Petiquette. Is There Such A Thing?

I took the youngest hooligan to Petco yesterday.  No, we did not need another hammock for the hermit crab.

I promised him, in some previous weak moment, we would get a dog tag and collar for his all-time favorite stuffed pooch, Humphrey.

So off we went.  Of course we had to look at EVERY tarantula, snake, gerbil and bird that God put on this earth before we accomplished anything.

As we strolled down goldfish alley, an older man with a medium-sized dog was coming towards us.  As we approached each other the man’s dog started jumping on me leaving welt-like scratches down my legs as he went in hyper-spastic-dog-mode.

It hurt like hell.  I was trying to push the dog away and the man did NOTHING!  He laughed and watched his dog turn my legs into a red-scrape-fest and said, “Hey, he really likes you”. 

Oh yeah, I really care!  It’s amazing I wasn’t bleeding.

Somehow we managed to get away but what do you think of that?  He never once told the dog to stop.  As he walked away and turned the corner he knocked about ten cans of goldfish food onto the floor.  He looked at them and kept walking.  Lame, but expected.

As we made our way around the store I saw him again.  He was in the doggy-toy aisle.  His mutt was now sprawled across the floor making it impossible for anyone to get by. 

A woman approached them.  I watched because I was curious if he would let the dog jump on her too. 

The dog didn’t budge.  She said, “Excuse me”.  The man looked at her and said, “The dog doesn’t want to move, she’s tired I guess.  Ha-ha-ha”.  Funny thing is, he wouldn’t move his butt either and she had to turn around and go back the other way.  She was more than annoyed.  Of course I was intrigued.

Like owner, like dog?

Can your animal’s mannerisms actually mirror your own?

And what do your pet’s manners say about you as a person?

I’m telling you, this guys dog was as rude and thoughtless as he was.  I bet they sit on the couch together burping and farting the night away.

Post a Comment


  1. HoneyB 1

    I have a hard time tolerating inconsiderate people like that. You were much nicer than I would have been about the dog jumping on you. Now about pets being like thier owners? I kinda agree to that! Heck, I even know pet owners who have pets that resemble them! LOL

  2. A dog will not be any better behaved than he is trained to be, and if the person training him is like that, the dog doesn’t stand a chance at being properly socialized. There is a huge difference between a dog who is young or has not received enough training and a dog with a lazy owner who refuses to train it.

    I do think that a lot of times people react the way that man did out of embarrassment for their dog’s behavior. When we first bought this property and before we were living out here, we were clearing some brush one day and a neighbor came riding her horse through with her dog following. We hadn’t met her before. She introduced herself and explained that the previous owner had allowed her and others to ride through the property and asked our permission to continue. We said yes. At about that point her lab put his paws on the side of our Suburban, jumped down, and then jumped IN the open window onto my kids’ laps. She laughed and said what a rascal he was. She didn’t offer a word of apology. She didn’t check to see if the dog had scratched the car or hurt the kids. (Slight scratches near the window, kids unhurt and laughing.) I thought at the time she was embarrassed and didn’t know what to say or do, but now I’m not so sure. For the most part she’s okay and I’ll give her this one in the interest of being neighborly even though I think she should have handled it differently.

    Your guy? I don’t think he was embarrassed by his dog’s behavior. I think I would sooner expect the dog to be embarrassed by the owner’s behavior.

  3. Philly 3

    My baby is very well behaved !


  4. He must be a transplant from here. I hate it when people aren’t aware of their pets’ (or childrens’ for that matter) crappy behavior.

  5. Marcy 5

    Ok Cathy, that last line created an unwanted image…
    Yeah I have run into rude pet owners too and its usally like owner like dog.
    I was in a pet store once with Nicole and went into an aisle that had two women talking. Fine, but they were each attached to a humongous Bull Mastiff. These dogs are beautiful and I wanted to kind of see them up close. Well apparantly one of the Mastiffs was tired because it decided to use me as a public leaning post. She just about knocked me into the next aisle! The lady was kind enough to tell her not to do that, but if thats how a 100+ lb dog shows it likes you , I’d hate to see what it did if it loved me!

  6. I’ll bet you’re right. They both sound boorish. The poor dog only knows what his dufus owner has or has not taught him.

    I think I would have said something rude or even thumped the dog’s nose (maybe the owner’s nose too!) if it was jumping on me.

    Personally it annoys me that the pet stores let the pets come in. Not everyone is that fond of other people’s dogs. (and it’s always dogs, isn’t it?) (and I do love dogs, seriously! But I prefer them to be well mannered in public!)

  7. That was totally, completely and in no other words rude.

    Taking a dog out in public is like taking a small child out in public…you’ve got to keep an eye on them and make sure they are behaving in an appropriate manner. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s true.

    The guy is a moron, plain and simple. There’s no other logical excuse for why he lets his dog act like that.

  8. dawn 8

    I’m a pet sitter and I get that all the time. The dogs so mirror their owners. If I meet a new client and the dog just runs his claws all the way down my frontside I don’t stay for the rest of the meeting. Untrained dogs are a nightmare to care for let alone walk. I don’t know why these types of owners think its cute when their dog behaves this way…missing brain cells or some DNA.

  9. Leah Q 9

    You bring up a super important point. Well behaved dogs (and owners) are a blessing.

    Oddly enough I woke up this morning with a dream of dogs which were left by their owners or sitters on a porch of a summer house that I was visiting. I was ashamed for the sitter/owner who would treat their animals so poorly. I was happy to wake up from this dream, but it put me on notice, there are people in the real world (not just in my dream world) who really treat and not train their dogs properly. (The dogs jumped up on me in the dream – maybe I was having a premonition about your blogs latest entry!)

    But with reality of my own dog waking me up this morning, Theo is back in training after I watched a few episodes of “Me or the Dog” on Animal Planet.

    Theo may be a funny, often well behaved dog who even has his own blog [link to] no less in which he even takes verbal jabs at me at every chance he gets in this blog (who do you think takes his dictation in exchange for human cookies?!) – but he could still use some reminders of good behavior.

    Poorly behaved dogs along with their poorly behaved owners should be put on notice. I have seen and been the recipient of said wenching scratches on arms and legs that you experienced the other day.

    Overzealous?, he likes you?, My arse the dog likes you! Dogs and humans like this are disrespecting, period.

    Dogs like this are literally not trained to control their excitement, have no respect for their owner and who ever their owner comes into contact with.

    My dog is one of those cute variety border collie mutts, who of course has been trained to sit when meeting new people on the street. He often lies down instead of simply sitting and rolls over (much to my chagrin since our city sidewalks are dirty and littered with gawd knows what!)

    And much to the delight of the humans and children we may come across with – the dog has learned he will get his tummy patted and receive oohs and ahhs by rolling onto his back.

    I do remind people that my dog is in training, and say things like, “please let me make sure he sits for you” – or if it is kids, I even say, “lets see if you can ask him to sit before petting him.”

    This prevents his jumping and we are all happy.

    As one who has stopped going to dog parks for just the reason like your experience yesterday at Petco, I wished more people would take advantage of spending adequate time exercising their dogs and training them.


  10. When we go to PetCo, my dog acts like a big baby and won’t go near anyone. He think he is getting a bath or nail clipped. He doens’t jump on anyone- just me and it hurts like crap. I would be so embarrased if he did that to a stranger.

  11. Steph 11

    I’ve always thought pet’s manners are just like their owners. My biggest pet peeve is badly behaved animals, and it’s even worse when the owner doesn’t do anything to correct it! I can’t stand it!

  12. I think I would have said “Guess you’re here to sign up for Petco’s Dog Obedience trainging! Looks like he really needs it!”

    I’m not a big dog person, and I can’t stand going to friend’s homes and being assaulted by gigantic golden retrievers at the door. Call off your dog before you invite me in! I dont’ want paws on my clothes! It’s not cute! I do not love your dog!

    We have cats who sleep all day and a frog who looks at us from his quiet tank. They get it from me.

  13. Like pet, like owner I agree. Witch leaves me a bit concerned cause my little bird killed the male that was with her…

  14. Amanda 14

    HA! I Love this, I live in Dog-Town USA. I live in a private community with 6 miles of private nature trails that are loaded with people and their dogs at every point, everyday. This is quite the topic of conversation. We, dog- people, are a tight community.

    1st, yes that is obnoxious behavior from the man at Petco. I am very aware of my dog (and kids) and how he is affecting others.

    and YES, ABSOLUTELY dogs manners mirror the owner. What does my dog say about me…or really my entire family? A lot. In fact there is very little difference between my young boys and my young golden retriever. They have the same needs and OUT-OF-CONTROL-CRAZY- HIGH energy level. They are all very happy and friendly, very social—to the point of annoyance for some, but also very sweet and loyal. All they need is food, a place to poop, a place to run, swim, bike (yes even the dog) and people to do it all with (not the pooping, of course).

    What does it say about me? Mostly people look at my wild boys and dog and say things like “wow you must have a lot of energy!”

  15. What a couple of jerks! I would never let my dogs jump on people, etc.–I can’t even imagine!

    But if the pet/owner corrolation is true–I’m in trouble! My dogs are basically idiots! One of them is super hyper, one is really mean and nasty and–well, I guess the third one is ok!

  16. Oh man! I would have been livid! I have little tolerance for rude dog owners.

  17. What a jerk. One of my sister’s dogs is a bit of a spaz, but man, even he sits when he is told. The key is in the telling. Just sounds like this guy was an ass.

  18. misty 18

    I am a total dog person. I appreciate the happiness that a dog can exhibit… BUT I also believe in teaching your dogs how to behave. Some breeds are more “spastic” than others… But this guy and his response to everything is far more offensive! The man knows better, where as it seems like his dog was never to taught to know better…

  19. Abby 19

    I have 2 English Mastiffs that are still growing. Trace is 185 pounds and his sister Lydia is 98 pounds. Maybe it’s because they are so large that we are so strict with them, but we take them everywhere we can and they never get in people’s way and they don’t knock things over.

    I have an opposite reaction when we take our dogs to Petco. People stop US and get in OUR way to pet our dogs and ask questions about them. I don’t mind this attention, but I’m not at the store to spend an hour or more answering questions about Mastiffs.

    Rude people have rude dogs. Nice people sometimes are too nice to discipline or train their dogs and end up with rude dogs.

    I love my dogs, and they are part of our family, but they are animals and people come first.

    Sorry about your experience.

  20. That is just rude. I can’t believe that. You should have dug your claws into the dog AND owner and see how they liked THAT! :)
    link to

  21. claudia 21

    If you can’t control your pet you don’t deserve to own one. Period.

  22. how rude!!! people with untrained and ill behaved dogs really make me mad. my doggy might be a little spastic and energetic but she listens when told to do something. i went to petsmart the other day and there are two dogs that are barking at each other and the owners are just looking at each other and laughing like it’s sooo funny. this madness went on the entire time i was in the store and you could tell everyone else was really annoyed.

  23. Julena Jo 23

    I can’t say anything about dogs. We have two. Opposites from each other in every way. (I guess my husband and I are, too, come to think of it–so maybe that explains it.) The little one jumps up on people with wild affection; the big one does not like people well enough to show any joy in their arrival. Go figure. HOWEVER–I DID drink some good (IMO) wine last night. Love My Goat Red Wine by Bully Hill Vineyard in New York. I was attracted to the label. I have been seeking just such a wine for a long while. I’ll buy more….link to

  24. Well. My innocent comment was sounding a little perverted (how I don’t like to be jumped on or licked profusely), so I will just say: I agree. The man and his furry beast should stay on the couch.

  25. Hmmmm … never had the pleasure of entering Petco. Guess I haven’t been missing anything. We still live in a town with mom ‘n’ pop stores. The man would receive a “non”smile from me pronto. (Hope your legs recovered. OUCH!)

    p.s. Hammock for a hermit crab? Guess I’m showing my “youth” around here. I’m off to find that one. *snicker*

  26. Sandy 26

    Hey Neighbor, I just wanted to say for the record as your neighbor and girlfriend: On the rare occasion that our 90 lb ‘puppy’ escapes and runs amuck through the yards on this street, peeing and trampling through bushes etc, I want to totally DIE, I am completely and utterly mortified. IF WE OWNED A GUN, I’D SHOOT HIM AND NOT THINK TWICE ABOUT IT!!!

  27. Rayrena 27

    Unfortunately it seems like there are more pet owners are lazy and just don’t care than there are ones who do. We have two 60 pound dogs and they are pretty well behaved. When they do get naughty I am profusely apologetic and will hustle them out of the situation. I haven’t trained them as well as I would like but I try to make up for it. They are good with greeting people but are too big and excited for kids so I always have friends call before they get to our house so we can take them upstairs or outside until they can settle down.

    The worst for me is barking neighborhood dogs! A couple houses down we have two yappy dogs who bark ALL THE TIME. My poor neighbor just groans and has thanked me for not letting our dogs bark. I’d like to think I’m being considerate but the truth is that their barking drives me insane too so I make them stop (the garden hose works great but we usually make them come inside until the offending wandering dogs behind the house go away or kids playing next door have gone inside).

    I seriously don’t understand why people get pets but don’t put any effort into training them. They’re so much more enjoyable that way. Kinda like kids :)

  28. People’s inconsiderateness towards others never fails to amaze me. That poor dog would be so much better behaved if he had someone who cared about how he acted. But I think that man thinks of no one other than himself and the dog pays the price. My mom’s dog Dickon is still in his rambunctious puppy stage but we would NEVER let him jump on someone.

  29. sharon 29

    It’s kinda like parents with bad manners probably won’t have polite kids. It’s possible, but I don’t think dogs can pick up propriety on their own :)

  30. krysta 30

    I have a dog that runs and hides when people try to pet her and I apologize for that. So, a rude owner is my vote.

  31. that girl down south 31

    I brought my new puppy out to a friend’s house where another friend and his enormous (185lbs), super friendly and poorly trained mastiff nearly ate my dog whole while trying to lick it. I tried to pick my dog up to put her somewhere safe and he jumped on me nearly knocking me out. When our pup grows up she will be big enough to tell him what’s up. But at his size he should be better trained.

    Later the mastiff was taken home due to poor social skills (read slobbering on everyone and knocking them over). The owner of the mastiff was criticizing me for training my puppy! I told him that would never raise my large dog to be poorly mannered.

    Some people need to realize what it is they want from an animal.

  32. Egghead 32

    I don’t blame the animal…it is the owner that is ruder than words can say. I would have had this urge to go over and start clawing up the owners leg. Bad picture in your head I know, but dang it. People should have some manners.

  33. Cheryl 33

    Cannot believe I’ve JUST NOW finally come over to see your blog after having enjoyed your comments on one of my favorites (Lit & Laundry) for so long.

    Love wine. Love talking about nothing. My father in law is Larry, and his brothers Terry and Jerry.

    I’ll be back, and often.

  34. This is absurd! How very rude! My response to a dog sprawling all across an aisle, would be: “Sir, your dog is blocking the aisle, please move him so others can get by.” If that doesn’t work, it’s time for BOLD: “Sir, you are being extremely rude! Kindly move your dog over, or, you can move over, so that others may also use this aisle!” And if that still doesn’t work, then: “OK, which one of you wants shopping cart tracks over his body!?:

    And, yes, I would!

  35. I think some people are oblivious whether they have pets or not. People that are oblivious with pets are the worst though. I’m sorry you had such a dreadful experience with Mr. Clueless.

    I used to take the brute squad to Petsmart for socialization. Cassie is still learning that it’s not smart for a 4 pound dog to growl at a pit bull. Maddie is perfecting her ability to vanish everytime someone looks at her! I remember one time this lady let her dog approach Maddie in a very determined way. She kept telling me how nice her dog was. I turned my head just in time to the dog “push” Maddie all the way under the shelving unit. It wasn’t being mean, just determined. The lady simply didn’t care that Maddie didn’t want to be approached, and was willing to crawl under the shelving unit to prove her point. I finally said “that’s enough of that” and the lady was disappointed. She thought it would be better for Maddie to come out and learn that her 60 pound dog meant no harm. I don’t take the brute squad to Petsmart much anymore. It’s kind of chaotic and hard for the girls to learn meaningful lessons there.

  36. Tipper 36

    How rude!! Some pets do seem to take on the personality of their owner. I have horrid neighbors and their pets act just like them.

  37. I’ll have to say, I’m very embarassed when my dogs misbehave. I do think it’s a reflection on their owners. Love your blog, by the way!

  38. Neen 38

    Sigh. I hope the tarantulas and snakes were cool.

  39. I’m surprised the dog didn’t try to hump your leg. That would have been “cute” to his owner, too, I’m sure.
    I’ll be trying Rose again – funny I got a bottle as well about a week before you posted your red as the wine store was promoting them. I’d been thinking of what you wrote several weeks ago about we chardonnay drinkers really needing to branch out…it’s so true! I’ll let you know how the next tasting goes!
    My dog is well behaved most of the time. She would never pull a stunt like that because I don’t let her, but if she had a lapse, she’d certainly know about it and I would spend the next umpteen minutes apologizing!

  40. Lara 40

    Ugh! That is so ANNOYING!

    You know, my dog can be a jerk sometimes, but I ALWAYS apologize for his behavior and try my very best to correct it.

    I’ve experienced similar things. For instance – I take Chester to this one park where he can swim with other dogs sometimes. Well, the other day, I got there and this guy’s dog started jumping all over me, getting mud ALL OVER ME and scratching me like crazy. The owner did absolutely nothing to stop it or to apologize for it. I mean, at least TRY! Grrrr.

  41. Now that could be a new folk saying :
    “Rude owner, rude dog”

  42. grace 42

    petiquette. great term. :)
    ha–i got the most hilarious mental image of a man and his dog sitting on the couch, being super crude. kinda like family guy, but not as intentionally funny.

  43. Jody 43

    I am an animal lover…but it is stories like this that make me not like doggies that are illbehaved…I can’t stand when people allow their dogs to jump. I cannot stand this!!!
    What a jerk.
    Hrumph…thank you for letting me vent.
    My cat would NEVER do that…:)

  44. I can’t believe someone could be that inconsiderate! As the owner of a rather large dog, I never allow him to jump on people. That is just ridiculous. And then to allow him to block the aisle??? That man needs a crash course in manners.

  45. Ha! I am not alone! :)

  46. bunny 46

    i just found your blog, i love it! the guy and his dog, yeh both animals.

  47. Kate 47

    I’ve always believed that your pet’s behavior reflects what they’ve learned from you. It’s why I won’t tolerate an ill-mannered animal for a pet. What a loser this guy is. Sad for the dog, too.

  48. Junebug 48

    Hi, Cathy. One time my husband’s friend had a pit bull who he always called, “honey.” But once my husband came over (luckily wearing a thick winter coat) and the dog dove for his throat and my hubby put up his arm in defence which the dog grabbed hold of with his teeth. His friend only said, “There, there, honey.” and laughed. My hubby was very mad. If he had not had the coat on it would have been hospital emergency time. The dog bit through the coat and left marks. I don’t know what people think. People used to asked us when we had a Doberman if he bit. We used to say he never has before but there’s always a first time. We would never have tolerated it. Our border collie growled at a little girl once so we got rid of her and it was out of the blue. You never know. My kitty is kind of mean but I play games with her and she always wins every time. Ha ha.

  49. melly~ 49

    yeah, so my dogs all burp and fart. there’s no proof at all they get it from me and if you ask my husband, i’ll make him use that marital communications privilege where a spouse can’t be forced to testify. there’s not a limit to the times you can use that, right?

    dog dude is a jerk. seriously.
    hope your legs are better. have a little drink. medicinally. on me. :)

    p.s. your blog ROCKS! you have spellcheck!

  50. leslie 50

    Ohhh.I sooooo HATE people like that! I dont think I could have kept my mouth shut on this one!!!

  51. aww man…i’ve heard people start to look like their pets (which is why i won;t let my husband get a bulldog)..some people are just a little too laid back for my taste…sorry about your legs.

  52. BAD BAD man- dogs can only be as good as their people expect them to be. I hope you let your readers know about your nomination or link back to me. come on now they need to vote!

  53. Well PFFFTTT I can’t find my nomination over there yet. Is that stupid or what? I did a very nice write up of your blog if I don’t say so myself. If it’s not there tomorrow I’ll do it again.

  54. I found it, and cast the first vote it has a button you can upload to let your readers know. are real, go tos/show/53922/?utm_source=bloggerschoiceawards&utm_medium=badge&utm_content=bestentertainmentblog”>

  55. kj 55

    oh yes, i hate it when people do not take responsibility for their pets. horrible man!!!!

  56. You know, I’m picturing a sweet old man, whose “pup” is now his best friend, having lost his wife several years back. Sure the guy could use a little common sense, but…

    BTW – doggie & owner sitting around burping & passing gas….HILARIOUS!

  57. Jules 57

    I have 2 big dogs who love, love, love everyone they meet. However, if out, they have no opportunity to jump on people. I make sure that I have full control and shorten their leash so they have no opportunity to jump.

  58. Laura 58

    As the owner of 3 beautiful, sweet, occasionally over-enthusiastic but always quickly reprimanded and removed from such situations, large dogs, stories like this make me so sad. And angry. This jerk gives dog owners a bad name.

  59. I wonder what the gentleman would have done if you’d screamed that you were deathly allergic to dog scratches? Probably nothing. There needs to be some kind of financial penalty for that kind of rudeness.

  60. Liz C. 60

    Good Grief! You are so Funny! I’m sure they’re on the couch together as we speak, passing gas and lighting it with a lighter.

    Honestly, I have a *friend* who lets her dog sprawl all over the furniture and they have an extra sofa just for their rude dog. I used to go swim with her & her dog until he went into dog freak-out mode and scratched me to bruises. The marks were awful and it look like I’d been mauled by a bear. She just told him he was a bad baby. Oh Yeah. That fixed him. There are hoards of people who are like that with their dogs. Perhaps why I prefer cats…

    Then, when we were in L.A. we had lunch at a wonderful little cafe that catered to polite owners with polite dogs. There wasn’t a rude owner or dog in the entire place. It was charming being around all of these gorgeous, well groomed, well-behaved canines. I’ve always felt that there are no bad dogs… Just bad owners.

    I think at the pet place I would have stumbled over the guy & his dog and screamed whiplash or something. Sue his sorry behind.

  61. marye 61

    Dear God I hope he does not have kids…because…really…I have had other people’s kids do the same really..scratching and licking. Pinkie swear.

  62. Madelyn 62

    Thank you for that little refresher course – so nicely put, clear and concise. I would try again just because of the way you put this.
    Again, thanks~
    ~Mad(elyn) in Alabama

  63. Wendy 63

    hehehe. As an owner of both a mutt and a burping/farting husband – I can say that in my house? The 2 are not related. We are VERY conscious of our mutt when he’s out, and we treat him as we would a child. He is scolded if need be, and rewarded. Because he’s a medium sized dog – and he LOVES hugs – he does jump, but if I don’t know the person he is quickly told off and reigned in if the behaviour goes unnoticed.
    No, we are VERY pet aware, and we kinda of see Le Hound as a reflection on us. As you may see your child and how he behaves a reflection of you.

    Having said that, I find that non-pet owners can sometimes be the rudest ever. My dog is, well, disabled. He has a gimpy paw which means he walks with a limp. I’ve had NUMEROUS strangers argue with me that my dog is in pain. He’s 11. He swims, he digs, he runs and chases. He is A-OK. Do people accuse other human parents of being inhumane and allowing their disabled child to live?

    We’ve also come across horrible pet snobbery. My dog is a mutt. And we love him. I, personally, prefer mutts. They’re individual, hardier, less likely to be inbred and have issues. It’s a personal preference.
    I appreciate pure breds, I appreciate mutts, I’m an animal lover. What I dont appreciate people who approach Le Hound and I/El Husbandino and ask “WHAT is he?” … “He a mutt”… “Yes, but WHAT is he?” … “We don’t know… he’s a mutt. He’s a Heinz57, his momma was a ho’ yo.” … “oh” and then… the sneer. The look of disgust that somehow my pet is inferior.
    We met this once at Luray Caverns, a little girl (10 or so) “What’s your dog?” .. “He’s a mutt” … “He looks like a german shepherd” … “We don’t know, he’s a mutt and we love him” … Kid then turns to muummy “Oh mummy, look at this – he’s just a mutt..he’s not pure bred” … [sigh]
    He’s just Toby. He has a limp, and looks like a chihauhau and a shepherd got it on. He’s loyal, playful and loving. And he’s ours. :D

  64. Oh, your too nice. I would have made a scene. What else would he expect. If he and his dog could be rude, so could I. Right?
    What about when children act this way and the parents do nothing? That really irks me. I had a recent experience with that. Drives me mad, I tell you.


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