With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m sure you’re busy planning a big family meal. Whether you are hosting or attending, it’s important to remember to keep all family members safe and happy. This of course means your dog as well. Let’s review how some of the dog behavior tips I have shared with you here can come in handy on Thanksgiving Day.


If you are already dealing with begging issues, Thanksgiving is going to seem like a table scrap Christmas to your dog. But Thanksgiving is a ‘people’ feast, and you should not indulge your dog. Not only will this severely undermine the good dog training you have been working so hard on all year, it can actually be very hazardous to your pet’s health. Be especially wary of turkey bones. Cooked bones can splinter and if swallowed, tear your dog’s intestines. If you can’t stand to deprive your dog, here is a list of ‘people’ foods from WebMD that are OK for dogs. Just remember: only in moderation and always, always make your dog earn it.


Even a well-socialized dog can become overwhelmed when a busload of friends and family stop by for the day.  In fact, you probably know just how he feels! But this can actually be an opportunity for your dog to show off all of the obedience skills you have been working on.  If you need a refresher, start with my tips on jumping on people and barking.


Seeing the youngest members of our family is a joyful thing. We see their playful, curious, talkative behavior as charming. But your dog seems a different picture: a loud and seemingly aggressive miniature human. Even well-behaved children and dogs can get into unexpected conflicts. This is because they are very much like each other. Most notably, both children and dogs need the guidance of adult humans to navigate situations. Be sure to supervise all dog-child interactions closely and  explain to children how to pet, play with and talk to your dog.

(C) Jim Burwell 2010