(I am not a native English speaker. The compound party pooper is not one that I intuitively understood. For a while I believed it was an insult for people who would need to use the bathroom at gatherings. The implied social impropriety astonished and humbled me – what an elegant, noble culture in which one should refrain from relieving oneself if there are many other people around.
Eventually, I learned the real meaning of the word.)
I teach a lot of group classes. In the first part of new classes, sometimes a behavioral spectacle takes place. As new owners and dogs enter the room, the dogs’ mind is instantly blown by the multitude of new stimuli. So many smells, so many people, so many dogs. The more history dogs have had in playing wildly with other dogs (in dog parks or playgroups, or at home), the more they feel the urgent need to go and jump on every new friend in the room. They vocalize, they jump, they pull. The owners hang on to the leashes, the dogs’ nails are digging into the floor, their flat collars so tight around their neck that they interrupt the pulling for a short while to cough and spit.
What is happening is that these dogs really, really want to join the party. We have two options here:
We can be a party pooper.
Or we can have our own party.
If a dog is distracted by somet