The holiday season is drawing closer. We’re all gearing up for turkey dinners, festive décor, and raucous parties–and packed schedules, frantic shopping, and panicked kitchens.
If you’re noticing all the joys and stressors of the holiday season, your dog is, too.
Dogs thrive on routines, and when their schedule goes topsy-turvy, their home is transformed by decorations, and a host of visitors descend on the house, they may experience anxiety and behavioral shifts.
Thankfully, with a little bit of preparation and simple dog training techniques, you can keep your dog feeling content and comfortable from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s.
Top Dog Training and Resort is your number-one resource for all things dog training in NC. At our state-of-the-art dog day training center, we offer the best board dog training, dog daycare with training, and grooming.
And Top Dog’s expert staff is here to help you and your furry friends navigate the holiday season!
Prepare Your Pet Before an Event
Preventative measures can help ensure that your dog adapts easily to holiday visitors. Start by establishing a clear, dependable routine that you can maintain even when you’re hosting Thanksgiving.
If your dog hasn’t had a lot of experience with home visitors, try doing a dry run. Invite a new friend or family member to come over, and be prepared with your dog’s favorite treats.
When your friend knocks on the door or rings the doorbell, ask your dog to sit and stay. Then, go get your friend. If your dog breaks their sit, ask your friend to exit and go through the whole process again.
Then, introduce your friend to your dog slowly. Allow your dog to get to know the visitor (without jumping up), and reward your well-behaved pup with a treat!
If your dog struggles with this simple exercise, you may want to consider enrolling them in a dog day training center or board dog training program to brush up on some lessons before the big day.
You may also want to consider getting your dog freshly groomed before an event so that they feel clean and healthy.
Dog Training Tips During the Holidays
The most important thing you can do on a holiday or party day is stick to your dog’s daily routine as much as possible.
Make sure your dog gets their walks and meals at the times they are used to, regardless of what else is going on. The walks are especially important, as exercise will help your dog release any excess energy.
Even though preparing for visitors may make you stressed, it’s important to stay calm. Your dog can sense your moods, and if you seem on edge, they will start to get stressed, too.
Before guests arrive, make your dog their own special “safe space,” away from all of the activity. Create a nook with their favorite bed or blankets, toys, treats, and water so that they have somewhere to go if they get overwhelmed.
You may want to consider having this safe space in an area that can be gated off should your dog get particularly anxious.
When your guests arrive, introduce them slowly. Start by having guests meet the dog one by one so you don’t shock your furry friend. If your dog is doing well, then you can start introducing them to small groups of people.
While the party is in full swing, make sure your dog still gets plenty of attention. Pets and words of affirmation will help them calm down and avoid feelings of neglect.
Keep an eye out for signs of anxiety, like panting, pacing, excessive barking, digging, or rubbing noses on the floor or furniture. If your dog starts exhibiting these signs, you should take them on a walk and consider removing them to their safe space.
If your dog has consistent issues with visitors, you may want to look into dog daycare with training on the day of the event, giving your friend a fun, engaging place to learn and improve their behavior without the stresses of the holidays.
Top Dog: The Best Dog Trainer Near Me
Top Dog provides the best dog training in NC, keeping your dogs happy and healthy during the holiday season and all year long.
We offer lifetime guarantees for our graduates, and we also have a shuttle service to help you fit dog training into your busy holiday schedules!
Don’t wait until your dog starts barking at the turkey! Contact us today to experience the best dog trainer near me.