Prepare Your Dog for Holiday Guests

Whether you’re excited to spend the Holidays surrounded by friends or dreading the incoming of your in-laws, your dog likely has no idea the chaos that is about to descend upon you all. Luckily, we’ve got some ways to prepare and protect your dog this holiday season.

You know your dog best, and there are canines with certain disposition that should just be kept away from large groups of people, including:

  • Aggressive dogs
  • Noise-phobic dogs
  • Shy dogs
  • Untrained and jumpy dogs

Make Sure He Knows Standard Commands

Your dog should know some basic manners and behaviors before he is introduced to any guests. Short training sessions even a few times a day can produce results. Common commands that will prove helpful when your guests arrive are:

Sit: Sit (along with the ‘stay’ command) is an essential and versatile command for your dog to know. A dog who understands this command can be trained to allow visitors to come to them for petting instead of jumping on them as soon as they step through the door. Knowing how and when to sit or stay will also ensure your dog doesn’t go into places where he is not supposed to go, like the kitchen full of delicious food.

Leave It: Let’s say one of your guests accidentally drops some of their food on the ground. Food that could be poisonous to your dog. Training your dog to “leave it” before he jumps to eat it up can save his life!

Go (to your place): If your dog just isn’t behaving well in front of your guests, perhaps he’s too excited to be around so many people or he’s simply getting in the way, giving him a special place in the house that is solely his and teaching him to go there provides a great escape plan. This place for your dog can be anything from his bed or even his crate. Just somewhere away from guests that he can go to calm down in addition to giving everyone else a break.

Make Sure He is Comfortable with Petting

Before introducing your dog to guests, you should be sure that he truly enjoys being petted by you or anyone else – on all body parts. If you see him trying to duck out of the way, tucking his tail, or sinking to the floor, this indicates a dog that is not comfortable and you should reevaluate his ability to be around others. If kids will be around, make sure they know how to properly pet an animal and never let them hug your dog. While we’re all eager to hug friends and relatives when they come to visit, most dogs do not like hugs.


While you rush to make sure your guests will be as comfortable as possible, please don’t forget to keep your furry friend in mind. After all, these are intruders on his territory so his comfort shouldn’t be neglected!