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Holiday Toller Tips!

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Humans have a lot of holidays, which is great for us doggies because it means extra treats, toys and most importantly time with our humans! But there are some things to keep in mind during any holiday function to ensure we doggies have a happy holiday!

Henry Toller Tails exmaining what the Easter Bunny left him

1. Human Foods Can Upset Toller Tummies.

Human food smell great and is tasty, but it can be dangerous for us doggies. Tollers, in particular, are known to have sensitive stomachs. That's why it's always good to ensure that during the holidays that any special celebratory foods aren't accessible to any household pets, especially dogs. Humans often like to celebrate with sweets and alcohol. While chocolate sure smells good, it's toxic to dogs and cats. Candies and sweets containing xylitol are also toxic.

Let's not forget the yummy smell of beer! It smells good to us dogs and humans often leave their glasses of beer, wine or other alcoholic beverages at doggy level. No matter how tempting it's best not to sneak a lick as it may upset our Toller tummies or send us to the animal ER. If you or your humans are wondering what foods are not dog and cat friendly, the American Human Society is a great resource.

2. Toy Wrappings and Tags Can Be Dangerous. Getting a new toy or sometimes stealing a human's toy is so exciting. Yet for some reason dog toys and well lots of things come wrapped in plastic packaging and material that might be toxic to pets.

That's why it's important to make sure your humans are in the same room when you are unwrapping your gift...or sneaking into their gifts. One thing my humans do to ensure we don't have to visit the animal ER or veterinarian is they remove all tags.

Removing tags includes not only the tiny plastic pieces embedded in toys and attached to the price tag information, but also the tag manufacturers sew into the seams of dog toys. There are two reasons for removing this.

First, sometimes the toy tags have a plastic coating and when ingested it can cause stomach upset and throw up. Second, removing the tag sewed into the seam of my toy makes my toy last a bit longer. My humans noticed that being a Toller, I have figured out that by tugging at the manufacturer tag I can destroy my dog toy more quickly.

Practicing the "leave it" command when we have a new toy can be annoying. Nothing like the feeling of tearing into a new squeaky toy or chomping on a chew toy. No matter how irritating it can be, when our humans ask us to "leave it" this is a good thing. First, practicing "leave it" with our humans helps us practice self regulation and also increases the fun when they say "okay!"

Second, it makes the humans really happy. Mainly because they get to take a picture of us in some outfit or with our toy. Being a doggy, making humans happy is just one of the awesome things we do.

3. Too Many Visitors Can Be Stressful. Safe Spaces and Comfort Skills like "Under" are helpful. Having more time with my humans is the best thing about any human holiday. It means more play, cuddle, hiking and walking time. It can also mean more people in my house. Like any dog, us Tollers need some space and quiet when things get too loud. Also, if you are not used to children then it can be stressful having them around as little humans are unpredictable.

Safe spaces like a crate are great! Most humans ensure we have a crate or safe space where we can go when we feel overwhelmed. But it's important that our humans remind their guests and especially the little humans that our crate or safe space is our special place. When we go to our safe place it means that we need alone time.

Practicing the "Under" command in a full house. My humans have found that the "under" command is helpful in a crowded bus or in a busy stressful environment. It helps us stay calm and can keep us from getting stepped on or squashed. The "under" command is a command that many service dogs are taught, but it is also helpful for all dogs. Humans have posted lots of videos on YouTube on how to train dogs on the "under" safety comand. Make sure your humans review videos using positive reinforcement training techniques.

If you and your humans have completed basic and intermediate dog obedience courses, then you may know how to do this already. If you don't, then find a dog trainer who uses humane positive reinforcement to help you communicate with your human. Have a happy and safe human holiday.

Those are my Holiday Toller Tips. Stay Toller-rific!


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