Dog Training 101: Elevator Manners

How many of you live in a place where the elevator is a daily part of your dog’s training? There are several different perspectives to examine when considering how to make these rides more enjoyable for everyone: the average person riding the elevator, the dog owners with their dogs, and the people who are about to get on the elevator.

If you are an average Joe riding on the elevator, please keep the following in mind during your ride:

  • Ask before petting a dog in the elevator. Even though it is a tight space and you may be close enough to the person with the dog to simply reach down to pet the dog, be mindful that that dog is working on their impulse control and that they may be in a training session with their owner.
  • If you really want to pet the dog please be considerate and ask the owner if you can, that way they can decide whether their dog may greet at that time. If an owner declines your request for petting their dog in the elevator, understand that it is probably because it may excite the pooch as it could be one of their highest rewards when they are allowed to be released to say hi — please respect when an owner politely declines your request to pet their dog.
  •  Another common annoyance an average Joe will do to a dog in training is that they will try to get the dog’s attention when the owner is clearly trying to get him/her to sit and be calm during the elevator ride. Everything goes a lot smoother in that tight space if you just stand back and observe away from the dog owners. 

    For dog owners riding the elevator:

  • Most dog owners who have had some type of training with their dog will normally have their dog up against the wall in a sit stay so they can use their body as a barrier to block their dogs from distractions. More than one dog on an elevator can be difficult – please do not just allow your dog to get into another dog’s space without first asking – all dogs may not respond well to this, especially in the confined space of an elevator. Not all dogs get along with every dog, it’s not playtime in the elevator, and the other owner could be in training mode and not want their dog to be disturbed. So, if you have a dog please be considerate and use a wall away from other dogs on the elevator.
  • Please be considerate when your dog has an accident. Accidents happen but if your dog has an accident in the elevator on the way outside, please try to get back to that elevator and get it cleaned up or at the very least let someone know so that it can be addressed.

    For those getting on the elevator:

  • Please do not stand right in front of the elevator door while waiting to get on, and if you do please step to the side to allow room for the dog owner and dog to get off of the elevator without running into you.
  • Please be patient and allow people to exit the elevator with their dog before you go ahead and get on.

Next time you get on an elevator and see a dog, please take these tips into consideration so that everyone can enjoy their experience on the elevator.


Ashley Rodriquez, KeenDog Trainer