Politeness is a skill, an approach and a form of respect. This is something that is taught, conditioned and learned.

Social etiquette is an offshoot of politeness and is the manner in which we conduct ourselves when sharing space with others. The recognition and awareness that we’re not the only ones in the world or in the immediate space we’re sharing.

We tell our story through how we respond, react and behave. It has nothing to do with anything or anyone outside of us; only the beliefs we hold which get triggered. When we interact with others, we have the exceptional opportunity to add to their day in a most positive, gracious, self-less way, or take away from it.

Remember, dogs aren’t born knowing what’s acceptable vs. unacceptable behavior, polite vs. impolite, and respectful vs. disrespectful behavior. They’re not born knowing our rules, boundaries and parameters. The onus falls upon us to teach this. When we don’t take the time and invest the energy in immediately addressing poor choices, states of mind and behaviors, we’re giving our consent. Praise good choices, states of mind and behaviors, and disagree with the not-so-good ones. It’s up to us to help our dogs connect the dots, and effort to raise a well-mannered, likeable pup.

Photo credit: AKC.org

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