Dog Training: Setting Boundaries for Holiday Manners

During the holidays, many people consider dog training, either for travel or to manage their dogs’ behavior. Some opt for boarding, while others confine their dogs to crates or the laundry room. These measures are often necessary for dogs that tend to jump on guests or attempt door dashing and food snatching. 

In this blog, we’ll delve into dog training methods to prepare your furry friend for holidays, birthdays, or similar events. The best time to start is now. As I (Salem Luethy) often say, “Don’t wait until it’s an emergency to practice.” Begin practicing commands like “Place” with your family members before unexpected guests arrive. 

Place serves as an excellent foundation for dog training, setting clear boundaries. While challenging, it’s a standard skill in many dog training classes. Early initiation is crucial, as mastering this command takes time, especially in different situations. 

Another vital aspect of dog training is the Leave It command, not just for food but also for managing behaviors like jumping on guests or excessive barking. Additionally, instill good door manners, teaching dogs to wait for permission before going through. 


Managing the Environment 

Implement rules like no dogs in the kitchen to prevent ingestion of harmful items and accidents. Employ tools such as baby gates to control access, especially when guests are coming and going. Leashing your dog during gatherings is a dog training technique to monitor and prevent undesirable behaviors. 

Crates prove valuable in dog training for safety, providing a secure space, especially in stressful situations with guests. 

When family visits from out of town, consider potential challenges and incorporate them into your dog training: 

  • Kids: Ensure they respect the dog’s space and understand appropriate behavior. 
  • Grandma: Address concerns about jumping or sneaking treats to the dog. 
  • Uncle Greg: Be aware of different training methods that may not align with yours. 
  • Aunt Linda: Consider her experience with dogs and remind her to close doors securely. 


Always be aware of your dog’s location to prevent accidents. Utilize tools like baby gates, leashes, and crates for added control. 


Safe and Toxic Foods 

Understanding safe and toxic foods is an integral part of training.  

Safe foods include turkey without bones or skin, plain potatoes, apples, pumpkin, peas, green beans, carrots, bread, cheese, rice, and corn.  

Dog training also involves avoiding toxic foods like turkey skin, bones, stuffing, gravy, candy, gum, chocolate, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with added ingredients, pumpkin pie, alcohol, grapes, raisins, onions, corn cobs, apple cores, and scallions. 

In the end, it’s entirely acceptable to consider training through boarding for peace of mind. If you want to enhance manners while boarding, Pawhootz offers a special: a 30-minute dog training lesson for $45, with an additional $5 off for the month December 2023. 

This blog was written by Lead Dog Trainer, Salem Luethy.

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