Normally, my house is a quiet place with "regular" visitors such as my parents. On the weekend I had a couple come buy some rocks. (I KNOW!! ROCKS!!) I was out in the yard playing with the dogs when they arrived. Ryder let out a couple of deep woofs, but with my hand on his collar, he stopped. Diva ran behind my garbage cans. Warning them that Diva was not friendly I made sure Ryder was steady (he likes to jump on people) before releasing him. The most amazing thing occured. Both dogs were far more interested in the toy we had been playing with than the new people. Ryder respectfully and cautiously approached them for a sniff before trotting off with his tail flagged, toy in mouth. Diva remained focussed on the toy and kept positioning herself to watch where I (and the toy) went. There was no crazy barking, no running at them, no bad behavior. Both dogs demonstrated good and appropriate manners towards the strangers.
Last night I had surprise company. My friend arrived with infant in tow. Ryder and Diva have had virtually no exposure to children or babies so I wasn't sure how this was going to play out. As she approached the front door, I asked the dogs to "get back". With each request the dogs backed up, giving her room to enter my house. Both dogs got a bit bug eyed at the carrier but didn't give a negative response. Ryder cautiously approached her to sniff her hand. Then carefully settled in to try (and successfully) lick her hand. Diva kept a close eye on the carrier and didn't approach Jeanne but also didn't give any reactions. Ryder got a little spooky when the baby cried or moved in the carrier. He just wasn't sure about it.
Can it be? Can my dogs be devoloping manners? Can all this hard work be paying off?