The holiday hustle is here. In my house that means not only scouring and organizing everything—from top to bottom—in preparation of holiday guests but also training your pets for your guests. My two fur boys, Abe and Chico, don’t slide under my radar either. Not even for a minute. By December 24, when all of my house guests descend, they will be as handsome as ever- freshly groomed and donning their Christmas bowties. Most importantly, they will be well behaved—relatively speaking—and a welcome addition to our party. If you have recently added a new four legged family member to your pack, now is the perfect time to add a few manners to their repertoire—especially if holiday visitors are in your very near future.
Tips For Training Your Pets Just in Time for Holiday Guests
- Potty Training: As the famous Forrest Gump alluded to—“S&!t happens.” We just don’t want it happening in your house in the presence of company. If you have a very young puppy, crate training and frequent visits outside are a must. For any age dog, a training aid spray with a pheromone scent will attract your pooch to the spot you would like them to “do their business.” Training aid sprays can be used outside or accompanied by a training pad inside your home. Is your kitty missing his litter box? Try a cat litter attractant that aids in training and corrects inappropriate elimination. I would couple that with a stain and odor remover and litter box deodorizer from Simple Solution to really get any existing problem smells out.
- Jumping on Guests: For pet lovers like us, it is hard to believe non-pet loving people exist. But they do. And so do new holiday outfits. One way to practice a calm greeting is to enter your home and greet your dog in a neutral voice. If your dog jumps on you, immediately turn around and ignore your dog. Do not interact, praise or scold. Repeat. Finally, praise, treat and love abundantly when you come in and your dog does not jump. Ask family members and friends to come over and practice this technique with your dog as well. The more the better before your holiday company arrives.
- Counter Surfing: Holiday guests usually means there is more food around and more opportunities to surf. One training technique is to fill an empty can with beans and duct tape the top. When you see your pet beginning to counter surf, bang the can on the floor (not on your dog) and the loud sound should curb his behavior. With practice, your dog should associate counter surfing with an annoying noise that he would rather not hear.
- Safe place: Creating a safe place for your dog or cat to rest, away from company, is important. Whether that be a crate, a bedroom or an area of the house separated by a baby gate, this cozy environment is essential. Fill it with all of his favorite things—a warm blanket, toys and chews and perhaps a calming pheromone spray. If your pet is acting unsure about his new company, this will be a welcome retreat space.
With a few manners under their belt, your dog or cat just might become the most special part of your guests’ visit and a warm memory for years to come. Do you have any tips for training your pets? Share them in our comments!