Nicely Dunn, my brother and sister-in-law’s Catahoula, is a Gracious dog Houseguest because his “Humans” are perfectly trained. Read about Nicely’s view on How to be a Gracious Houseguest. If you love dogs, your friends love dogs, and you have a lot of dog Houseguests, you need some Gracious Doghouse Rules.
- Traveling and a being in a new space can be stressful on you, your dog, and your Host, so set your expectations accordingly and be ready to cater to your pup 24/7. Get your mind right – it’s like traveling with a 70 pound infant. Bring your own dog food, extra food, bowls, dog toys and treats, poop bags, old towels for clean up, a leash, and your own Travel Dog Bed or crate. If your Host has a dog, bring a doggie Hostess Gift for your Host’s pup.
- Don’t ask or bring your dog if your dog bites, can’t be trusted with children or old people, barks a lot, growls, jumps on people, slobbers, sheds like crazy, steals food, chews things, is destructive, does not get along with your Host’s dog (even if your Host’s dog is a nightmare), has accidents in the house, is sick, cannot follow basic commands, or is allowed on the furniture at your house because your dog will jump up on a white sofa or new comforter with muddy paws – guaranteed.
- Clean up after your dog, scoop poop, wash off his sandy or muddy paws, and dry him off if he’s wet with the old towels you brought – before he goes into the house. Don’t let him slobber all over the furniture and watch your dog like a hawk if there are babies or young kids around.
- Don’t even think about bringing your dog to a dog-free home that’s immaculate with a Type A Host or a multi-million dollar house — it’s just not worth the stress on you, your dog, or your Host – and is the fastest way to turn a Gracious Host into a raving lunatic.