You have spent many hours of many days preparing for the event of the year. You are hosting a very prestigious dinner party and your guests are due to arrive any minute.
Your home is absolutely beautiful, and rightly so. There is a five-star caterer on-site. The local flower shop has turned your home into a botanical garden. And you even have decorative fountains placed throughout the venue. Whatever occasion you are celebrating, you have done it right!
Your guest list is all-inclusive. Anybody who is anything will be present. Soon after everyone arrives, right in the middle of all the ‘oooh’s and aaah’s’ it all goes sour. Quickly. The family dog announces his arrival.
A full 30 seconds later, the dog has introduced himself by taking a swim in one of the fountains. Taking a stroll on top of the table through your caterer’s presentation. And promptly parked himself in Mrs. Jones’ lap. Mrs. Jones is neither amused nor a dog lover.
You forgot one little detail. You haven’t taken the time to teach the family dog how to properly act around people. Especially Mrs. Jones.
Oh if you could only go back in time! Well, we all know we can’t be time travelers. Just know, the dog needs some manners and you need some information. Some good information on, how to train your dog to be calm around house guests.
Mrs. Jones could probably use a drink about now.
Be calm, consistently calm
Training for a big social debut such as the one above begins a long time in advance. You may as well start in-house mannerisms from day one.
If you have friends and relatives over on a regular basis, the dog will adhere to these practices a bit quicker. Don’t try to teach the dog how to behave at three o’clock, two hours before the event. Not good.
You convey to the dog how they should behave. If you remain calm they too will be calm. Start using the same voice commands when greeting visitors. “Sit,” “Stay,” and “No” are some good ones, to begin with.
And when the dog responds well to these commands, over up some praise and of course some treats!
Maybe you just have yourself a very active dog. And remember, Mrs. Jones is not a dog fan. Create both of them their own separate space.
There are many items on the dog market that resemble a baby gate. Or, you have an old baby gate on hand. Unless you have a Saint Bernard, The use of a baby, er doggie gate will work.
The dog will calm himself once he realizes all of the attention is on the noisy gathering in the living room. He or she should be okay for a few hours. Just load up their space with plenty of food, water, and a small pile of treats.
Dogs think they have won a huge war when offered a small pile of treats instead of one at a time. And keep the pile small, treats are very high in calories. Don’t want to create a four-legged treat addict.
Usually a party the magnitude of the one we are discussing takes a lot of time to prepare. Advance preparations are something you can use to your advantage. And the dog’s as well.
Have a series of ‘mini-parties.’ And allow the furry family member to attend. As long as he behaves. The moment he gets to be too much, it’s off to a time-out space.
Dog’s and kid’s behaviors can be controlled (to a point). When the miss-behaving starts, be firm and be consistent. They will soon get the idea if they behave, they can stay.
If your big party is going to have a dozen or more guests, try having a series of events involving two or three. Five or six. Each time makes the crowd a bit larger and his proper behavior is more required each time.
It’s okay, to a point, for your dog to want everybody’s attention. And all of these strangers coming into the house are giving you more attention than them.
Start getting your dog accustomed to the phrase, ‘go’ and ‘no’ and ‘sit.’ These commands could also include having the dog sit quietly in one designated place until called for.
These are the dogs everyone will be talking about, in a good way.
When you tell your dog, ‘no’ it should indicate to them you are wanting them to go to ‘their place’ and lie down. You will be surprised at how easy it is to train a dog to respond to voice commands.
Just be consistent in both your commands and your reactions. And the never-ending supply of treats you seem to have in your pockets!
Work on how to greet people
Always have a leash within reach. You can begin to leash train your dog as soon as they come into your life. Whether a pup or a full-grown rescued animal, leash training is a must.
Repetition is key in trying anything new. What you are trying to teach is the importance of being on a leash when going with you to answer the door. Allow the dog to accompany you to the door, but not unless they are on a leash.
It’s a good way to gain quick control should the dog not take to well to your visitor. Train them to always wait to be leashed before opening the door.
Doggie day alternative
If your dog is going to be a problem at the big party, maybe schedule an overnight stay at a doggie spa. Or any pet boarding facility. Maybe if the animal is not present, Mrs. Jones won’t tell the neighborhood about your vicious monster who ruined her dress. Just saying.
Training your dog to be calm around house guests is like training them for any other preferred behavior.
Consistency, patients, love, and lots of treats is a great training formula for any dog. Even the one who trashed the big dinner party!