How to Keep Dogs Away from the Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree is a wonderful addition to the home, but for your dog, it can be a twinkling, towering plaything that you’ll end up chasing them away from every few minutes.
We know that when it comes to dogs and Christmas trees, the struggle is real. As well as trying to keep your pooch from damaging the tree, you also want to protect them from injuring themselves. When you’ve got a curious canine on your hands, they may try to knock the tree over, pinch gifts and even chew decorations and pine needles, which can cause a yummy upset.
Don’t worry, keeping your dog away from the tree doesn’t have to be a Christmas miracle. In fact, you can learn how to keep dogs away from the Christmas tree with a few tried-and-tested methods. Just remember that when it comes to training your dog, patience and persistence are key. Before long, your dog will be on Santa’s good list for being so well-behaved around the Christmas tree!
5 Ways to Keep Dogs Away from Christmas Trees
One way to keep dogs away from Christmas trees is to create a negative association with the tree. Dogs are renowned to hate the sound and texture of aluminium foil, so making a tinfoil skirt for the bottom of your tree is a quick and simple way to help deter your pet from venturing too close to the tree.
You can also make a noise when your pup reaches the tinfoil by saying “no” or “away”, then stop the noise when your pooch backs off from the Christmas tree and even give them a treat or praise when they move away from it. This will help cement the idea that the tree is something they should avoid.
If the aluminium foil doesn’t deter your pup, at least you’ll be able to hear if your dog gets too close! Just make sure your dog doesn’t try to nibble the tinfoil as it could damage their mouth.
2. Create a Barrier
Another option to keep your dog away from the Christmas tree is to create a barrier around the base of the tree. Baby gates, exercise pens or using anything fence-like will keep your pup from jumping up on the tree, reaching for decorations and getting to anything underneath the tree, like their Santa sack full of goodies!
It may not be the most visually appealing choice, but for nosey doggies, it may be the safest option.
3. The “Leave It” Method
An alternative way to keep dogs away from the Christmas tree is to train them to leave the tree alone and reinforce this behaviour. During training, it’s important that you temporarily block off the Christmas tree with a barrier so that your pup avoids any risk of injury and so they don’t accidently become more interested in the tree.
Remember, the key to success is vigilance and consistency. The bonus with this training method is that once your dog has mastered it, you can transfer this behaviour to other things in your home, like the rubbish bin and furniture that’s off limits.
Leave It Method
To start, you’ll just need dog treats and patience!
1. Target away from tree
When you spot your dog approaching the Christmas tree, say “away” and throw a treat away from the tree.
2. Distract your dog
As soon as your dog goes for the treat, it’s the perfect time to distract them from the Christmas tree. Play with your dog, let them outside or get them to follow you away from the tree, even to another room.
3. Repeat the process
Whenever your dog approaches the tree, repeat the process. Say “away” and then throw a treat away from the tree.
4. Reward away from the tree
When your pup has learned that “away” means to move away from the tree and that they’ll receive a yummy treat, now it’s time to give the command without throwing the treat away. Instead, give your pup a treat from your hand and alternate treat-giving with praise.
5. Repeat and distract
When your dog approaches the Christmas tree, call them away and reward with a treat or lots of praise.
6. Practise the “leave it” command
Repeat this process for several days, making sure to ease off the treats and replace with praise instead. Once you’ve mastered this, you can start to say “leave it” when your pup approaches the tree.
4. Deterrent Sprays for Dogs
One of the most common question around dogs and Christmas trees is whether they’re poisonous to dogs. And, while the sap and needles of most Christmas trees are not poisonous to the touch, they can give your dog an upset tummy if chewed.
Deterrent sprays can be an effective way to discourage your pup from chomping on your Christmas tree.
Designed to make chewing on a particular object unappealing, Yappy’s No Chew Spray contains natural ingredients and is safe and gentle for your pup. Simply spray it directly onto your Christmas tree and your pooch will be less likely to want to chew it, tree-mendous!
Concerned about what festive plants are toxic to dogs? Make sure to read our blog post that explores whether Christmas trees are poisonous to dogs and other festive plants to watch out for.
5. Choose Dog-Friendly Decorations
We know it can be tricky to keep your curious canine away from the Christmas tree, so it’s important to opt for dog-friendly decorations to ensure that if your dog does go sniffing around the tree, they’re less likely to come to any harm. Of course, some decorations are more dog-friendly than others.
Make sure to avoid glass ornament and fragile ceramic decorations. Edible decorations can also be a danger – chocolate is toxic to dogs and sugar is a no-go for your pup too, so leave the candy canes and Christmas chocolate in the sweet drawer and out of paws’ reach.
If you’re looking for some lovely Christmas decorations that are sturdy (and not to mention super cute), then take a peek at Yappy’s range of personalised dog baubles, they’re a perfect gift for dog lovers and are a fun way to show guests who’s top dog.
Christmas Gifts by Yappy
Now that you know how to keep your dog away from the Christmas tree, why not check out some cute gifts you can put UNDER it, ready to be opened on Christmas morning!
Yappy has a huge range of wonderful Christmas gifts for dogs and dog lovers. From personalised dog bowls and feeding mats, to Christmas bandanas and Santa sacks to stash all of your pup’s new toys and treats.
Looking to spoil a dog mum or dog dad this Christmas? Our cosy blankets will have them snuggled up all winter long, especially when paired with a plump and super cosy dog cushion, perfectly personalised with their pup’s cute icon. Christmas really is the most wag-nificent time of year!