Holidays with Dogs: Positive Training Tips Podcast

by Mary Haight on December 21, 2014

Holidays with DogsHolidays with dogs are a joy — how much fun is it to watch them romp in the snow, find and open their gifts, play tag with the surf on the beach, or hike through the woods? Who doesn’t remember the first Christmas with their dog — how wonderful and weird it was for them to watch us dragging that tree into the house — a tree, in the house! But no leg lifting =)

No matter where you live or which holiday it is, it need not be a stress-fest for you *or* your dog. Whether you’re starting out with a new furry member of the household or helping a senior dog cope with an influx of strangers arriving for parties, even staying for a few days, it pays to be prepared and that means preparing your dog.

Positive Training Tips To Keep You and Your Dog Happy

Procrastination might be your favorite pastime, or your dog may be an “easy keeper” — does all the basics with a good recall — so you figure that’s good enough for you both. I confess this describes my work with Tashi, until he got older. That level of understanding between you and your dog can work for most of the  year, but you know how holidays can turn your world upside down — imagine what all that preparation, different food smells, added or rearranged furniture, and a generalized increased sense of human stress and excited anticipation does to your dog’s world!

Is it any wonder your dog does things out of character during the holiday hubbub? It should come as no surprise that stress levels increase for them too, sometimes resulting in a mad dash out the front door. This, and the added worry of people feeding your dogs things that can make them sick or worse, can be neatly avoided with training. If you’re in the aforementioned group of procrastinators, there’s still hope for you using positive management techniques that best suit your dog and your home.

Holidays with Dogs, Avoiding Drama

I spoke with Maggie Marton, owner/writer of Oh My Dog Blog, who has a book, Clicker Dog Training: The Better Path to a Well-Behaved Pup showcasing a positive training method. We were talking the other day about holiday drama and the impact on dogs and I thought it would be a nice gift to listeners to share the conversation about the evolution in training methods and resulting useful tips on how to manage your furry family when your human family and friends arrive for the festivities. Yes, Zelda, happy holidays with dogs are possible for everyone =)

Any particular methods you like to use with your dogs when company comes? Listen in and let us know!


 

 

 

16 comments
Caluvsdogs
Caluvsdogs

@dancingdogblog You're right about holidays causing stress for pets, my dog ripped up the blanket on a guestroom bed - while we had guests!

dancingdogblog
dancingdogblog

@Caluvsdogs Poor anxious pup...hope the podcast suggestions help you both and you have a local positive trainer to assess issues...

Caluvsdogs
Caluvsdogs

@dancingdogblog It was so weird. I didn't realize she had gotten stressed by all the activity around our guest whom she adores! Now we know.

dancingdogblog
dancingdogblog

@Caluvsdogs Many don't even realize this can happen.Good you know. Pets get overstimulated/overwhelmed & can go unnoticed w/guests present.

ItsDogOrNothing
ItsDogOrNothing

I will definitely be coming back to listen to the podcast!

Mary Hunter
Mary Hunter

Sounds like an interesting podcast, I will stop back later when I have a bit of time to listen!


Holidays, unfortunately, can be pretty stressful for pets and many pets aren't prepared for or comfortable with a lot of visitors coming over. KONGS (or other puzzle toys) can be great at the holidays to keep dogs happy, busy and out of trouble. 


My other big tip that I give my clients is that unless the dog has great door manners, put the dog in another room, outside, or on a leash if you have lots of people coming over and coming in and out of the front door. It can be much too easy for Fido to slip out the front door accidentally!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@Mary Hunter I agree, Mary, I have usually kept my dogs in another room, with toys and the TV on, so they can have the closest-to-normal evening possible =) 

And lost dogs are a tragedy on what should be a happy time, absolutely! Then there are the well-meaning, not really dog-people neighbors or family members that don't see why they shouldn't share the chocolates with Dickens...I like avoiding risk! 

Thanks for stopping by Mary, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!


CarolBryant
CarolBryant

Maggie is one of my favorite writers on the planet and she knows this. I am so glad you two did a podcast, as this is on my holiday break "to listen" list. TY for sharing and many warm holiday hugs to you and Tashi.

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

@CarolBryant Thanks Carol. I know your Christmas birthday is nearing, and wish you and your family a beautiful day filled with love...and Dexter smoochies! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays =)

albagunsrac
albagunsrac

@dancingdogblog love what you do, lost my buddy golden 2 years ago still cant shake it , but have a off spring of her happy holidays

dancingdogblog
dancingdogblog

@albagunsrac Thank you =) So sorry for your loss, the memory of our dogs and all that love stays with us-good you have her pup. Happy Hols!

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