Ask Valli of Oh My Dog

T51-16-EDIT-Oh My DogQuestion: I have a terrier-poodle mix and a Yorkie that I love so much. I want to have a little holiday party and am worried about my dogs acting up when people come over. They jump up on people but after a while they usually calm down. I know there are boarding places that I could use but I don’t really want to do that. What can I do?

Answer: This is a very common problem and is troubling when elders and children are present. Since it’s already holiday season, unless you feel highly committed to a couple lessons and practicing with your dog daily, it may be too late for formal training prior to your holiday gathering. You are going to have to use a leash for both of them.

In this scenario you know people are about to come to your home so you put the leash on your dogs’ collars making sure in advance that each collar will fit two of your fingers inside of it and no more so your dogs will not pop out and yet the collars will not be too tight. A leash can be put on a dog any time, as long as it is not put on the dog in anger. A standard six-foot leash is not only the leash law but is your connection between you and your dog.

With your dog in a full sit or standing up and by holding the loop of the leash in one hand, the other end attached to your dogs’ collars and where the leashes touch the ground in a “u” shape, step on the leashes. This is not the only way to get dogs to stop jumping but in the case of dogs that are not impulse control trained, it is a good second. This will not hurt them, you can request your guests walk right by the dogs and by the time you close your door, turn to greet them and release your foot from the leashes, your dogs will be even a little bit calmer and at least there will be no jumping at the front door. The word is “off” for this problem and I do suggest you start using it today so by the time your holiday gathering comes you’ll have a head start with your dogs and be able to have a good time with less stress.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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