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Basic Rules for Dogs Who Have a Yard to Protect

by Gary Bogue, Columnist for The San Ramon Valley Times


1) Newspapers: If you have to go pee while playing in the front yard, always use the newspaper that's placed on the driveway every morning just for that purpose.

2) Visitors: Quickly determine which guest is afraid of dogs. Charge across the room, barking loudly, and leap playfully on this person. If your human falls down on the floor and starts crying, lick his/her face and growl gently to show your concern.

3) Licking: Always take a BIG drink from your water dish immediately before licking your human. Humans always prefer clean tongues.

4) Barking: Because we are dogs, we are expected to bark. So bark - a lot. Your owners will be very happy to hear you protecting their house. Especially late at night while they are sleeping safely in their beds. There is no more secure feeling for humans than to keep waking up in the middle of the night and hearing their protective dog barking and barking and . . .

5) Holes: There are never enough holes in the ground. Strive daily to do your part to help correct this problem. Rather than digging a BIG hole in the middle of the yard and upsetting your humans, dig a lot of small holes all over the yard so they won't notice.

6) Doors: The area immediately in front of a door is always reserved for the family dog to sleep on. Wag your tail so it makes tolerant, thumping sounds on the floor every time you are stepped on.

7) Sniffing: Humans like to be sniffed Everywhere! It is your duty as the family dog to accommodate them.

8) Dining: Always sit under the table at dinner, especially when there are guests, so you can clean up food when it starts to accumulate on the floor. This is also a good time to practice your sniffing.

9) Housebreaking: This is very important to humans, so break as much of the house as possible.

10) Walks: When out for a walk with your master or mistress, never go to the bathroom on your own lawn. Always pick the nosy nighbor's yard.

11) Couches: It is permissible to sleep on the new couch after your humans have gone to bed.

12) C*ts: When chasing c*ts, never c*tch them. It spoils all the fun.

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Basic Rules for Dogs Laid down by their Owners

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1.) The dog is not allowed in the house.

2.) Okay, the dog is allowed in the house, but only in certain rooms.

3.) The dog is allowed in all rooms, but has to stay off the furniture.

4.) The dog can get on the old furniture only.

5.) Fine, the dog is allowed on all the furniture, but is not allowed to sleep with the humans on the bed.

6.) Okay, the dog is allowed on the bed, but only by invitation.

7.) The dog can sleep on the bed whenever he/she wants, but not under the covers.

8.) The dog can sleep under the covers by invitation only.

9.) The dog can sleep under the covers every night.

10.) Humans must ask permission to sleep under the covers with the dog.

11.) The dog cannot eat people food.

12.) Okay, the dog can sometimes eat people food, but only as small snacks.

13.) The dog can also eat people food in large snacks on occasion, but not every day.

14.) Fine, the dog can eat large helpings of people food if the dog waits until the people are finished with their meal.

15.) Dogs get served first.

16.) The dog must stay in the house or fenced in yard.

17.) The dog may occasionally go for a car ride, but only when invited.

18.) Okay, the dog can ride in the car every Wednesday to get her treat from the nice bank people.

19.) The dog can ride in the car whenever people forget to pick up their car keys quietly.

20.) Fine, dogs become self-appointed guardians of the back door leading to the garage.

21.) Dogs decide which humans will accompany them on car trips.

Mind Games to Play with Humans

1.) After your humans give you a bath, DON'T LET THEM TOWEL DRY YOU! Instead, run to their bed, jump up and dry yourself off on the sheets. This is especially good if it's right before your humans bedtime.

2.) Act like a convicted criminal! When the humans come home, put your ears back, tail between your legs, chin down and act as if you have done something really bad. Then, watch as the humans frantically search the house for the damage they think you have caused. (Note: This only works when you have done absolutely nothing wrong.)

3.) Let the humans teach you a brand new trick. Learn it perfectly. When the humans try to demonstrate it to someone else, stare blankly back at the humans. Pretend you have no idea what they're talking about.

4.) Make your humans be patient. When you go outside to go 'pee', sniff around the entire yard as your humans wait. Act as if the spot you choose to go pee will ultimately decide the fate of the earth.

5.) Draw attention to the human. When out for a walk always pick the busiest, most visible spot to go 'poo'. Take your time and make sure everyone watches. This works particularly well if your humans have forgotten to bring a plastic bag.

6.) When out for a walk, alternate between choking and coughing every time a strange human walks by.

7.) Make your own rules. Don't always bring back the stick/ball when playing fetch with the humans. Make them go and chase it once in a while.

8.) Hide from your humans. When your humans come home, don't greet them at the door. Instead, hide from them, and make them think something terrible has happened to you. (Don't reappear until one of your humans is panic-stricken and close to tears).

9.) When your human calls you to come back in, always take your time. Walk as slowly as possible back to the door.

10.) Wake up twenty minutes before the alarm clock is set to go off and make the humans take you out for your morning pee. As soon as you get back inside, fall asleep. (Humans can rarely fall back asleep after going outside, this will drive them nuts!)

Thanks to Marianne Rousseau-Alsberg


Never pretend to be something you're not.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. Stop when you've had enough.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

No matter how often you're scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout, run right back and make friends.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Take naps and stretch before rising.

Run, romp and play daily.

Be loyal.

If you have a great rule that should be on this page... email me, and I'll stick it on!


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