Hotel Manners for Puppies

How to Train Your Puppy For Travel

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Signing into a Hotel with Pup in Tow!. Image Copr. Thinkstock/Getty Images

You can have a wonderful time traveling with a dog and vacationing in hotels for dogs if the little guy has been taught good hotel manners. Puppies love adventure so a puppy hotel can be great fun for them, but nobody else will enjoy the visit if your pup waters the potted palm in the lobby or jumps up to make friends with everyone he meets. Dogs don’t mean to be rude when they lap ice cream off a random child’s face, but an exuberant pup can be downright scary to people who don’t know them.

Puppies don’t suddenly become good citizens just because they’re on vacation. If he’s a barker or chewer, he’ll up the ante when he’s away from home and disturb other guests and cost you a pet deposit. Even polite dogs have lapses when faced with new experiences.

7 Tips How to Train My Puppy Hotel Manners

Doggy delinquents can improve their conduct and become great roommates. And once they feel at home and understand what’s expected, they’ll have a great time and do you proud whether you stay at a budget motel or a high-dollar ritzy establishment.

  1. Some dogs make a fuss when you leave them alone in a strange room. These tend to be the same puppies that get upset and suffer separation anxiety when you go to work and leave them at the house. So use the same tips for leaving them in the hotel room that you use to train puppies to relieve separation anxiety.
  2. A crate or carrier teaches dogs they can’t be with you all the time, but that you do always come back. And dogs that use crates as beds identify them as a familiar and comforting island in a strange place. In fact, most hoteliers prefer your dog be crated when he must be left alone in the room. Kenneling dogs virtually eliminates the chance of room damage and also reassures the housekeeping folks who may be afraid of dogs. Here's how to teach your puppy to accept and even welcome and enjoy the crate.
  1. Strange sights, smells, and sounds are exciting and will keep dogs occupied for quite a while. But once the new wears off, dogs tend to get bored pretty easily especially when left alone with nothing to do. All too often, dogs relieve boredom by chewing. Although chewing is a natural behavior, it can make him an unfit companion when he targets the hotel room's television remote control while you're at breakfast. Provide chew toys like the Kong Wobbler or Orbee Tuff Puzzle to relieve his boredom and keep his teeth on legal targets.
  1. Put a do not disturb sign on the door when dogs are left alone in the room. Otherwise, housekeeping could come in and upset your pup, or even worse, he could slip out the door and get lost.
  2. The best time to walk dogs at hotels is very early in the morning, before 7 a.m. so you avoid running into other hotel guests who may not care for your puppy. Ask about the doggy potty spot and be sure to clean up after your pet. You may be asked to use the service elevator so other guests don’t have to share a ride with a strange dog.
  3. Just getting to the toilet area without baptizing the wall may be tricky for dogs not used to hotels. They may simply need to “go” or more likely want to leave their Pee-Mail message as a marking behavior. Pausing for even 10 seconds tempts pups to sniff and lift. Keep him moving until you reach the designated area. Practice “sit” and “down” to give him something to do while you’re at the front desk, for instance. Dogs with a job rarely have an accident when they’re “working.” One helpful trick is to give your pup a ball or other toy to carry, to help keep him focused on that rather than sniffing and leg-lifting.
  4. If he sleeps in a crate at home, use the crate. But Don’t banish your pup to the bathroom, unless you fear he’ll be sick. That only increases his stress level. I sleep with my dog—yes, I’m that fond of him!—but in a hotel situation he sleeps on a blanket spread across the sheet. They should change the sheets between guests anyway. And when your dog is well mannered, nobody will know the difference or complain.