Guests coming over for the holidays? Such a stressful time of year, wrapping presents, cooking feasts, and preparing your house for incoming guests. But have you prepared your dog?
Think about it, your dog truly has no idea the chaos that is about to descend upon him. One day, his home is nice, quiet, and peaceful. The next, all these strangers are here, sitting on his favorite couch, moving all his stuff, touching him! What a stressful situation – but it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips to make sure your dog is prepped to receive your guests.
Teach Your Dog Some Basic Commands
There are three commands that will almost guarantee a well-behaved dog: sit, stay, and leave it. These commands are easy to teach and will prove invaluable throughout your dog’s life. ‘Sit’ and ‘stay’ work well if your dog is prone to jumping on strangers as soon as they walk through the door. ‘Leave it’ comes in handy when someone accidently drops food on the floor and your dog rushes to get it. There are plenty of situation during your guests’ stay and after their departure that these commands will prove incredibly useful.
Make Sure Your Dog is Comfortable with Petting
Not all dogs like to be touched by strangers. And if you’re not careful, they may act lash out due to fear. Before inviting anyone to your house, you must make sure your dog enjoys being petted on all various body parts. If kids will be in your home, make sure they know how to properly pet a dog. While humans generally appreciate hugs, dogs typically do not.
In the end, you know your dog best. If you see him back up, tucking his tail, or sinking to the floor, he is obviously uncomfortable and should be moved to a place where he feels safe. Unfortunately, some dogs just do not have the disposition to be around many guests, and you should know if your dog can handle it before you agree to host your holiday party. The following types of dogs should be kept away from large groups of people:
- Untrained and jumpy dogs
- Noise-phobic dogs
- Shy dogs
- Aggressive dogs
When hosting friends or relatives, it’s easy to want to put their needs and comfort first. But just remember that this is your dog’s home too, and he has every right to feel comfortable there.