Last Minute Ways to Have a Well-Behaved Dog During the Holidays
Thanksgiving is finally upon us. The hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving and yummy treats just for the humans is enough to drive any dog mad. It could be hours of sitting around doing nothing while their owners cook delicious food they can’t have or talk to the cat-people relatives. Our dogs being underfoot, begging for turkey isn’t exactly helpful when we’re stressed from hours in the kitchen. Many dog owners wait until last minute and then realize a week of training just isn’t long enough to solve their dog’s behavior problems. So, here at Faithfully Yours Dog Training, we started testing a few ways to keep your dog happy while you get ready for the holidays.
These tips could apply to any situation where you need your dog relaxing and out of the way.
1. Puzzle Toys
I am crazy about food puzzle toys for dogs. Personally, I use them all the time with my dogs, but I always have extras stored away in the freezer during the holidays. Just pop in one of these filling recipes, with or without freezing, and you will have an entertained pup for hours. Kong is the most well-known brand that makes these toys, but Planet Dog, West Paw, and many other companies make challenging puzzle toys too. If you are in a pinch and don’t own a puzzle toy, filling up a bowl with water and a few dog treats, and then throwing it in the freezer might do the trick for dogs that love the cold.
2. Flirt Pole
A flirt pole is essentially a giant cat toy for dogs. They can chase the dog toy at the end until they are ready for a nap. I find that flirt poles are extremely useful for canines that have an overwhelming supply of energy. Squishy Face Studio makes our favorite one. For people with dogs that jump on guests or zoom around the Christmas tree, this is a secret for calming them down. You don’t need to stay outside in the cold long for this to be effective either.
A must is taking a nice walk with your dog before company arrives or before you start opening presents. Many people don’t walk their dogs enough and just going on walks can help with many common behavior problems. As much as your dog loves playing fetch in the backyard, it isn’t very mentally stimulating for a dog. Even if you have a huge yard, you should still be walking your dog daily. Hiring a dog walker might benefit those families that never seem to catch a break during the holidays. Once Upon a Pet offers dog walking and pet sitting services here in Mississippi.
A quick little training session before you get busy is a good idea as well. Training sessions are a great option if your dog is an intelligent little troublemaker. Pick a super simple trick or cue to practice and spend around five to ten minutes training it before Thanksgiving dinner is served. Training is extremely mentally stimulating for dogs, and it can help keep them from getting bored. It doesn’t matter if you are good at training your dog or not. It doesn’t even matter if he is “getting it” right away. Just the extra attention and thinking can do a bad dog good. So, spend some quality time with your dog on Thanksgiving to ensure he doesn’t take all that spunk out on the in-laws.
Next year, get a head start on your training and make sure your dog isn’t on Santa’s naughty list, by signing up for one of our new training programs. Enrollment for January private classes starts December 1st, 2016. Start the new year with a well-behaved dog!