Bed and Breakfast House Pets

I know that dogs can be pesty, noisy, messy, and annoying.  I know that a lot of people do not like dogs.  I know that some people have a real fear of dogs. I did not want a pet to ruin our business.  When we bought the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan, back in 1999, one of my biggest concerns was having a pet in the house with our guests. 

scottish-terriersWe have 2 Scottish Terriers, Reggie & Gilbert.  My wife is a very good dog trainer.  As good as they were in our private home, they would have to be even better at our B&B, or they would have to go.  We decided they would have boundaries in the house, they had to ber gentle with guests, they had to be quiet in the house, and they could not leave the yard.

I like peace and quiet.  Our boys have always been quiet in the house.  My wife trained them that inside was for relaxing and outside was for letting loose.  They made the transfer to our new home with no noise variances.

We immediately researched and bought an Invisible Fence. Within 2 weeks, they were completely trained and confined to our yard.  We could just let them out when they needed it.  But how would we know when they wanted to go out?  My wife taught them to ring a bell when the urge to enjoy the great outdoors hit them.

Keeping them out of the main part of the house was our next issue.  We wanted to keep them out of the kitchen, parlor, and guest rooms without the use of gates, closed doors, or other blockades.  One day, I had a revelation.  Outside, the Invisible Fence perimeter was marked by little white flags that the dogs were trained to be wary of.  I faked them out by putting a pop bottle on the floor, stuck a flag in it, and we were done.

As they were trained, the flags were removed one at a time until they were all gone.  By the end of our first month as innkeepers, our dogs were trained and became known as the “two best boys in the whole house.”  They remain in the yard, away from the sidewalk and parking lot.  Passersby know them as the dogs who sit, wag their tails, and watch them go by.  They are well known for their good behavior.

It is very important to follow the instructions of training pets exactly as the Invisible Fence people describe.  If you get lazy and let the dog figure it out on their own, they will find a way to beat it.  By following the directions, figuring out how to beat it is not an option.

Our peeps were having a hard time telling our Scottie Dogs apart.  Scottish Terriers all look alike, or do they? 

Miguel was on business visiting a local facility and spent several months with us on weeknights.  Every night he would come into our Library after work and ask, “which one is Reggie?”  We would tell him and he would pay more attention to the dog he preferred.  After many times of identifying Reggie, I finally just told him, “Reggie is the black one.”  He looked at me like I was crazy, and said, “they’re both black.”  I put them side by side where he could see that Gilbert has a bit of brindle in his coat and looks like a dirty black dog.  Reggie was pure.  Miguel looked up and said, “Reggie IS the black one!”  Since then, whenever another guest asked, we just told them “Reggie is the black one.”

Recently, one of our peeps did not like our little joke.  She went up to her room, came back a little while later, and presented each boy with their very own beaded elastic collar with their names in big block letters.  Now, no one has to ask us to tell them apart.  We have the nicest people come to visit us.  They enjoy our well behaved pets and often threaten to take them home or threaten to drop their pet off until we are done training it.

Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 4:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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