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How to Train Your Dog to Behave at Your Wedding

by Marguerite Morley

When pet parents plan their weddings, they sometimes want to include their dogs in their big day. Most of the pictures their dog baby calmly walking down the aisle drawing happy reactions from their guests. Reality versus expectations though can be vastly different. If you want the expectations, though, it’s going to take some training. Here are some tips on how to train your dog to behave at your wedding.

Temperament

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Depending on the temperament of your dog, if your furry baby has always behaved hyper and shows its the joy of life by running around, then you’ll need an escort and a dog harness. It’s important to consider how your dog feels with new people and music playing. If that is stressful for your pup normally, it might be too much for your baby. Leading veterinary behaviorists implore dog parents to ensure the dog isn’t traumatized. Even if it’s your special day, be sure to ensure the safety of your pet’s feelings. Once you’ve determined that your furry baby isn’t traumatized by music and other people, you can begin the training process. Here are some things to help train your dog that works with all types of temperaments.

  • Begin by walking the dog on the isle at the venue daily for two weeks.
  • Offer rewards to your dog at the end of the aisle.
  • Add more aspects of the real event gradually.

Think of it as gradually building up to the big event. Begin, of course, by introducing the action you want your dog to take. Reward accordingly as your dog follows the commands. Then add in the noises and other people that are distracting to help your dog learn to focus on the prize. Make sure you have the prize each time, including your big day. Don’t forget to include “sit” as a command at the end with a hand gesture. Most people incorporate giving the treat as the command, so the dog sits nicely at the end of the aisle. Lastly, if your dog won’t do it, then it isn’t a good choice for your big day.

Include a Guide

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It’s important to note that the person who walks the dog down the aisle at the wedding should be someone it trusts. That guide will be holding the dog harness at the wedding. So they walk the dog down the aisle. That same person gives the treat as they whisper the code word to sit. They then hold the dog harness just in case. All that training should give you an excellent result for your big day. It goes without saying that the guide must be a trusted member of the family. It can be a good friend, but it should be someone the dog knows and loves. That ensures a hassle-free addition to your special day. You can include your dog with a bit of training. Most pet parents know that training is a requirement for everything, so it’s simply another training session for your furry baby.

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Rules

It’s important to note that some locations won’t allow access to the venue prior to the big day. They might not allow pets at all. So it’s important to ask before beginning this plan. It can even be the determining factor in your selection of the venue for the wedding. Most outdoor venues allow dogs. A park is an amazing place to host your ceremony with pets included. They feel at home, and you can enjoy the natural decor of nature all around you. Be sure to train your dog to behave as they should in the venue, as the rules demand. These are the small things that count in creating a perfect wedding day. It also helps you get your security deposit at the end.

Make it Fun!

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Remember to relax during this stressful time. Make it a fun time for your dog. Think, “let’s go walk at the wedding,” as an introduction to the training. Then keep saying that so the dog considers this a fun thing to do. When you’re calm, your dog will remain calm as well. That way, it’s a special event for your dog as it is for you and your intended.

Tone of voice

While training, it’s important to maintain a happy and excited tone of voice. Think, “do you want a treat?” That’s the level of happiness you need for references to the wedding training. Your dog will enjoy the day as much as you do when your tone tells them that this is a fun thing that we’re going to do today.

Holding the Harness

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It is important to hold the harness leash properly. According to certified dog trainers, holding the leash on the harness in a “u” shape allows the correct control over your dog. This ensures that the dog isn’t leading the guide, but rather, the guide is guiding the dog to the destination. This is largely how most dogs become trained when you take them to a local training center to cure poor social interactions. That allows the dog to remain in control, but through behavioral science and their learned behavior, maintains under the control of the person holding the harness leash.

Dress Rehearsals

Once you have mastered the entire ceremony walk, and your dog is happily participating, it’s time for the final rehearsal. You’ve already practiced the act without the music and guests so many times that you think it’s perfect. What happens in many situations is the addition of decorations makes the dog feel off on the big day. Most weddings have all the decorations up at the rehearsal. This is perfect for that last check to ensure the dog is comfortable with the environment and feels like it’s still fun.

Training is fun when you follow the above steps. Your furry baby will feel included, and your new family can become even closer. It’s a wonderful way to create lasting memories with your beloved dog as you grow your family. Be sure to follow these steps for everything in your dog’s life to ensure a happy family and pet. Now you know how to master this and can enjoy planning for your special day.

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