Deb D’Andrea, Nederland. With the holidays approaching, and many of us holding and attending family and friend gatherings, I wanted to discuss canine party etiquette. I have attended several parties at friends’ homes where they have large, open space property and the dogs run freely through acres, swinging by to check-in with their people throughout the evening; or, the complete opposite at another friends’ place where everyone was inside a much smaller area, with no yard to speak of. Each event host had host dogs; some that were friendly; others visibly not so thrilled having canine guests.
When invitations go out, I determine if it’s a dog friendly gathering or not. If it is dog friendly, I look to see how many people are attending as sometimes it’s better to leave Fido home and enjoy quality time with friends. The last thing anyone wants to do is show up to a friend’s party with your dog where the host dog isn’t happy about having other dogs around. This type of situation can escalate quickly between dogs, not only placing the people throwing the party in a tight spot; but raising the possibility of a dog fight breaking out in the middle of their party.
Thus, if the invitation says “No dogs,” try to respect your friends request and not bring your dog, thinking it’ll just be okay. It might not be, and dogs weren’t invited. Even when they are invited, I carefully consider which parties to bring them to as it can be a bit overwhelming for them and other people attending the gathering. Not every person attending a party is dog friendly, with some people being allergic; granted, I can’t say personally I know anyone allergic to dogs up here. If you have any reservations about how your dog will react and who is going to be there, it is usually in your dog’s best interest to leave them home with a movie and a good bone to chew on in your absence.
With that said, I have witnessed dogs get along swimmingly at gatherings, with upwards of twenty-five dogs playing and having a blast, clearly outnumbering humans. I have also witnessed events with five to six dogs where two dogs will have a personality conflict resulting in a scuffle amongst them all; and everyone getting banished to a room or backseat of the car, which in summertime heat or wintertime cold can quickly turn deadly. I’ve also witnessed dogs getting bullied by other dogs, and their people engaged in conversation, completely oblivious that their dog isn’t having any fun and can’t even get away to get to their person.
I totally understand wanting to take our dogs with us everywhere; but, I try to think about the dynamics of the gathering. How many people and other dogs are going to be there? Is there loud music playing that could cause them to become anxious and possibly bolt? Are there shaded places for them to hang out under or inside spots to get warm? How much space is there for both dogs and humans? If it’s a tight space, paws and tails could get stepped on or tripped over, and that wouldn’t be fun. Then the big question, can you relax and enjoy the gathering more when leaving your dog home for a few hours? Most of you know I will bow out of a gathering early to go home to my dogs after leaving them for a couple hours. I enjoy my friends and my time shared with them as well as my dogs.
Till next time. Deb D’Andrea, founder of 4TheLuvOfDogz & the Caribou Dog Ranch is recognized by the State of Colorado as a Certified Canine Massage Therapist and will visit your home or Vet’s office to work with your dog. Canine Agility may be offered at the Caribou Dog Ranch in 2017 if there is interest. Deb currently has limited availability for new Petz Nanny Clients; and she bakes up fresh dog treats & doggy birthday cakes per order. For information contact Deb at 720-675-7078 or email: email@example.com.