The holiday season is upon us — and by “us,” I mean both our human and our canine families. Dogs are affected by changes in their environments, and from October through the new year, dogs will experience many changes in their homes with visitors, celebrations, and highly distracted humans. Prepare and protect your canine best friend from these environmental changes.
Let’s look at protecting dogs from what can be overwhelming human activity. This is the first line of offense for keeping your dog calm and content. The following kinds of dogs need to be kept away from large gatherings, preferably in another room or crate (if they are properly accustomed to and like being in a crate), far from the hubbub, with classical music used to block noise and with an excellent, long-lasting, safe chew toy:
What kind of dog can handle large crowds of festive humans? Some days I think the answer is none! Even if you do have a happy-go-lucky, loves-every-human dog, he too needs some quiet time during the holiday season.
If a dog does bite someone — especially a child — that’s often the death knell for the dog, even if he was put in a stressful situation and the adults didn’t properly supervise him with children. It’s better to be safe than the dog being sorry and losing his life for a situation that could have easily been avoided. Any dog with teeth can bite if he feels frustrated or threatened enough.
If you’re certain that your dog loves to be around loud humans in a celebratory mood, start acclimating him well before the family drives all that way to stay at your house with you and Rover. Here are some training tips to prepare your dog for holiday madness:
Dogs are a lot of responsibility. We need to remind ourselves to make sure our pets’ needs are met during a busy but fun time of the year for humans. Often, we humans even get worn down from the business of the season, and where do we often go to seek refuge? A quiet setting with man’s best friend. So, return the favor to your dog, and make sure he has a doggone good time, too.
About the author: Annie Phenix, CPDT-KA, is a force-free professional dog trainer enjoying her mountain-filled life in Colorado. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild and the National Association of Canine Scent Work. She is also working on a book due out in spring of 2016: The Midnight Dog Walkers, about living with and training troubled dogs. Join Annie on her dog-training Facebook page.
Editor’s note: This article appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!
Tell us: How you manage your dogs and holiday guests? What tips do you have?
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