Have you ever been to a family member’s house who can never seem to complete a conversation because they’re too busy screaming at their dog? It goes something like, “Yeah, so we went to visit Aunt–BELLA! NO! OFF THE CHANDELIER NOW!”
While the ability to change character so quickly is impressive unto itself, the value of the encounter is highly questionable.
This year, we are here to encourage you not to be those people, especially if you’re hosting. That’s why we’re offering three easy tips along with a thinly disguised sales pitch for you to bring your dog in for training at our very own Butt Sniffers Academy.
- Socialize Beforehand. Dogs love people. And when they haven’t seen them for awhile, they really love people. To keep them from overexpressing their affection on everyone’s nice sweaters and taffeta gowns, make sure they receive attention before the guests arrive. Take them on walks. Go play fetch. Arrange a playdate with a neighbor dog. Or contact your friendly, local Watering Bowl to arrange a couple days of unbridled socialization. The main thing is, we don’t want them to be overwhelmed with excitement when the doorbell rings and rings again and again. Even better if they’re experiencing the infamous doggy hangover while you’re entertaining.
- Avoid Feeding From The Table. This one is obvious. But it’s good to have a reminder. So consider this your gentle nudge to not respond to gentle nudges–at least not during supper. We know it’s tempting. You’re sharing a bounty of food with your loved ones, and there aren’t many of your loved ones who would love your food more than your dog. But fight the urge in the days and weeks leading up to a holiday gathering. The last thing you want is a misunderstanding between your great uncle and a basset hound. They’re both stubborn, and one walks with a cane. Not a good combo. If you must, save any dog-friendly leftovers that don’t have too much seasoning, chop it up and mix it in with their food. They’ll appreciate it, and you won’t be encouraging bad behavior.
- Try A Little Training. Even if your dog is generally well behaved, a little refresher on the basics can’t hurt. Not only is it an opportunity to learn, it’s also a chance to bond. You’ll have lots of people competing for your attention soon, maybe you’d both enjoy a little time to catch up. Training can also help reinforce who your dog should listen to. Our Butt Sniffers Academy trainers will even tailor your session to holiday-related issues. And hey, if you’re busy and you want to socialize and train, let us know, and we can arrange Stay & Play sessions during your dog’s daycare sesh.
So there you go. Three things to think about as you’re considering where to hang the mistletoe this year. And remember, there’s no shame in letting your dog relax in their own space while guests are in the house. A few hours of solitude may be exactly what they need while glasses are clinking in the other room. And if they got some exercise during the day, a little rest will be welcome. Of course there’s always the option to board your dog with us while you’re hosting. As long as you don’t mind them missing out on the family photo-ops.