How To Choose Which Dogs To Invite For Home Party

Home Dog Party

Dogs To Invite For Home Party

Early this month on New Year Day, I hosted a home party for my Lhasa Apso dog Roxie and several of her doggie friends with their owners. This indoor house dog party (along with video) was a great success but it took awhile for me to get this type of dog event right as this one was our third such party. We tried two other indoor dog parties before in 2019 and unfortunately there were incidents at both. So with lessons learned, this blog post is about how to choose which dogs to invite for a home party.

Bringing dogs inside to an indoor environment can have some undesired effects with some of them as they might get territorial due to smaller spaces compared to when being outside with much more open space. So observing different dogs during our small dogs outings group was definitely a necessity as I initially started to choose a list of potential dogs to invite for last year’s New Year Day party which was our first dog party.

The first criteria was that any dog that is invited had to be one that my Roxie likes or at the very least, tolerates. She doesn’t really play with other dogs especially at her senior age but enjoy hanging out with friendly dogs during our outdoor hikes. The dogs on our invite list must clearly show respect for Roxie. So new puppies in our group that have not learned to respect Roxie as an elder are automatically eliminated as potential invitees since they tend to want to get in her face which usually results in a scolding by my girl!

Also, any dog that doesn’t seem to really socialize with any of the other dogs well are also eliminated, ie., any dogs who clearly have not made any dog friends despite having attended numerous outings with our group. These are the loners who prefer to do their own thing and doesn’t like other dogs getting too close. This is quite rare since most dogs are social animals and after seeing the same dogs at each event, they tend to learn to enjoy each other’s company although the bonds are stronger within each age group. But loners do happen sometimes as well as dogs who are still in transition from being a solo dog all the time to one who has become more socialized.

So based on these criteria, I invited certain dogs and their owners to my first two indoor dog parties in 2019 with one being the New Year Day party from last year and the other one back in April for Roxie’s 14th birthday. But as mentioned already, both of these parties unfortunately ended up with incidents we did not want.

During the first party, one of the dogs continued to target another specific dog which resulted in four separate dog fights involving the same two dogs each time. Needless to say the aggressor dog was not invited to the second party and in fact all attending dog owners agreed that the owner of the aggressive dog had to be fully muzzled or kept on leash 100% of the time for subsequent dog outings even if they are outdoor ones. The owner of this aggressive dog refused and never came out to anymore of our dog group outings again. This member was eventually removed from our group for being irresponsible as she was not willing to put her dog through more training for its aggressive behaviour.

The dog who was targeted was invited back to the second party. But this dog ironically ended up biting one of the other dogs at this second party. The one who got bitten had never been aggressive with any of the other dogs at all. So the dog who was doing the biting would never be invited to anymore of our indoor parties but was still welcome at our outdoor events since the owner keeps this dog on leash all the time when outside. However, I don’t see this owner and dog really continuing on with our group on a regular basis anymore since any goodwill among our dog owners and their dogs have already been affected.

The Major Mistake I Made With Dog Parties

The owner of the biting dog from our second party had been a long time member of our dog group and claims that all had been well with all dogs until we decided to try these indoor dog parties. I disagree on this claim because I realize the major mistake I made with dog parties and this was not because of running them indoors but instead it was developing the right criteria in deciding which dogs to invite in the first place. We did run a New Year Day party this year as I mentioned and it went very well with no incidents (needless to say, that biting dog was not invited this time).

I now realize that I had to add more criteria to determine the right dogs to invite. I had based the invite criteria on just which dogs respected Roxie and did okay with other dogs during our outdoor events. These proved to be inadequate as I had to fine tune even further. Even the aggressive dogs from our first two dog parties respected Roxie and never bit other dogs during our outdoor events. However, they did bark at other dogs while outside and I should have considered this fact much more when inviting for indoor dog parties.

For our third dog party, I went further to scope out just the dogs who were obviously happy to see the others during our hikes. Before if any aggressively barking, nervous or skittish dogs did not get into any major incidents during our outings, I had determined that they were okay to invite especially if their human owners were really nice people. This was my major mistake as I should have placed higher requirements with respect to dog behaviour. Although another important criteria was that the human dog owners had to be nice people (since they would be invited to my home), I did not put enough emphasis on the fact that their dogs’ behaviour might be questionable and perhaps unsuitable for an indoor environment.

So the short list for our third dog party contained only the dogs who were clearly friendly with other dogs. Unfortunately, sometimes the dogs who did not make this higher level of dog socialization happened to have dog owners whom I really like as members of our dog group. But because their dogs did not meet our new standards of dog behaviour for our indoor parties, I would not be able to invite them.

So the dogs who came to this year’s New Year Day party were all not only very respectful of Roxie, but also had a proven track record of being very friendly towards each other. This is a significantly smaller list of dogs compared to our entire dog group membership but in order to meet all the new criteria, that’s just reality. Even though most of our human dog owner members are really nice people, not all of them have dogs who are trained well enough in terms of dog behaviour to be invited to our indoor dog parties.

Only a small number of them would make it onto invite lists for future dog parties and that’s okay since we would want only several dogs at our indoor events anyway due to limited space. Our next dog party is in April for Roxie’s 15th birthday and we intend to have only the most well behaved and friendliest dogs here.

So in summary, here are the criteria that must be met in order to be invited to our future indoor dog home parties.

1. Must respect my dog Roxie

2. Must not be aggressive, nervous or skittish

3. Must socialize well with other dogs and have clearly made friends among the other dogs

4. Owner must confirm dog can be suitable to visit other homes.

It seems like a hassle to run an indoor dog party but I can tell you from experience once you have the right dogs attending, it can be a very enjoyable event not only for the dogs but for the people as well. I believe that for the right dogs, it just adds another good experience for them to enjoy in their lives.


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