The Best Way To Train Your Dog During The Holiday Season

Knowing The best way to train your dog is important. After all, if we have not kept consistency with our dog when the holiday seasons come around, that just adds unnecessary stress.

The holiday season is a time to enjoy a break with your friends and family, which, of course, includes our dogs.

Why not use it to make your relationship with your dog better and teach your dog to stay calm around new people, to better enjoy their crate, or maybe not to beg for food? You can get the party involved in the process!

For example, set the intention for your guests. Something like, if “Charlie’’ comes to you and begs for a pat or attention, you need to ignore him and push him out of your space.

Anyone that is caught in the act must do a dare or put $1 in the jar, or something along these lines. Training your dog really can be inclusive, fun, and achievable over the holiday period.

So, this week I wanted to take a break from our at-home training guide tips.

Don’t worry, the video upload is still live for your free training guide found here on how to teach your dog to stay in place.

In the hopes that after reading this, you will be better prepared and able to avoid an avoidable Christmas Blunder.

I wanted to write about some commonly made mistakes that are made over the holiday period with our dogs. These are mistakes that can be easily avoided if we are aware of them.

Even the most well-intentioned dog owner might be guilty of some of these common mistakes.

The increase in holiday parties, house guests, and firework celebrations should be a time for cheer and laughter, but without knowing it, they can be incredibly stressful for our pets. So here are five top tips to be aware of this holiday season.

1. Be mindful of your dog’s anxiety when there is an increase in the number of people at your house. An influx of strangers into the home can trigger anxiety or aggression, resulting in dog bites if warning signs go unrecognized. Particularly if you live in a child-free home but there is a sudden influx of children running around and playing in the yard. Take the steps to think ahead and position your dog’s crate somewhere quiet so they can have a safe space to be left alone and rest without being poked and patted every 20 seconds. While we enjoy all the pets, sometimes our dogs prefer to be left alone.

2. Lack of physical activity Let’s face it, this time of year is crazy busy! Especially coming off the back of the lockdown, there seems to be even more to get done in a shorter space of time. This can often mean we unintentionally neglect our dog’s usual exercise routine. Make sure you are catering to your dog’s energy levels, and intentionally set this time aside for your dog. I know it is tough and you are most definitely tired, but an under-exercised dog is a foundation for increased anxiety, aggression, and or destruction. Trust me, setting this time aside for your dog is less stressful and energy-consuming for you in the long run.

3. Speak up for your dog. You know your dog best, so keep an eye on them throughout this time and be their spokesperson. If you can see that they have had enough attention from guests, simply ask them to leave your dog alone to rest, or as mentioned above, take your dog away from the centre of the party and to their own space where they can rest and relax.

4. Unintentional food poisoning This is a big and super common one over Christmas and relates to the previous point of advocating for your dog. Not everyone knows about dogs and what they can and cannot eat, or that feeding them all the random trimmings can cause some serious GI upsets. Make certain that no chocolate is left lying around, that no chicken or turkey bones are left lying around, and that people do not feed your dog with their hands, think…I have 15 people here; each one feeds the dog twice a day. That’s a lot of random food that can potentially end up in a very expensive vet visit.

5. Avoid buying cheap dog treats. Always opt for quality and NZ-made products where possible. There are some incredible brands out there that are natural, safe, and, hey, it’s always good to support local, right? Some of the cheap rawhide treats and Christmas-coloured dog treats can do more harm than good, ending up with vet visits and a very unwell feeling dog. Unfortunately, a lot of the cheaper treats can easily be swallowed whole or in large chunks, which can get stuck in your dog’s intestines, not to mention the chemicals that are added that are outright bad for your dog’s health.

These points and tips are not to scare you but to make you think and better prepare for the festive season.

So, to wrap it up… Be an advocate for your dog; keep an eye on them and how they are feeling be prepared; utilise their crate; keep them tired; avoid tip bits and cheap treats; and most of all, have fun!

That’s it from us for now. Thank you to all our clients and fellow dog lovers who have supported us this year. It is without question our best year yet, despite the challenges that have been faced with COVID-19. We hope you have a wonderful holiday season with your dogs, and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year.

Your Good Dog Training Team

Written by Amber Silich

If you have any questions about our dog daycare services or would like to book a place for your pet, please get in touch with us at 027 911 4115.

Scroll to Top