Guests at the Door
If your dog is like most dogs, he probably gets excited and tries to jump on your guests. He may also be tempted to run out the open door as your guests are carrying in platters of food for your Thanksgiving meal. Here are some simple solutions to make your holiday gatherings safer for everyone:

  • Keep your dog put away in a crate or dog-proof room until your guests are settled in. He may bark or cry, so wait until he’s quiet to let him out!
  • Before you bring him out, explain to your guests how they should greet him. Ask them NOT to pet him unless he is calm and keeping his feet on the floor.
  • When you bring him out, keep him on leash! We often forget we can use a leash inside, but it’s a very simple solution to many problems. Keep him under your control as he greets your guests.
  • Keep some tasty treats on you! They can be used to keep his attention and focus, and reward him for appropriate behavior.

Reserved Rover
If you’re the owner of a shy or fearful dog, you may be dreading having company over, knowing your dog will be frightened and unhappy. Here are a few ways to help the introverted dog cope with a holiday party:

  • Give your dog some alone time. Put him up in a room or his crate with a tasty treat – Mackenzy recommends a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter, and set in the freezer for a few hours. This will keep him busy and happy while you’re with your guests.
  • Control the interactions your dog has with guests. Make sure they’re positive and prevent people from overwhelming him. Ask them to ignore the dog until he approaches them, and ask them to pet under his chin rather than reach over his head. If your guests won’t listen to your instructions on how to greet/pet the dog, simply say you think he needs a break, and put him away somewhere. Better no experience at all than a negative one!
  • If your dog has EVER shown fear aggression, now is NOT the time to take chances. If there is even a chance he will react aggressively, put him up somewhere safe. You may not like the thought of locking him away, but a bitten guest and a beloved pet in quarantine at Animal Control is far worse! Keep the holidays happy, and exercise caution.

Dogs and Kids
This combo is a classic! However, if your dog isn’t used to children and some will be visiting you this holiday season, here are some tips for to help kids and dogs get along.

  • Supervision, supervision, supervision! NEVER leave children and dogs alone together. Dogs can accidently hurt children, and children can accidently hurt dogs! Keep the phrase “touch supervision” in mind – a responsible adult should always be close to easily grab child or dog while they’re interacting.
  • Set rules for both parties. Ask children to keep their voices down, touch dogs gently and slowly, and not to take anything from the dog’s mouth – even if it’s a toy that belongs to the child. (This is where a responsible adult steps in!) Don’t let them follow the dog into his crate or other private area. Ask dogs not to jump on children, not to crowd them, and prevent the dog from nabbing the child’s food and toys.
  • Set both parties up for positive experiences! Children can learn a lot from interacting with dogs, and dogs in turn can become better-socialized pets. Have children toss the dog some tasty treats – but only after he’s performed a command or trick. This way, the child learns that dogs are fun, and the dog learns that children are fun!
Happy Holidays from the team at Frisky Dog!