How to Fix Your Dog’s Bad Behavior Before the Holidays
Thanks Epiphany Glass for the Photo
I spent many, many years working in the veterinary field, and I think it would shock some of you to know just how many dogs are euthanized during the holiday season.
I think this phenomenon has a lot to do with my recent loathing of the season. Having to deal with day after day of sick animals and euthanasia will wear on you.
So why do the holidays make a difference?
To me they don’t. I love my dogs during all times of the year.
But for many people having a dog that is ill behaved results in euthanasia and/or overcrowding at the shelter!
And, YES you CAN make a difference in 2-3 days!
It is sad that a person’s lack of interest and motivation in dog training results in so many dog deaths!
How Do You Help The Dog in Only a Few Days?
So how can you help a dog, a dog with hardly any manners, to be a good companion and housemate when the holidays hit and people come to visit?
There Are A Few Simple Things That Will Help
I know you are busy but, with just a little bit of training and effort your dog will be better behaved when guest arrive if you work on doggy obedience a day or two before people arrive.
- Put your dog on a leash in the house and run him through the basic obedience commands that he perhaps learned years ago.
- Use great rewards! I use liver treats that I make when I want a very highly motivated dog.
- Get him reacquainted with his crate. Some dogs will do better during the hustle and bustle if you can crate him in a separate area where you can cover his crate and turn on some loud music or the TV for him (this will keep him from barking and being stimulated when friends and family visit)
If you don’t want to crate him and you want him to hang out, but you don’t want him underfoot or jumping on your guests; use a tie down in the house. I screw a large eyelet screw in the baseboard and a 4-6 foot leash to keep my dog in one area if his obedience isn’t up to par. Then I give him is bed, and toys, and make sure that I can still keep an eye on him so that he is safe.
- Put him on a leash before friends and family arrive. No one likes to be jumped on, so I put my dogs on a leash for the initial meeting and I make them lie down. After everyone is settled I can better trust my dogs to be off leash.
- Exercise! Take your dog for a long RUN an hour or so before your friends arrive. Make sure he is exhausted! The idea is to make sure the dog is too exhausted to jump on guests, or bark in his crate. A tired dog is a good dog!
- And, lastly REALX. If your dog makes a mistake take it in stride and fix it. Use his commands, a leash, or his crate if you need but make sure you have a back up plan so if something stressful happens you are prepared and not thrown off your game.
Afterwards. And, after the party and festivities and everyone is stuffed, take your best furry friend on a walk and enjoy a break with perhaps the only friend who will lower your blood pressure!
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.