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Pomeranian sitting at a desk with laptop and phone.

I really want to be a good dog this year. My humans do so much for me like giving me their shoes to use as chew toys and collecting my poop in little bags. And how do I repay them? By drinking from the toilet and hogging the bed! They hate that. This year, I want to reward them for their generosity by becoming the well-mannered Canine Good Citizen they deserve. They make New Year’s resolutions every January, so why can’t I? I’m putting my best paw forward for 2020, so this year I hereby resolve to:

1. Stop Scooting Across Carpets

Okay, to be honest, I don’t do this to be bad. I do it because it makes me feel better. Dog scooting is so embarrassing to humans. If only they understood how uncomfortable clogged anal sacs can feel. Do humans even have anal sacs? Dragging my butt across the carpet provides much-needed relief. And it’s even worse if I have parasites or a food allergy. That can really mess up my backside. If I’m going to stop this habit, somebody had better check to make sure all is good back there.

2. Sit For Greetings Instead of Jumping on Guests

I love to greet people face to face. I have no idea why my humans want me to stay on the ground when I say hello. What could be better than a big slobbery kiss across the cheek? I’ve heard the best way to stop a dog from jumping on guests is to teach us to sit for greetings. That doesn’t feel natural. But I guess it could be okay, as long as I get lots of treats and pats for doing it. Plus, if I know you’ll notice me when my butt is on the ground, I won’t have to jump to get your attention.

Bulldog puppy sitting on a couch

3. Not Hump in Public

This one really turns my humans’ faces bright red. I don’t see what the big deal is. Most of the time humping, or mounting if you want to get technical, has nothing to do with sex. I often hump other dogs as part of our playtime games. It’s more about who’s in charge than who’s attractive. And if I go to town on a visitor’s leg, it’s usually because I’m overstimulated or stressed. How can you stop a dog from humping? I’ll just have to find other ways to burn off excess energy. Hopefully, my humans can help by redirecting me to another activity or behavior that will get me a valuable reward.

4. Stop Pulling On the Leash

Why do people walk so slowly? There are so many fascinating smells to sniff yet they saunter down the sidewalk. Thankfully, when I pull on the leash, I get where I want to go. But I end up with angry humans. You’d think they’d appreciate that I’m doing all that work to pull them along. How do you get a dog to stop pulling on the leash? Maybe if I had a “no-pull” harness like my buddy at the park, it would be easier to walk nicely. If I can teach my humans to reward me for walking at their side, I’d be less interested in dragging them down the street.

5. Stop Sniffing People’s Crotches

Have you ever noticed where I sniff other dogs when I’m saying hello? That’s right, their butts! So why should it surprise my humans when I do the same to them? Dogs sniff crotches to gather information. It makes no sense for people to make such an odor-rich location off-limits to my powerful nose. But if they’re going to be so uptight about it, I guess I’d better find another way to learn about the person I’m greeting. Maybe I could make do with sniffing their fist. Nowhere near as much odor, but I can still discover a lot.

6. Come When Called

I’ve noticed that my people usually call me when they want me to stop doing something they don’t like, or even worse, make me do something I don’t like such as having a bath. Why on earth should I come when called when it means the end of my fun? But getting a dog to come when called seems super important to humans. If I could teach my people to make recalls a game, that would really help. A round of tug-of-war or a tasty treat every time I return to them would help change my attitude. Now how do I train them to train me?

7. Stop Drinking From the Toilet

It’s full of cool and fresh water, so why shouldn’t dogs drink out of the toilet? To be honest, I don’t understand why my humans sit on the toilet instead of scooping up a drink. Such a misuse of a perfectly good water bowl. If I could clean and change the water in my dog bowl a few times a day, that might give the toilet a run for its money. Even better, if I could only get approved for a credit card, I could buy myself a dog fountain. The oxygenated water in one of those could break my toilet habit forever.

8. Stop Sleeping in My Humans’ Bed

I love luxury. Every dog does. Why would I want to sleep on the hard, cold floor when there’s a perfectly good bed right there? And even better, my favorite people are in it. There are some drawbacks to sleeping with a dog, but I’m positive my benefits outweigh any disruption to their sleep. I know I’m happier sharing my humans’ bed. However, sometimes my humans complain that I take too much space. An outrageous accusation! But I could be convinced to sleep in a dog bed if they got me one that was super comfortable and placed in the bedroom. Then I would be close enough to keep them safe without sacrificing the luxury I love so much.

Now that I reflect on it, that’s a lot of resolutions. And that means giving up a lot of the things that make me a dog. Do I really need to change that much? After all, my humans love me just the way I am. So never mind, here’s to a great 2020 just being a dog. Now if you’ll please excuse me, it’s time to toast the new year. There’s a toilet bowl calling my name.

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