Ask the Expert on Dog behavior, Grooming & Pet Food – Rebecca Hayes-Copeland
‘TIS THE SEASON for friends and family. With houseguests galore, don’t forget your faithful furry friends. To make holiday visits stress free, consider some of these options:
If your guests aren’t exactly loving of your doggies, you can give your buddy a special bone/chew when guests come over that they can happily munch on in another room or in their crate. This works well if your furry buddy maybe isn’t overly fond of company either. Then everybody stays happy.
Practice answering your door now, before company arrives. Give your pup a job to do at the door (go wait on a matt, find a toy, sit/stay for example). This takes the focus off of meeting company until they’ve had a chance to actually get their coats and boots off.
Teach your dog some part-time boundaries. “Off the Rug” to wait out of the living room, or “Out of the Kitchen” to wait in the living room while you eat. This means your pup can still be ‘in’ on the action but for company that isn’t quite the dog lover, they have the option to visit with your dog or not.
Train a Trick – not only does your dog get to show off (and you too), it gives your dog the attention from guests that they crave by performing something that isn’t rude (jumping up, begging, etc).
Go for walk/run before the guests arrive. This will allow you and your dog to regroup, destress and blow off some steam. Calm and quiet canines make great hosts.
If children will be present and your dog hasn’t been socialized with them, it is okay to put your dog in their crate or another room. This means you don’t have to be stressed out supervising interactions between the kids and dogs; and your dog isn’t stressed out by kids that behave in a far different manner than adults (which they are used to).