Ask Kathy About Integrating Your Dog Into Dinner Parties...

By Kathy Santo | Updated: April 12 2019

Student’s Question:

“Yesterday we adopted a very hyper, 8 month-old puppy from the shelter and were wondering how to integrate him into our dinner party next month. We’re expecting a hundred people, and the guests range from toddlers to the very elderly, so we want him to be well-behaved when he’s wandering around. Any tips?”

Kathy’s Answer:

Let me make sure I’m understanding this: You have a new, hyper, adolescent puppy, and are wondering how to train him to accept not only the new home and new family that he’s with, but also a hundred people that he’s never met before? I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s a slim to none chance that you’ll be able to quick-train this dog into the party ambassador that you so desire. Not only that, but I believe it’s asking way too much of a puppy to have to deal with that kind of excitement and potential stress.

Probable disasters range from him jumping on and injuring a guest, stealing food (or having a guest feed him!) resulting in an upset stomach, or, the ever popular, failing to alert someone of his need to use the “facilities” and leaving an unwelcome surprise on the floor. In my opinion, your dog – and you – would be happier if he were upstairs in a bedroom, preferably under the watchful eye of a neighborhood teen you hired for the event, whose sole purpose is to meet the puppy’s needs. After the party, dedicate yourself to obedience training him, and maybe he can make his debut at next year’s event!

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Waldwick, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.


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