How to keep your dog calm over Christmas
With all the hustle and bustle and visitors constantly coming and going over Christmas it’s easy for your dog to become overwhelmed. Some dogs will become nervous and others will become extremely excitable.
Here are a few pointers to keep your dog calm and your visitors happy.
1) Always give your dog the option to find some peace and quiet. Just like humans, every so often your dog just needs some time to itself to relax and allowing your dog access to a quiet room will be appreciated (If it isn’t a wkd trained dog you might want to think twice about giving him/her free access to the kitchen and make sure you put all food out of their reach.)
2) Ask your visitors to completely ignore your dog until he/she has relaxed. Remember that just like with persistent children even bad attention can be rewarding. If you and your guests don’t speak to, touch or look at your dog it won’t be long before boredom sets in, the visitors become uninteresting to your dog and he will slip off to fall asleep.
3) If your dog is very active and fails to settle even after long periods of time you are lucky to have a couple of weeks left before Christmas to teach your dog to be calm.
Certain breeds and temperaments of dog require training to be calm and without a doubt the best way is to utilise a crate. Set your dogs crate up somewhere quiet and begin with short periods of time with the door secured, whilst the dog is in the crate completely forget that he exists, no eye contact, no talking and no giving treats. Before long you dog will get bored and fall asleep. The only items which should be in the crate are a tough bed and a bowl of water. To add toys would be counterproductive.
You will likely find that after a couple of session in the crate the dog will choose to sleep there of his own accord. When this happens you are well on the way to teaching your dog that it has an off switch.