Hosting holiday events can be stressful — but also rewarding! Welcoming guests into your home is exciting for you and your pets. Greeting new humans and receiving love and cuddles from them is the best gift your dog could ask for this season. Learn how your dog can help you look like the host or hostess with the most!
Practice Greeting Guests
Your guests aren’t likely to arrive empty-handed around the holidays. Help them get in the door smoothly by practicing how you’d like your dog to greet guests upon arrival. They are naturally inclined to run up to guests, and maybe even jump or paw at them in excitement — but you can teach them how welcome guests in a calmer way.
A few weeks before your gathering, start ringing the doorbell when you go in and out of the house. Your dog may typically be startled by a doorbell or loud knock, by increasing how frequently they experience these sounds you can help them get used to it.
Practice having your dog hold their sit in a pre-determined spot with a good view of the door. As you ring the doorbell, redirect them to their sit until they stay put. Allowing them to see the door prevents curiosity from breaking their training.
When guests arrive, direct your dog to their spot and have them wait to break their sit until your guests are ready for some love!
Break Begging Habits
The holidays always mean lots and LOTS of food. Your dog may be overwhelmed by a myriad of delicious aromas and begin begging your guests. If your dog is a notorious beggar, show them how you’d like them to act in these situations before your guests are around.
When your dog begins begging for human food, direct them out of the room and have them lay down there until you’re done — this may take a few reminders and a lot of patience.
Eventually, you can have your dog go lay down in the same room when you’re dining a few feet from the table. Reward their patience at the end of your mealtime with a dog treat. This is where you can direct your dog to go if they begin begging while food is out around guests.
Reward them throughout the evening with treats in this spot.
Let Your Dog be the Life of the Party
Dogs thrive on positive attention. Prepare a routine of tricks that your dog can show off for your guests! Your dog will love having all eyes on them — and your guests will love the entertainment. Check out our previous blog for inspiration on tricks to try.
This activity will also help your dog burn off excess energy. Then they can relax with your guests as they settle down with full bellies after dinner.
Your dog can be the perfect co-host at your next holiday gathering. How are you preparing? Let us know!