Dogs and NFL Sundays! If you like to have people over for Sunday Football, or guests in general, you are going to want to read the three main points of this quick blog. Having a game-plan (pun intended) is the easiest way to enjoy your guests while having a well behaved dog.
Work your dog before the guests come over. This one almost seems like a no brainer, but let me add to it. A dog that has had a walk and a few training sessions is much easier to control than a dog that has been caged up all day. Have a good play session in the morning, still practicing your sit, down, stay obedience training during the session. Run them hard and test their impulse control harder. Afterwards, take your dog for a 30 heel session an hour or two before your guests come over, practicing chaining directions and having your dog focus on you. The goal is not to run and get your dog wound up, but instead, calm and in control. Immediately after your walk, place your dog on their dog bed for a cold down period.
The leash is your biggest help, and never forget it! Leave your leash on after your walk, and use it wisely while your guests are coming over. How do we use it? To direct our dog to where they should be (whether you want them on place or by your side), to correct our dog for jumping on guests, or bring our dog with us when we need control. The leash is a communication and control tool. Use it to tell your dog what you want them to be doing, not just what they shouldn’t be doing!
NFL parties, guests coming over, and holidays means lots of alcohol and lots of food. Unfortunately we can’t train all of our guest not to drop chicken wings on the ground, to lock the garbage can, or not to leave food items on the coffee table. However, we should set up our dog up with scenarios this morning, and the next few weeks, to make sure our dog understands “Leave it” command. You should be challenging your dog, with the leash on, while dropping food items on the ground, putting plates on the edge of the table, all while you still can keep an eye on your dog. With enough good repetitions, you won’t have to keep your eye on them forever!
Bonus: Take your dog to a group class to really tire them out before your guests come over. Your dog needs to have a good time on the weekends too. Try to have your guests not acknowledge your dog for the first 5 minutes while they come in. Walking in and parading all over your dog is only going to overexcite them. An excited dog, is a jumping and barking dog.
When you bring your guests over, it's always best to either be holding the leash, or have your dog in stay on their place/crate. Once the guests arrives you want them to immediately to head to the kitchen table or counter, and not to the couch. The couch is too inviting, and your dog will have an easier time calming down if the guests are sitting higher up without the ability of your dog to crowd their space.
If you have any questions, or would like to sign up for a training session or follow up session, reach out to me personally and I will get it taken care of. Thank you!