We all love Christmas and the Holiday Season because it allows us to live life a little differently than we do for the rest of the year. There are parties, trips, guests, presents, and a whole lot of unique things that normally don’t happen the rest of the year. We call this “fun, unique, and special”. Our dogs often call this “scary and weird”.
Why would our dogs think “scary and weird” when we think “fun, unique, and special”? The answer is very simple. They don’t know what the heck is going on. They spend the rest of the year watching and learning every little sound, smell, and sight going on in and around the house. They have just been dropped into the realization of Monty Python’s “…And now something completely different”.
If we could plan and teach our dogs about everything that could happen during The Holidays, they would understand, know how to act, and feel safe in the moment. The problem is that we have no idea how our party guests are going to act the moment they walk through the door.
Our home is our dog’s safe place. It is like their den in the wild. They should always feel safe at home and it is our job to make that happen. If we can’t manage the environment and keep them safe at home, they will react in adrenalized ways that will, at the minimum, be annoying. At the extreme, their reactions could become dangerous.
So, the question is, how do we prepare for something that is unclear to us? How do we plan for the unknown? The answer is simple. We must create a consistency within the craziness of Christmas parties and out-of-town holiday family members. That will allow us to provide the safety our dog needs.
Luckily, Robin and I have a great dog training article that provides you the answer. Please take a moment and read our dog training article titled “How Do I Keep My Dog in Control with Christmas House and Party Guests”.