Isis75 asks: Do manners matter?
You know the funniest thing about manners? People train us dogs not to greet people the way we want to – sniffing, licking, jumping on them – and instead to “sit and shake hands.” In other words, they’re afraid of our tongues, which sit inside our mouths all day, cleansed by saliva, and instead want to touch the one part of our body that’s always in the dirt! You guys are crazy!
But are manners important? Sure. They’re a way of relating to others, of telling the other person you respect them and want to be friends. We dogs do that with each other in lots of ways – sniffing and letting ourselves be sniffed, rolling over onto our backs to show that we don’t want to fight, or just starting to play. Lots of people don’t like to be treated that way. Instead they have other rules. But it’s always about being ‘polite,’ showing respect.
I see some kids who don’t have any manners, and it gets in their way – they don’t make friends as much as they’d like to. Then I see other kids ruined by manners; they’re so overloaded with rules and criticisms, they lose touch with who they really are, and end up like overgroomed lapdogs. Now that doesn’t do anyone any good.
So you need to find somewhere in between. Simply put, manners are good up to the point that they make you comfortable in social situations, and no further.