Teaching my dogs their place…via Downton Abbey

By now, if most people haven’t watched the acclaimed TV show Downton Abbey, they’ve at least heard of it, right? As an avid fan of the show, I’ve realized there are important lessons the show could teach…to my dogs.

Downton1 300x120 Teaching my dogs their place...via Downton Abbey

The basic premise of Downton Abbey is similar to the old PBS standard Upstairs Downstairs. “Upstairs” are the Lords/Ladies/privileged, “Downstairs” are the maids/footmen/butlers/staff. While I certainly don’t expect my dogs to be maids, it’s occurred to me that they need a refresher on their place in the household structure.

Of course I have no idea how this happened, but it seems that my dogs have become a tad bit spoiled. There have been times when I’ve given them a command like “off,” and they stare at me as if to say “it’s cute how you think I’m going to do that.” So, needless to say, things have got to change.

Downton Abbey Dogs on Bed 300x300 Teaching my dogs their place...via Downton Abbey

The change my dogs require will take time, but to start them off, I thought we’d take a few pointers from Downton Abbey.  I basically envision my husband and I (the humans) as Lord and Lady Grantham with all the privileges and rank therein, and our dogs as…well, the less privileged. What follows are a few lessons for our dogs to realize their place in the scheme of things.

Regarding free will…

  • The humans: Do what we please, within socially acceptable standards.
  • Our dogs: Must strive to maintain composure commensurate with your status as dogs. Realize you are not afforded the same level of privilege as humans.


  • The humans: Maintained through regular showers and whatnot.
  • Our dogs: To be in our presence we do require an occasional bath when you smell ripe. You know what we mean.


  • The humans: We groom ourselves appropriately and take care of what needs done.
  • Our dogs: While we understand you may feel the need to lick your nether regions, kisses from you immediately after this task are undesired.


  • The humans: Whatever we cook up for ourselves (or order out).
  • Our dogs: Trust you will never starve – but you are not entitled to food every time a human walks through the kitchen.

Downton Abbey Dog Begging Pudding 300x300 Teaching my dogs their place...via Downton Abbey


  • The humans: A necessity for sleep.
  • Our dogs: You have been provided with beds appropriate to your size (in almost every room of the Abbey). Use of the human bed should be by proclaimed invitation only.


  • The humans: Needed for comfort on beds and sofas.
  • Our dogs: Sorry to inform, but pillows are not an entitlement for your class. You are not to steal them from the humans.


  • The humans: A regular part of our day.
  • Our dogs: Quit darting into the garage – you are not automatically permitted the same places as humans. Making THAT face at us will not help your predicament.


  • The humans: We no not have a live-in staff (oh the humility), but we have a cleaning service that services the Abbey every two weeks.
  • Our dogs: Just because we feed you, clean up after you, groom you, walk you, pick up after your excrement, etc., we are not to be considered your maid or butler. You getting over this mindset will do wonders for realizing your place in the household structure.
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  • annstaub

    I’ve actually never seen the show, but follow a hilarious dog that blogs. She has been running a segment called “Dogtown Abbey” for quite awhile now and it’s quite a blast! She’s on her 2nd season I think. http://mollythewally.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.dogsplendor.com/ Stefanie

      That is awesome! The show is fun – you watch an episode or 2 and you’re hooked.