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Holidays a Great Time to Reinforce Training with Your Dog

It is easy for us to forget about our dogs or to become overwhelmed at holiday parties.  We tend to put our human guests first.  Your dog is just as important as your guests and training your dog during holiday parties not only helps with the generalization process but it also helps create the household to be more calm and peaceful.  Your dog wants to be included in the fun and training is a great way to create this inclusion.  Obedience training also reinforces the “good” behavior that you want your dog to perform more often.

Below are some great tips that we recommend for your holiday party dog training.  Salt Lake City, is super dog friendly so we are assuming that many of your guests will be more than happy to support you in this endeavor!

1.) When visitors arrive, this is a great time to train your dog to be calm and to perform obedience.  This training can include a variety of options:

2.) While your guests are eating train your dog to not beg.  Training your dog to go to his bed is a great option!

3.) If your dog is extremely barky when people knock at the door.  Have people text you upon their arrival.  Tell your guests when you are ready for them to knock you will text them back.  Then when the guests knock, train your dog an alternate behavior such as going to his bed.

4.) Talk to your guests beforehand so that they know what is expected of them.  Discuss how their actions affect your dog’s behavior.  Remind them that it is important for them to only give your dog attention when your dog is calm and quiet.

5.) Put a sign on the door.  This sign can help enroll guests to support in you dog obedience. This sign might say one of the following:

  • Please be patient.  Our dog is in training.
  • Please text upon arrival and await further instruction via text.
  • Please do not knock and text us upon your arrival.  We will let you in when we are ready.

6.) Designate a certain family member to be in charge of training your dog during the party to ensure obedience.

7.) Give each guest a bag of treats.  Ask them to only give your dog treats when your dog is sitting, downing, or being calm.

8.) If you really cannot train your dog.  Have your dog stay at a relative’s or friend’s home during the party.  This is called management. Your dog will not learn anything but at least your dog will not be practicing the “bad” behaviors.

Performing dog training is important during the holidays to ensure generalization in higher distracting settings.  If you need further support Please consult some professional dog trainers.  Salt Lake City has plenty of reward-based dog training options.

Your Turn! We want to hear from you! Please post a comment below!

What actions will you perform to make sure that you create success with dog training and obedience during holiday parties?

Happy Holidays!

Johanna Teresi, Professional Trainer and Owner of Four Legged Scholars LLC, Dog Training, Salt Lake City

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