Holidays and Dogs

This year, we hosted Thanksgiving. My parents, my sister, and Yun's parents all convened at our new house. All the people got along fine, but Loki didn't care for all of our visitors. I think the entire ordeal just caused him lots of unnecessary stress.

He barked lots at our guests. And I mean LOTS. It was infuriating, annoying, and frustrating. I felt bad for both him and our guests. He was very stressed, and I was afraid that our guests felt unwelcome by all the barking. In the beginning, I think that he perceived our guests as intruders. Or maybe he was just barking because there was too much chaos and commotion. Who knows?

Yun's parents stayed for an entire week, and Loki kept barking. We speculate that perhaps he felt that these people were now part of our pack, and he could move up the social ladder. We don't really know what goes on inside his head. But slowly with time, he did improve. It took a bit more patience than I had. Definitely by the last day, he was pretty good, but still not 100% calm.

Here are some resources for dog owners about the holidays:
AKC's Tips
About.com
Pet Education

We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday season!

3 comments:

Bibby said...

This my worry, I have my parents coming for a month from England and I know we are going to have the barking thing constantly, Lily is scared of strangers and Bear follows her lead. I hope they calm down, I guess I will find out in just over a week.

Masako said...

Hi Vi,

I'm so sorry you didn't have much of a relaxing holiday. I had the same issue with Winnie when my best friend visited last year at New Years. We found it helped when we all ignored Winnie completely (no eye contact, or talking to her). And then, I would have my friend come with us on our walks and hold the leash. It took about 2 days, but Winnie eventually stopped barking at her. They are such protective little dogs and anything "new" can really stress them out easily. Our only problem is that we don't have many guests throughout the year, so we don't have many opportunities to work on her behavior modification.

Bibby said...

That actually is a really cool idea, maybe I could get my parents to meet us and walk with the dogs into the house. I think I will try that.We are in the same boat with infrequent visitors too.

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