to some of the commenter’s houses. I’m not sure I’d want to visit someone’s house whose attitude about their guests’ discomfort (about anything, animals included) is “deal with it.”

  • Noodle August 18, 2011, 6:38 pm

    You do have a valid point that some Americans (and, I’m sure, some people of other nationalities as well) have an unhealthy attachment to their pets. However, the assumption that everyone who has such an attachment to their pets is infertile was way out of line. I know people who have chosen their animals over their children. I’ve seen a number of people like that on the “Dog Whisperer” TV show as well. My biological mother has a platoon of dogs that she treats like children and she is NOT infertile.

    I also have two cats. Like Maitri previously posted, I found myself in a situation where I had no one but my cats after the unexpected death of my mother* (a year ago today, as matter of fact), who was my last remaining family member. This had happened about a month after the departure of my now-ex husband and three months after a miscarriage. It was a difficult time in my life and my cats helped me cope with it by just being there. Luckily things got better after New Year’s, but the time in between was hellish.

    I suppose I do spoil the cats. They have Drinkwell fountains, a kibble dispenser, and an automatic litter box, although that might testify more to my laziness. They are not allowed table scraps except the occasional piece of honeydew or cantaloupe, which they love. But other than that, they strictly eat one can of wet food and all of the dry food they want a day. The food is on the expensive side but it’s cat food just the same.

    I am currently pregnant and if my son-to-be is allergic to the cats, I will find them a new home. It will break my heart but the baby is top priority.

    *To clarify, I was adopted at birth and met my biological mother about three years ago. The mother who died was the woman who raised me.

  • Kai August 19, 2011, 10:29 am

    As much as I love my fiancee, I hate going to his house and now refuse to go. He has two dogs, one of whom is large enough to have knocked me off my feet, and neither of whom are well mannered. They jump on anything and anyone and bark frequently. It is impossible to eat there because the dogs will instantly start barking until you cave and hand over whatever it is you are trying to eat. On the rare occasions they are locked outside, they just bark and scratch and generally make a nuisance of themselves until they are let back in.

    My fiancee’s father already disliked me (nothing to do with me personally, he’s just a mean old man), but now hates me because the last time I came around and we were trying to eat some pie, the dogs barked literally for an hour, so much so that I developed a frightening migraine, and so I firmly told the dog to be quiet and that I would not be sharing my food. I didn’t yell or scream, but in his mind, I may as well have attacked them.

    I love my animals, and I do regard my cat as my ‘baby’; but like I would with a real child, I teach my cat manners. He’s allowed to sit in my lap and cuddle me, but he’s not allowed to just walk all over others and if he starts being a pest, he will be sent out of the room. He’s usually not in the same room anyway, but when he is, he behaves himself. I don’t really have two sets of rules for him anyway. He’s an animal, it’s not fair to expect him to know to follow one set of rules when it’s just us, and another when there are guests. So it’s better and fairer to just have one set of rules and stick to it. For example, he is banned from the kitchen counter regardless of whether it is just me, or whether I have guests.

    On the other hand though, I can see a valid point in at least the first line of the status. There are plenty of people who really do get overly hostile about any and all animals for no reason. I have one friend who, every time I mention my cat, she goes on and on about how much she hates cats and how disgusting they are and how her dogs are so awesome. Mind you, I never just bring up my cat; it is always in response to something, such as her asking what I did on the weekend and my saying I had to take my cat to the vet.

    The second and third points however are totally unnecessary and antagonistic.

    And K, I too am appalled by your infertility crack. It has absolutely no place in this discussion and is completely insensitive.

  • Kai August 19, 2011, 10:46 am

    Actually, one more thing. Who brings their dogs/cats to random social gatherings? Again, I get that we love our pets, as I sure love mine. But I would never even dream of taking him to someone else’s home. I’ve also never had that happen to me, or heard of it happening at all prior to this. But it just seems so surreal to me. It just has never occurred to me to take my pets away from their home to go visiting.

    Oh, and I remember one Christmas we had Dad’s family over for the day so Dad chained our german shepherd to the clothesline and he sat quietly. He was a well behaved dog, but as we were all outside he was chained just to be safe. My 2 year old cousin ran over to pet him, and he tried to rub up against her to say hello. As he was a full size adult dog and she was a tiny child, he accidently knocked her over (didn’t actually hurt her though, just the shock of falling over). Well my aunt started screaming about how he was a dangerous dog and should be put down, and worked herself up so much that her daughter picked up on the stress and started crying herself.

    Dad ended up chaining the poor dog right at the back of the yard (it was a very large yard, so I’d say about 75 metres away). The poor thing sat sadly watching us, and I couldn’t go over to comfort my dog because the 2 year old cousin kept trying to go back over to pat him again.

  • Kendra August 19, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I’m coming late to the party, as usual, but I’ve been following this thread with some interest. First off, I would like to say, your relationship with your pets is your relationship with your pets. Short of actual abuse/neglect and inflicting them on unsuspecting people, no one gets to judge you for that. Those that do, are out of line and you are allowed to use any of the etiquette approved methods in dealing with these people.
    In reading the original submission and the comments that, in our seemingly “all about me” society, that many have forgotten, or never learned, how to be good hosts/guests. So…

    1) Before guests arrive, prepare for their arrival. This may include cleaning your house. (while cleaning your house is not an etiquette must, we usually do want to make a good impression on our guests.)
    2) If you are aware of any allergies/fears your guest may have, you should probably take reasonable steps to mitigate the presence of those triggers to help your guest feel more comfortable.
    3) When guest arrives, you welcome them warmly into your home, graciously invite them to make themselves comfortable, and offer them refreshments.
    4) As the host, you are not allowed to criticize your guest’s attire, mannerisms, personal hygiene, or correct their behavior, unless that behavior is endangering themselves or others in the home.
    5) It is NOT acceptable to allow children, pets, other guests, or the monster under the bed to maul your guests. You are responsible for the guest’s comfort and safety when in your home.


  • The Other Amber August 19, 2011, 2:45 pm

    I can understand the sentiment of the Facebook posting, although I think it’s a little strong. I have several pets. I try to keep my place clean, but I’m not vacuuming twice a day. If I have company coming over then I do an extra-thorough cleaning. I warn everyone that I have pets so it’s not a surprise when they get here. If you’re not comfortable around animals then by all means let’s meet somewhere else. I grew up with animals, I have almost always had animals in my house my entire life, I foster kittens for a local shelter. Animals are an important part of my life.

    I get that there are people who don’t like animals, or certain types of animals. I never try and tell them why they should like or have animals, or argue with them about why I love animals, and I don’t apprecaite it when people immediately start telling me why they hate animals and why animals are filthy and shouldn’t be allowed in the house when they find out I have pets. I also get that not every animal is well-behaved. I’ve been around some very bad-mannered pets whose owners seem oblivious to it. I’ve also been around some very unruly children whose parents seem oblivious to it. I’ve been kicked, screamed at, bitten, had my hair pulled… all of which seem to me to be worse offenses than letting my cat on the back of the couch.

    I do what I can to make guests feel comfortable in my home, but when it comes down to it this is MY HOME. I cannot always be accommodating to everyone’s personal likes and tastes. My animals are an important part of my life, and while there are certain measures that I’m willing to take to try and make my guests more comfortable, there are limits to what I will do, and to what people should expect I should have to do. And while I wouldn’t go as far as to say “tough, deal with it” I will say perhaps visiting at my place is not the best option, maybe we can meet somewhere else.

    (Unless you’re my MIL, in which case the response is “tough, deal with it”. She knew we had animals long before came to visit, we even offered to split the cost of a hotel for MIL/FIL but no they insisted they had to stay with us and then proceeded to complain about everything. Hey you had the option to stay someplace else, you refused, so deal with it.)

  • The Other Amber August 19, 2011, 2:48 pm

    Oh, and on the bringing animals to visit – in my family that’s actually quite common, but only within the family households. Every household in my family has dogs, and they all get along quite well, so it’s not unusual to have them brought along to family get-togethers. We’re having one this weekend and have made sure everyone knows they’re welcome to bring their dogs.

  • Bint August 19, 2011, 4:17 pm

    Regardless of whether one loves animals or not, this FB post is typical of its kind. It’s about as funny as the average bumper sticker ie it isn’t, but people think they’re being terribly witty using it. Yawnerama.

    I love animals and couldn’t give a toss if hair is all over other people’s furniture (I don’t have pets, unfortunately), but this post is still obnoxious.

  • CreativeCat August 19, 2011, 9:08 pm

    I have two small dogs and a cat. It drives me nuts when people call them fur-babies. They are dogs/ cat, but they are also family. They get treated like family, but they also get in trouble like family. I clean my house before having guests over. We don’t feed them from the table, and they have to earn their treats. I also have the dogs trained to not lick when you tell them no or to stop. If they misbehave, they go to bed. But, I do dress the girl dog in clothes – she loves it and sometimes picks them out. I know, weird, but it doesn’t make me crazy.

    I really think there needs to be a happy medium – people just need to respect each other… and keep the home environment safe / appropriate for guests.

    To K – Your comment on people struggling with infertility and pet lovers was really hurtful and unkind. We are all human, all make mistakes, all have struggles – they just vary from person to person.

  • MellowedOne August 21, 2011, 8:30 am

    I really find it distressing to see these “I wouldn’t ask you to put your children away” remarks.

    Let me make my BG clear: I am a certified pet lover. I have a 150lb dog (yes, 150) who lives in my home and is living the easy life. He is well mannered, very laid back, and well trained. I love him so much, and I can’t bear to think that he will soon no longer occupy a place in my home and heart (he is an elderly dog).

    That said…A dog is still a dog. There is no comparing human life to an animal’s. To do so is to lose perspective on what is ultimately more valuable…no matter how much one loves their pets. I was once an active member of a dog forum where some members stated..in all seriousness.. if their dog and a person were drowning, and they could only save one, they would choose their dog. Ugh!

  • Becky August 22, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I’d love advice on what to do in the split second when an untrained dog launches him/herself at you in greeting (assuming the pet owner is not being helpful.) I like dogs but don’t have experience with them, and don’t know what physical posture would discourage the behavior.

    Just last weekend we visited the home of a friend with a large, very exuberant young dog. We dropped in unexpectedly, and I don’t blame the dog for its lack of training but it hit me pretty freaking hard several times and I hurt my ankle trying to fend it off. This has actually happened a lot to me and I haven’t figured out how best to defend myself. I don’t feel equipped to physically grapple, and my stand-stiff-n-stoic hasn’t really worked either.

    What’s the best approach? Turn your side? Turn your back? I don’t really love that idea because then you don’t know where it’s going to hit you. Most of the stuff online is directed at pet owners wanting to train their own dogs, but in these cases I have no idea what the pet’s previous training has been like.

    • Jennifer January 19, 2014, 8:15 pm

      hi if a dog jumps up the easiest way to get it down is to knee it. i now it sounds mean but at times for some big dogs that has been the only thing that works

  • Mom to Bella & Tank August 23, 2011, 10:28 pm

    I agree that the host should go out of the way to make guests feel welcome and unmolested. As a rescuer of a large dog with special issues, I have chosen to stop having guests over almost completely, as the dog with issues is not one who can be “put away” when folks come over. If anyone decides to stop by unannounced, they are taking the chance of being licked obcessively, jumped on, sat on and generally molested for the entire visit. I am okay with being less social, as I made a commitment to the dog that I adopted. We all make choices in life and I knew when I took him in that I would be limiting myself socially.

  • MellowedOne August 26, 2011, 12:43 am

    @Becky – I would suggest standing calmly, in a non-interested manner. Friendly untrained dogs that rush out to greet are looking for visual acceptance cues from you. Don’t speak to them, or bend down towards them, and you may even wish to look away when they are trying to make eye contact. In the case of a big dog who is causing you discomfort/pain, kindly but firmly ask you friend to do something about their dog. And leave it in their court to handle the matter properly.

    As a side note, you may wish to give them a polite hint about dog training by providing the phone number of the local dog obedience club. A small untrained dog is a nuisance, a big untrained dog can cause major damage. I own a Great Dane, and I can tell you with confidence, the bigger the dog, the greater the need for training.

  • Amy August 27, 2011, 2:53 pm

    @Becky – ditto not making eye contact or giving other body-language cues that you are interested. Pretend it isn’t there, but watch in your peripheral vision so you are not surprised if it jumps on you anyway. You know the sharp gesture you would make with your shoulder to shake off the hand of someone you really didn’t like? When the dog puts it’s paws on you, make a similar gesture with whatever part of your body the dog is touching. The goal is to force the dog to drop to the ground, while firmly telling him “no”. Also, when the dog gets close to you try spreading your hand open wide, holding your arm straight, and keeping it between you and the dog’s face. This should discourage the dog from jumping; he or she will be reluctant to jump up into your hand, but will probably lick it. Or course if the dog jumps anyway be prepared to bend your arm and close your fingers so it doesn’t hurt you.

  • penguintummy September 1, 2011, 3:45 am

    Sometimes people are way too attached to their pets and assume that everyone else will love them as much as they do, but they also assume that the pet will love the guest. As a community nurse we had a strict policy that if requested, the pet was to be secured in another room for the visit. Most people were happy to comply with this, as generally the pet wanted to play with you and it was hard to get the work done. Some dogs especially were so spoiled that the owner would insist that they remained and claimed they would never hurt anyone. Particularly, small dogs can be very territorial and aggressive towards strangers. Dogs can react badly to people they don’t know, and not because they are badly trained or a bad dog, it’s just a reaction. Pets don’t always like your friends, so for everyone’s comfort and safety, it’s probably best to secure your pets when guests are over. My cats are usually locked away with food and toys to keep them entertained and calm, away from noisy people.

  • jreed87 September 4, 2011, 11:36 pm

    I love this! its a cute posting-and as far as im conncered this is my house and if you dont like it your more than welcome to leave! I dont come to peoples house expecting anything, if you like someone you like them bc they are them not bc they are like you! Thats boring! So stay or go my pets and husband will still be here!

  • Becky September 7, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Big thanks to @MellowedOne and @Amy for the dog-behavior advice. I do try the non-response response (works great on people too! -ha!) but with dogs you get at least one test Sproing!! before my non-response makes them realize I’m not interested. I especially like and am planning to try Amy’s spread-hand idea. I know that works with cats.

    Not to worry jreed87, I won’t be a visitor.

  • Cj November 17, 2011, 2:23 pm

    Boy, am I glad my friends all love my animals…they acctualy are bad for the training of them. They bring them food, let then leap in their arms and lick all over them. Much to my shagrin. Also, food for thought. I happen to be Budhist, we belive that all life is of equal value, wether animal or human. A life is a life. There are some of us that value animal life just as much as human. I just put my family/pack first.

  • justme June 16, 2012, 11:34 am

    I am allergic to dogs (not cats, though–weird), but I’m usually okay if the dog doesn’t lick me. Even if they do, I understand that licking is just a natural behavior for the dog, and just try to wash my hands/face before I break out in welts. I think my biggest problem with dogs is humping. Unlike sniffing or licking, or other greeting-type behaviors that may be annoying to humans, but are just regular greetings for a dog, humping is a dominance behavior. The dog is trying to tell you it is dominant over you, and you need to shut that down, and let the dog know that it’s not. What annoys me is when owners refuse to do anything about it. I realize it’s embarrassing when your daschund jumps on the back of the couch and starts humping the back of your guest’s head, but pretending like it’s not happening is only making the situation worse. And getting bent out of shape when your guest finally has to resort to forcibly pushing your dog away holding it down (letting it know that ‘No, you are not the dominant animal, I am’) is right out. If you can’t be bothered to train your dog to interact with people well, then don’t get a dog!
    thanks for listening to my rant (i did not visit that person’s house again).

  • Ginny October 15, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Simple solution. If you are not an animal lover or if you are not comfortable with animals, then simply do not go to the home of someone who has pets. You will not be happy, that person will not be happy and the pets will probably not be happy either since animals can usually sense when someone doesn’t really like them. Simple solution.

  • e April 22, 2014, 12:43 pm

    Oh my… I have a dog. I love her very much. To the poster who says “overly attached to animals” what does that mean? Have you ever had a pet? Its been proven time and time again that owning a pet is good for your emotional well being. My boys are grown and moved out. My husband and i work differnt shifts. So basically she is the only one here when i get home and when i get up to go to work. My dog sheds. A lot. If she doesn’t know you she is not very friendly. If your coming over your going to have to call first. Every body who knows me knows I have a “big black dog” if you don’t like to get fur on your clothes then don’t come over. Simple. if you dont come over thats fine too.She has never lied to me, stolen from me, hurt my feelingsor anything else. Only makes me smile. And I would much rather go for a walk with her than anyone else I know.