Dog Training

Holiday Travel with a New Puppy

holiday travel with german shepherd

The holidays are upon us.  If there is a new puppy in your life, you may be tempted or encouraged to take your latest family addition along for holiday festivities and fun.

Your host may utter the phrase “bring the puppy with you” with good intentions but be entirely oblivious to the chaos, danger, and stress four furry feet can bring into a house.

Follow the suggestions below to avoid holiday travel puppy situations that could be considered “challenging” in the moment or “embarrassing” for years to come.

Puppy Energy

Puppies come prepackaged with a lot of energy. Not everyone will appreciate a puppy’s enthusiasm and curiosity.

Exercise your puppy before arriving at your guest’s house.  Do not plan on other guests tiring out your puppy.

Housetraining Accidents

puppy pooping accident

Your puppy’s housetraining may or may not transfer to a guest’s house. Prevent potty accidents by taking your puppy outside regularly and often.

If your puppy is unconfined in the house, keep the pup in sight at all times. Do not forget the old adage “what goes in, must come out.” Monitor your puppy’s food and water intake and plan accordingly.

Holiday Travel Safety Concerns

german shepherd puppy with kids

Be ready for people to inadvertently but consistently open up doors long enough for your puppy to run outside into a potentially unsafe, unfenced area. Be sure your pup is wearing their collar and tags just in case.

Ribbons, tinsel, lights, chocolate, nuts, poultry bones, and other potential blockage-causing or toxic items could be within your tempted puppy’s reach. Locate these hazards and remove or relocate if possible. Otherwise, supervise your pup around these items.

If kids are around, this is an excellent opportunity to socialize your pup with miniature human-like creatures.

Children and puppies need to learn how to behave with one another. Be sure to monitor these interactions so no one involved becomes overly rough, aggressive, tired, or cranky.

Your Dog’s Body Language

german shepherd christmas

Everyone aims for memorable and smooth holiday travel and festivities, but it doesn’t always happen. The holidays can cause anxiety, stress, over-excitement, and even anger.

A new setting, compiled with strange people and loud noises, can initially overwhelm a puppy. Be sure you are watching your dog’s body language and not subjecting your pup to stress and overstimulation.

Also, remember that dogs are susceptible to their owner’s emotions. If you are calm and relaxed, your pup is more apt to adjust quickly to a new environment successfully.

Holiday Travel Final Tip

german shepherd in crate

I will always sing the praises of crate training any dog and especially a puppy.  Here is why:

When you travel this holiday season with your puppy, bring along their crate. A crate will allow you to confine your puppy safely and “worry-free” when you are unable to supervise them or ready to gather around the table for the holiday feast.

Your puppy’s crate will also provide your pup with a familiar place to nap, to be out of the way when needed, and make a more welcome guest who gets invited back year after year!

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