The holidays bring a few special concerns when it comes to dog training and care, especially if your canine companion is fresh out of puppyhood. All the holiday parties and celebrations might confuse or even stress out your dog if they haven’t received enough training to be around people. As such, we have created this guide to training your animal so that you and they are ready for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
1. Begin with place training
One thing you don’t want your furry little friend to do is accost the guests at your next party. After all, you wouldn’t want your boss to show up and leave covered in fur and slobber. You also don’t want your animal to get hurt with all the foot traffic that your home is about to experience, so it is important to train them to stay in designated spaces for their safety and the comfort of your visitors.
This can be done using a mat upon which you can train them to stay for the duration of your event. You can reward them with a long chew, such as a marrow bone to get them through the evening with ease. This training can begin with you doing simple tasks such as doing housework, eating meals, and during small gatherings with a handful of people.
2. Teach them to greet your guests
Dogs that love to socialize would benefit greatly from being taught to greet guests politely. After all, you wouldn’t want your animal jumping and slobbering on every person that comes to visit. Teaching them the right way to welcome new people might make these visitors feel more at ease at your events.
Dogs that are more skittish around others can also experience a marked improvement in their behavior with proper socialization training. These can teach them to be less afraid of people, reducing the risk of anxiety and perhaps even violent behaviors.
3. Change their responses to doorbells
One important aspect of dog training is to teach your dog to respond to stimuli in the right way, rather than avoid responding at all. The doorbell, for example, is both a source of anxiety and excitement in many dogs. Just the sound of it can cause a dog to start barking and running around. Unfortunately, this might always be the case depending on your animal.
Your best strategy is to teach them that it means something else instead. One way this has been done is through the Party Trick. This involves training your dog to respond to the doorbell by running into a different room.
You can do this by ringing the doorbell, shouting “Party in the bedroom!” and running excitedly into the bedroom with your dog. There, you could have some tasty treats waiting for them already. By instilling this behavior into your pet, you can essentially keep them away from guests until they’re ready.
Dog training requires time and patience, but it is absolutely worth it. After all, a well-trained dog, more often than not, is a happier dog. They would have healthier behaviors and healthier habits that you can use to improve their well-being. Not only that, but you could get them through the holiday rush with little anxiety and the least amount of stress.
If you do find that you need help in dog training, however, give us at PAWS Bed & Biscuit a call. We are a Mendon, MA-based business that offers boarding, doggie daycare, and training to your best friend.