Oh Behave™ Dog Training Blog

Positive reinforcement makes training fun! (954) 587-2711

Partying with the Dogs

leave a comment »

Planning on hosting a holiday celebration this year?  Whether your party is big or small, there are ways to make your dog(s) and guests comfortable during your get together.  Here’s how to plan for a happy gathering all.

On the morning of your party, get up early and give your dog some extra exercise (1.5 – 2 times the usual amount).  For an added bonus, try a different route or a park you have never visited before.  If your dog is socialized, a trip to the dog park can be a fun and exciting for both of you.  Be sure to add some extra time for cleaning up your pooch because dogs can get carried away in mud or dirt at dog parks.

During the week before the party, brush up on some basics like sit, leave it, and settle.  These are handy skills during party time.   Teaching a new trick is a great way to give your dog an incompatible behavior to jumping on guests.  My dog Maddie loves to perform rollover.  This year we are working on a new trick to provide great entertainment value for the humans.

Have interactive toys and treats available for your guests to engage your dog in ways that do not involve human food.  Fetch games in the yard are a favorite with my dog.  For an added bonus, buy some new toys that are a novelty for your dog.
Manage the scene by thinking ahead about your dog’s problem behaviors.  Devise a plan for dealing with common issues in advance.

* Nightmare at the front door? Try having fetch toys available in the yard, so your dog is more likely to interact with guests away from the front door.
* Begging?  Try having stuffed kongs and treats available for guests to give your dogs rather than people food.
* Escape artist? Use gates, leashes, or crate your dog during the prime arrival and departure times.
* Easily stressed? Have a quiet place for your dog to relax in a bedroom away from the action.

Manage the guests by making sure they know what is ok and not ok to do to your dog.  Spell it out that getting in your dog’s face or bear hugging the dog can be dangerous.  Watch for guests that have had a few too many and may act “strange” and be stressful to your dog.

Supervise your dogs.  Keep an eye out for signs of stress, too much excitement, escape routes, and trouble in general.  Remove the dog or troublemakers if necessary.  For the big parties, I try to enlist the help of some close friends to supervise the dog activity.  My friends think helping out with the dog is much more desirable chore than helping out with the dishes!


Written by dawnhanna

November 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

Posted in Dog Training

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: