Celebrations any time of year can be fun, safe and stress-free when you include your dog. Just teach your dog a few basic commands and follow these helpful tips.
Preparing pets for a party
If you're throwing a holiday bash this year, help keep your dog safe and happy by remembering to:
Keep your dog on a leash or in a crate while everyone arrives so they don't accidentally get out the door
Establish a don't feed the dog rule with your guests
Find a private room or crate to keep your pet in while you are entertaining if they get nervous around crowds and noise
Practice some pre-training if your pet likes to bark when the doorbell rings
Helpful commands to teach pets
There are three important command basics to ensure a well-behaved pet.
Sit (so they won't jump on guests):
Grab a treat and place it right at the dog's nose to get their attention. Keeping the treat right on the end of the dog's nose, slowly move it up and back over their head. As they follow the treat, their head should come up and they should sit. Once they're sitting, say "good dog" and give them the treat. When you have practiced enough that you are sure they will sit, you can begin to say the word "sit" right before you put the treat at their nose.
Stay (so they don't run out the door):
Ask your dog to sit and praise them when they obey. While your dog is sitting, say "stay" and place your hand flat with your palm facing the dog. Wait 2-3 seconds and then give your dog a treat. You can increase the time they stay by a couple of seconds every three repetitions. It's best to remain right beside them until you've worked up to 30 seconds.
Leave it (to avoid eating candy):
You'll need a large dog biscuit and some small treats. Put your dog on a leash and place the large biscuit out of reach of the dog. Allow them to attempt to get it, but do not allow them to actually put it in their mouth. When they stop trying to get it and turn away, say "good dog" and give them a small treat. As they get better at this exercise, say "leave it" when they start to go toward the biscuit.