Adding a little canine influence to your wedding day is getting more and more popular, and while I’ve discussed alternatives to attending the nuptials for your pooch, I didn’t take the time to go over assessing your dog’s ring bearer potential in the first place. So, how can you be sure that your dog has what it takes to spend close to an hour sitting patiently (and adorably) by your side without ripping his bow tie to shreds or wetting the aisle oh-so-inappropriately? And what can you do (if anything) to get your dog wedding ready? Read on:
1. Get him comfortable with wedding wear
Even if you are blessed with the most well-behaved dog on the planet, don’t just assume that he’ll be too hot about the collared shirt and pillow you’re going to try and strap on him hours before he’s supposed to trot down the aisle. Some dogs are very particular and sensitive about what gets strapped to them, especially if it’s supposed to fit around their feet or ears. Practice a few times before the big show to be sure that your dog won’t freak out or try to rip anything off on the day-of. I suggest getting a cheap t-shirt or neckerchief substitute (before trying the expensive ones) and letting Fido lounge around the house in it for a few days. If he still isn’t having it, scrap the idea and let him run naked on your wedding day. He’s a dog – no one will mind.
2. Attend a doggie day camp
Naturally obedient dogs make complacent pet parents. Even if your pup is well-behaved at home and doesn’t lunge at passing cars with frequency, you should invest in a quick trip to a doggie day camp for a little re-training. Familiarize the both of you with simple commands and strengthen the bond you share before trotting his behavior in front of friends and family. You might even learn something new! Seasoned dog parents shouldn’t ignore this request either – everyone can benefit from a fresh perspective on doggie behavior.
3. Designate a dog sitter
You might be a little busy on your big day. While I would never recommend designating the task of dog baby sitter to anyone against their will, it might be pertinent to make sure you aren’t the only one watching your puppy during the nuptials. Ask one of your parents, or your generous and kind maid of honor, to keep one hand on the leash at all times (and be sure to schedule a few pre-nuptial potty breaks).
4. Be content with a stay-at-home ending
Not every dog is cut out to be a ring bearer. My dog is one of these animals. If all else fails, don’t blame yourself – just be content with a few cute getting-ready photos with your puppy and enjoy a stress-free day sans-doggie.