PLAN AND PREVENT BOLTING
Plan ahead. There will likely be doors that are opened and closed more often than if it were just you and your family. You may be busy making sure the turkey doesn’t overcook or putting the egg in the nog. You need to plan ahead for the possibility that your dog may inadvertently pass through an open door. Management is key, and as a professional trainer, I will tell you (ahem), you need to work on bolting before the guests arrive!!! Please train this important skill. However, with little time before the big events of the season arrive, in-depth training may not be possible, so management is essential. (For additional training information, please see my previous blog on bolting and also in my book Come, Boy!.)
One possibility to ensure your dog will not “escape” is to keep him tethered to you (leash attached to something in the room you are in, or to you or a designated person) while you are going about your hosting responsibilities. Or, an x-pen works well in a specific room, or a kennel so your dog is still able to view the activities but is safely confined. Be sure to communicate to all guests your concerns for your dog’s safety if he should get outside through an open door, but remember it’s your responsibility to keep your dog safe.
Nonetheless, even if you have taken the precaution of advising everyone of your concerns, more than likely someone may forget, and I would rather have you err on the side of caution by using these management techniques. After all, once the bell is rung, you can’t unring it. If your dog escapes, he can easily become lost or worse.