People Personalities Like Penny the Puppy

IMG_0430I’ve been puppy-sitting this week for my daughter’s dog, Penny Lane. With two cats in the house it’s been interesting to watch the dynamics!

As she raced around outside this afternoon, ignoring my calls and tearing across the road, she reminded me of some people I know:

Impulsive, exuberant, people-pleasing types who don’t always listen yet just want to be loved. They are the chocolate labs or golden retrievers of our world who will bend over backwards for you, unless they’re distracted by the proverbial “bright shiny object”.

They may often over-commit in their zeal to make you happy. If they feel unloved or under-appreciated they might act out. New experiences beckon them and boring tasks discourage them.

So how do you keep your “chocolate lab” engaged?

  • Build a trusting relationship, follow through and allow for some “play” time
  • Hold them accountable – talk through commitments to ensure they can do what they say they’ll do
  • Agree on a common language of “no nonsense” words to reel them back in (when I say “X”, I REALLY mean it!)
  • Give them “bright, shiny” projects that will hold their interest
  • Give them “treats” to thank them for a job well done
  • Make sure they know how much you like them as a person
  • And let them run off the “leash” within safe boundaries

Thankfully, my week of puppy sitting is at an end. Now I can go back to my quiet life with two stuck-up cats.

Q: Got a people-pleaser personality in your “yard”? What strategies have you used to get better behaviors?