The Vacation Rental Market is changing and dogs are more welcome than ever.

Dog with Suitcase

Thanks to sites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, people are learning the joys of vacation rentals and to enjoy the comforts of home rather than booking hotel rooms. People also turn to vacation homes because many hotels continue to ban dogs, even though other businesses welcome pets more frequently today. Remember, your dog will be more welcome the more he behaves himself in public. Here are a few dog etiquette tips you should keep in mind before you vacation with your dog.

  1. Work on Your Dog’s Leash Skills at Home

Perfecting your dog’s public etiquette skills1 will make it easier to take him to parks, restaurants, and other dog-friendly places. Two dogs meeting on leash.But, you can’t teach your dog while on a trip away from home. All the strangers, new sights and smells, and other dogs are a huge distraction. It is best to work on your dog’s public etiquette at home so he will be trained to deal with new and otherwise distracting situations by the time you finally travel.

Start with basic leash training to help your dog learn to be obedient everywhere he goes. Practice walking him through your home and making him follow the same rules on the leash everywhere you go.

Before you attempt to go in public, rearrange your furniture or make your home distracting with music, lighting, and new people. Guide him through various pathways and make sudden stops or changes in direction. Do your best to mimic public situations so he is prepared to encounter them outside your home.

  1. Prevent Barking at Home

One problem dog owners encounter in public is their dog barking. Neighbors of your Branson lodging, whether a cabin or condo, do not want to hear a barking dog, and your dog’s noise could make it difficult for you to remain there if the neighbors complain about it. To prevent barking issues on vacation, work on preventing them at home ahead of time.

Bark training2 can be frustrating for dog owners and our first inclination is to yell at the dog to keep quiet. Unfortunately, “barking back” at the dog reinforces the barking behavior, so remember to avoid yelling. Instead, keep your training sessions positive, and be consistent. Some tips3 for preventing barking are to remove the motivation, avoid giving your dog attention when he barks, desensitize him to the stimulus, teach him the quiet command, ask him to behave in a way that inhibits him from barking, and give him plenty of exercise so he is less likely to bark when he is bored or frustrated. It’s also important to reward him when he is quiet and to use positive reinforcement until he understands not to bark.

  1. Alleviate Your Dog’s Stress

Renting a vacation home in Branson, or anywhere, can be stressful for a dog because he’s in unknown surroundings. It’s important that your dog isn’t upset when left alone in this new environment because stressed dogs often try to escape and cause damage to the house or furniture and you will be expected to pay for repair or replacement. Your dog could also start whining and whimpering, which will disturb your neighbors.

Some ways to make your dog feel less anxious include putting him in a crate with familiar scents, like bedding from home. (Most Branson vacation rentals require that dogs left alone in the home be confined to a crate.) Your dog may also be comforted if you leave a piece of your clothing in the crate.

Another idea suggested by Cesar Milan (the “Dog Whisperer”) is to turn on the radio or play soothing music, or even play audio books for your dog. Cesar also suggests you might create an hour-long recording of your voice and other household conversations to play in a loop while you are away so your dog can hear familiar sounds while you’re away.

  1. Teach Him How to Respond to Other Dogs

Your dog will encounter other dogs4 on a daily basis, so work with him on how to respond to them. When other dogs are near, keep your dog on a shorter leash. Do not allow him to approach another dog before asking the owner’s permission.

If the owner agrees, allow the dogs to approach one another calmly while you watch closely for aggressive behavior.5 Aggressive behavior includes blocking the owner’s or dog’s path, demanding attention, approaching the other dog from the side and putting his head on its back or shoulder, placing himself between you and the other dog, and lunging at the dog or his owner. Never permit your dog to jump on another dog because it could lead to injury and a reputation for having an uncontrollable dog.

You and your dog can have an enjoyable vacation if you perfect his leash skills, prevent barking, make him comfortable in his new surroundings, and teach him appropriate ways to respond to other dogs before your trip.


Branson Regal Accommodations, LLC is a travel services company offering many different types of lodging in Branson, MO, from private homes to condos, cabins and villas. Branson Regal boasts the largest number of dog-friendly Branson vacation rentals and can handle single visitors to groups of any size. Out of the 250 vacation homes Branson Regal represents, almost 100 are pet-friendly. For more details, go to https://bransonregal.com

Written by: Aurora James
Sources Include: Image via Pixabay 1782203;
1 redfin.com/blog/how-to-train-dogs-public-manners-at-home;
2 humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/how_to_stop_barking.html;
3 cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/barking-and-howling/5-tips-for-handling-nuisance-barking;
4 vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/help-my-dog-lunges-at-other-dogs;
5 sitmeanssit.com/dog-training-mu/austin-dog-training/how-to-tell-if-a-dog-is-being-agressive/