The Perfect Canine Host

October 25, 2015

Having a Dog Who is Enjoyable to Guests, and Enjoys Guests Too!

We feel your pain! We often talk to clients about the stress of having people over, and wanting your dog to be the perfect host, able to greet politely when friends and fam come to the door, allowing guests to nosh without bothering them, and a cool customer when it comes to hanging out. Here are our quick and dirty problem-solving tips:

A polite “hello and pleased to meet you!”

Before your guests arrive, get out the treats. Whoops! Is that a bowl of treats for the guests? Nope, not chocolate but dog treats to get your dog’s attention and a civilized sit at the door. Having your dog’s leash on ahead of time is helpful too.

Yours is yours and mine is mine!

Ready to serve? Have a scrumptious stuffed Kong (freezing it makes it last longer) to occupy your dog while you and your guests dine. Think peanut butter, fruits and veggies, plain yogurt, dry treats or kibble. Bully sticks and marrow bones are terrific choices as well.

Sit down and stay awhile

Everyone settled to watch a movie or the big game? This is a great time to have your pup on his or own dog bed. Teach a “place” cue ahead of time, asking your dog to go to their bed or mat for just a few seconds to start. Keep it short and sweet in the beginning, gradually building up to several minutes or more. Make their bed a happy place by giving treats on the bed.

Take a spin around the block

Get those ya-ya’s out with a long walk or play session before guests arrive. Be sure to allow your dog time to relax and come down off the playtime high — but exercise always helps to curb excitement.

Got a wallflower?

If you’ve got a shy dog, it’s okay if they skip the party altogether! Get your shy or nervous dog comfy in your bedroom with an irresistible and longlasting chewbone or Kong. Play calming music such as a Through A Dog’s Ear cd — check out Wearing a Thundershirt might help your dog feel cozy too.

Is your dog having a blind date?

Meet the new visiting dog out of the house and at the curb for a more low-key intro, then take a quick walk together to ‘get to know ya.’ Having all toys and bones put away before the new dog arrives can minimize potential squabbles and make for a more peaceful time.

Written by Susan Marett and C.C. Bourgeois, originally published in Beau Magazine’s Autumn Issue 2015