Tis the season for Christmas parties, hot cocoa, and sweets on every counter! If your family is anything like ours, holidays can be a bit chaotic. We wanted to take a moment to share three commands to teach your dog to keep the peace (and joy!) in your home.
Those hard candies left on the counter could mean an emergency vet visit. Those shiny ribbons and tiny baby Jesus' could be a potential choking hazard. You may not be quick enough to catch your dog before they swallow something, so teach your pup to drop things on command.
Start a tug-of-war game with your pup. (Pro Tip: Use a boring toy so they give up faster)
After a few tugs, tell your pup to "drop it" and offer them a treat. When they drop the toy, reward them!
Want to get more advanced? Start a game of fetch. When your pup is about to drop the ball, say "drop it."
We all know doorways can become chaos-zones. Lots of accidents can happen in the tight space of an entryway, especially if your pup gets involved. Here's how to teach your dog to wait when the door is open:
Stand by a closed door and tell your pup to sit or lie down. Once they're calm, open the door a little. When your pup comes near the door, close it.
Repeat until your pup remains seated or even walks away from the door. Open the door wider and wider the more comfortable your dog gets.
Keep practicing till you can go out the door and your dog remains on the other side calmly. Once you get to this point, reward them with a treat and lots of praise.
Your dog may be just as excited to see your relatives as you, but that doesn't mean you want them jumping in their arms and tumbling down the front steps. Try teaching your dog to sit to be greeted. You want your dog to learn that "their butt is a switch: when it's on the ground, the greeting turns on. When it's off the ground, the greeting stops."
Leash or tether your dog to an object that won't move when they do. Tell them to "sit."
Once they sit, come toward them calmly.
Did they remain sitting? Keep coming and reward them with praise! Did they stand up or start pulling? Back away and tell them to sit.
Repeat this "sit" and approach routine until you can see that they understand that sitting means a greeting and a treat!
Want to get more advanced? Up your excitement till you can race up to your pup squealing their name and they still remain seated.
Consistent practice will help you and your pup have the best Christmas yet! If you're interested in more dog training resources, check out Baxter and Bella's online tutorial library! (Use Code: INSPIRE for 25% OFF!) This resource has blessed so many of our families, not only with their dogs, but in understanding how to communicate with their dogs. We always say, they can't speak "talk" and we can't speak "bark". The best way to communicate effectively is to learn how to train them to interact with us. We wish you a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Your Bluegrass Family!