The holidays are exciting! And when you’re a dog, it’s even better because all of your best friends are in the same place at once! But let’s be honest, holiday parties can be a challenge for pet owners with young or excitable dogs who just want to be in the mix of things. So here are some tips that will help manage your dog’s behaviors during your holiday get togethers.

Make sure they get enough exercise prior to the event

A tired dog is a good dog! Make sure that your dog gets at least 90 minutes of exercise before your guests arrive so that they are less active during the gathering.

Crate them until they calm down completely

In conjunction with the first tip, you may benefit from crating your dog in a calm and quiet room as guests come in and get settled. Once your guests have settled in and your dog is relaxing in their crate, then you can allow them to come out and say hello. It may also be beneficial to put them back in their crate when it’s dinner time. This allows you to focus on hosting and will keep your dog from rehearsing unwanted behaviors while people are around.

Give them something to do.

It is important that your dog has something to redirect their attention to during gatherings. If they get bored it is likely that they will be looking for something to cure their boredom. And whatever they find rewarding enough, they will pursue. Some things we recommend are:

  • frozen peanut butter kongs
  • bully sticks
  • flavored Nylabones
  • interactive toys

Have your dog drag a leash attached to their collar

I know what you’re thinking, “why would my dog have a leash on in the house?” Good question! If you have a leash on your dog, you’ll be able to interrupt any unwanted behaviors by grabbing the leash and utilizing trained commands (sit, down, stay, etc.) to redirect your dog. This is a great option if you wish for your dog to be a part of the get together but are still wanting them to behave. Warning, you must remain consistent and should be paying attention to your dog at all times while they are out. If you are unable to keep your full attention on the dog, we recommend step #2. We should also add, don’t tether your dog to anything especially around all the people. They will likely get frustrated that they aren’t free and act out.

Reward the dog when they are being good!

It is important to pay more attention to the dog when they are behaving to increase the likelihood of them providing that behavior more often. Dog’s love any attention and will do what it takes to receive the attention they enjoy most. Be sure to celebrate even the smallest of successes with them so they know how to act in these scenarios in the future!

It’s important to note that you’ll get the most out of these tips if you use each one of them in the order they are provided to you. Let us know how your dog does for your holiday events at [email protected]!