With the holiday season upon us, guests arrive on our doorstep. Protective dog breeds may tolerate new company but sigh with relief when they leave. After all, many working and herding breeds were developed to watch (not cheer!) strangers. Other breeds like a few quiet visitors, but don’t appreciate loud, noisy groups. And, of course, some individual dogs, regardless of breed, are so purely family-focused that they scowl when the doorbell rings.
Today, we’re talking to five breeds that are good with holiday guests — and will likely entertain them, too.
We delight in guests, as well as the morsels they drop. We’re also sufficiently self-assured to snooze (and snore!) smack dab in the middle of get-togethers when we need naps. Developed from English Bulldogs, we’re well-tempered, easy-to-keep and calm companions. But don’t think for one minute that laid-back means dull: I’ll sparkle and shine for visitors. I also won’t hassle you for long walks while you’re entertaining. I might, however, stand on your guests’ feet while they snack, reminding them of my presence and interest. My solemn expression disguises my passion for comedy; I’m called a clown in a philosopher’s cloak for good reason. Let’s start the party!
A true social butterfly, I’ll roll out the carpet for visitors. Let’s share some stories about my history, for I’m the subject of fanciful, delightful folklore. My ancestors are legendary for surviving shipwrecks, swimming ashore from pirate ships or being carried to land by noble ladies. However my forefathers arrived, they became the much-loved Royal Dog of Madagascar. I’m fluffy and cheerful, small but sturdy, and jolly on any day, holiday or not. I’ll greet guests with gusto, as well as a jig, a smile or a clever vocalization. Because I’m an adaptable breed, my family can turn up the holiday tunes, decorate the house (in all those odd human-devised ways!) and open the door to many friends. Neither flashy guests nor spirited talk chases me from the room. Both my antics and beauty crave an appreciative audience.
Since I’m known as “the Love Dog,” it’s no surprise that I love meeting guests. Developed in the Mediterranean from Poodles and Water Spaniels, we were gifted by sailors to ladies in ports and traded by various sea merchants. Our powder puff appearance and merry nature made us valuable bequests back in sea-faring days. Today, we’ll alert you to your guests’ arrival, but we certainly won’t shoo them away. We’ll charm your guests with affection and maybe a few spontaneous shows. We have a natural love of the performing arts; some of us worked as circus dogs. In addition to all those lovely traits, we also don’t shed much. Your guests won’t leave covered in dog hair!
Sporty and enthusiastic, we’re keen on new playmates. If you can throw a ball at the same time you sip your holiday beverage, you’ll be my new best friend. We were developed as outstanding gundogs for retrieving fowl in Scotland. One of our breed’s founders, Lord Tweedmouth, helped nurture our athleticism, passion for water and gentle mouths. My openhearted spirit and positive energy will make any guest feel at home. My hosting skills are golden: I excitedly await my guests, I amuse them while they’re here, and I look sad when they leave. They came for my benefit, right?
I’m in the working group, bred in Switzerland as a general farm dog. I pulled carts to market, drove dairy cattle, watched for trespassers and kept my farmer company while he worked. These days, I’m family-focused, but relatively calm about newcomers. Unlike some breeds that instantly delight in guests, we may briefly check out strangers. Our breed standard says it’s OK if we’re slightly aloof initially. But with our generous and affectionate nature, we usually warm up quickly. We’ll soon be soaking up attention and adding to the celebration.
Tell us: Is your dog good with holiday guests? In your experience, what dogs are good with holiday guests?
This piece was originally published in 2017.
Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Gordon Deen, French Bulldog Club of America, fbdca.org.
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