Halloween can be a stressful experience for your four legged friends and it's up to you to keep them safe from the monsters. Whether you plan on staying in to greet trick-or-treaters, or join them on their mischievous quest for a sugar rush, brushing up on some good manners and safeguarding your pet will help you navigate a spook-filled night.
Dog training is a lifelong process so it's a good idea to refresh your dog on commands that will prepare them for the upcoming holiday season. Halloween, for example, comes with 3 major training situations.
1. Doorbells- Most dogs are reactive to the doorbell. Whether it's out of excitement, fear, or aggression, almost every house pet reacts to the sound of a doorbell. Working on calm behaviors like sit or lay down while ringing a doorbell can help reduce the reactiveness of your dog. This method desensitizes them to the doorbell sounds. So when they hear it, they will stay calm in their sit or down position, since they'll understand that's the most rewarding behavior.
2. Leave it- As a trainer I stress the importance of a strong leave it. This command can save a dog's life. With a plethora of halloween treats that may fall on the floor, there is potential for disaster. By teaching leave it you can have faith that your dog won't pick up everything that hits the floor. Also, reminding kids that treats are for humans, not for dogs, will ensure your dog doesn't eat anything they are not suppose to.
3. Boundary control-With the door opening every 5 mins there becomes a huge opportunity for your dog to bolt out the door. Safeguarding the area around your dog can help you both enjoy the halloween festivities. Placing your dog in a kennel or crate with a comfy Wizdog flower bed and their favorite chew toy can help them relax while you pass out candy. If you want to show off their halloween costume make sure you leash and secure them to your person or a strong post. Always remember to check up on them and make sure they have extra water available.
Don’t wait to start training, get a head start, work as a team and get the whole family involved. Halloween can be a frightful time for your animal, but with the right training and patience, you and your pooch will put all fears to rest.
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