Building a Better Doggie Ring Bearer
Adding a little puppy influence to your wedding day is getting more and more popular, and while I've discussed nuptial alternatives before, I didn't take to 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 by your side without ripping his collared shirts to shreds or wetting the aisle runner at the lest opportune moment? And what can you do to get your pooch wedding-ready?
Refresh your Behavior Training
Generally obedient dogs make naive pet parents. Even if your dog is well-behaved at home and doesn't lunge at passing people and animals with alarming 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 "sit" and "stay" in front of friends and family. Seasoned dog parents shouldn't ignore this request either - everyone can benefit from a fresh perspective.
Practice the Bow Tie Beforehand
Even if you are blessed with the most well-behaved Fido on the block, don't just assume that he'll be too hot about the tie and collar you're going to try and strap on him hours before he's supposed to walk down the aisle. Some dogs are very particular and sensitive about what gets strapped to them, especially around their ears and feet. Practice a few times before the big show to be sure that your dog won't freak out or try to rip anything off with snarling jaws as you make your big entrance. I suggest getting a cheap t-shirt (before trying the expensive wedding wear) and letting your puppy 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. I don't recommend the same for your fiancé.
If it doesn't work out, that's fine.
Not every dog is cut out to be a ring bearer. My dog is one of these special, bed-wetting animals. If all else fails, don't blame yourself - just be content with a few cute engagement photos with your dog and enjoy a stress-free day sans-puppy incidents.