5 Top Tips To Help You And Your Dog Survive The Holidays: |
The holiday season is the best time of the year, however, it is also the busiest. For us it can be very stressful with all the holiday shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating your house, holiday parties, all the excess food we consume etc. It is also very stressful and sometimes dangerous for our four legged friends. We can't tell you how many times on an important holiday our phone rings with frantic owners all upset, because; the family dog just bit a relative. Veterinary offices also get many phone calls about dogs and cats eating poisonous and harmful things.
Keep Your Dog Safe, Keep Dangerous And Poisonous Items Out Of Your Dogs Reach.
Poinsettias are a very beautiful addition to our holiday decorations, however; they are also very poisonous. Puppies just learning what they can and can not chew on could be in grave danger. Also, maybe this year don't put any tinsel on the tree, and make sure to put only unbreakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree. You may choose not to decorate the bottom of the tree at all as a young dog might not know the difference between their red ball and a bright red Christmas bulb. If you choose to put decorations on the floor and low tables, than you need to supervise twice as much and keep a hawk's eye on your puppy. Spraying a Bitter chew deterrent can also help keep things safe. If you are to busy to watch your puppy at this time it is safer to confine your puppy to a kennel. Confining your puppy a little more for these 3 to 4 weeks is better than having a sick or dead puppy.
Spend quality time not just quantity time.
The holiday hustle and bustle is enough to drive us all to a frenzy, including our poor dog. Unfortunately, Rover doesn't understand that if he doesn't behave, there won't be a present under the tree. He still needs to get his exercise and to know that you care. We might not be able to take him for a 45 minute walk, instead get him full out running back and forth for 10 to 15 minutes. This aerobic type workout can be accomplished by having them chase their toys. Even if they don't bring the toy back to you the whole concept is the chase. Remember, spend quality not quantity time with your dog especially because at this time of year time is a precious commodity. So also take a minute or two to exercise your dog's brain, when you write greeting cards, wrap a present, while decorating the house do a few sit stays or down stays.
Keep your dog safe from the guests.
For a shy, nervous dog having all those people over your house, can become very upsetting. You might find that taking them over a friends or neighbors house, somebody that they know and who is not doing anything that day would be the best solution. If this is impossible, you can put your dog in a room that they will be comfortable in and away from the guests, like a bedroom or laundry room. Put the dog bed in the room with lots of their toys. Once most of the guests have left than bring them out on a leash. They will feel that you are in control. This way you control the interaction; and prevent your one overzealous relative that thinks there a dog trainer from harassing your poor dog. Of course it would have been better to have trained this dog in advance which would have built up their confidence. For the wild untrained dog, it is best to just keep the dog in its kennel and make a New Year resolution to enroll this dog in obedience classes with Alternative Canine Training.
Keep the peace between dogs and children.
Make sure to set up ground rules for your visiting young guests
Ask them politely not to feed your dog, as all the rich food will make your dog sick. Instruct them that they need to be gentle and not ruff, as the dog might not like this abusive treatment. If your dog hasn't been around children, unless you can closely monitor the interaction, than it is best to keep your dog away. Once again your dog may be fine, however; the children might be to rough. Think about your over active A.D.D. nephew who would constantly try to pickup and accidentally strangle the dog. Your dog might think that its only defense is to bite.
Introduce your holiday decorations slowly.
Once again for shy and nervous dogs who's house changes from normal to a Christmas fun land it is scary. Even for us anything new is always frightening at first. To this day I still remember my first day of school. When you decorate your house, with sensitive dogs put out only a few decorations up a day. If they jump when they walk past the 4 foot tall Santa, don't comfort them. Instead distract by playing games past it, or get them to heal or walk past, If possible get them to do a sit stay by the spooky item and keep up a cheerful voice and give a treat for the sit stay. Your cheerful voice and attitude is praising her for following your direction and not for being afraid of the boogie man.
Remember these tips and you will have a Happy Holiday Season. We at Alternative Canine Training would like to wish you and your 4 legged friends a very Happy and safe Holiday.
This article reflects the research from the best information found in Internet articles and from books, but does not reflect Vladaeís
proprietary methods. Please visit our dog training resource center to discover the Dog Wizardís methods.