Handling the party well
Wanted to share my experience with WD (11 months old) on his very first party here at the house with a crowd of 25 + people. Hope this will help you in a similar situation.
Because of the holidays our schedules and his life was already confusing enough, including the Christmas tree, college kids home again etc. He barked at the few couples coming in (we live rural so I didn't have a lot of opportunity to prep him as a young pup for large parties) so I leashed him and rewarded his good behavior. But I could see that as more people came he got more and more alert and the fun was just starting. I decided to crate him and let him work through this experience and digest the input. I took him out of his crate on leash after about half an hour, sat in a relatively shielded corner of the room with him so he could see from some distance what was going on, feeding him treats every so often, then took him closer to the crowd, let people feed him cheese and other good stuff that he normally never gets, then took him back to his crate for another break and so on. The result: later that evening he was off leash, mingling with everyone, couldn't care less about what was going on. The off and on crate time saved his sanity I am sure and resulted in a good experience for him. Mission accomplished.
Good boy, WD!! :thumbup:
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