Much like me at a haunted house, our dogs can get scared pretty easily at times. Hearing a doorbell ring, seeing all the commotion going on, putting on a mask that covers your face or even changing your appearance can send even the bravest pup running with his tail between his legs.
With Halloween around the corner here are some safety tips to ensure that both you and your dog have a spooktacular time!
- As always, work your dog prior to the festivities. If you are going to be sitting at home giving out candy, give your dog a nice long walk beforehand. Or if you’re brave enough to venture out with your dog and trick or treat, make sure to lunge out and do a good training session prior to going out and getting that sweet, sweet candy.
- In the weeks leading up to Halloween, show your dog different costumes and masks so they can get used to all the strange sights they might see.
- Ring your door bell and teach an appropriate response (i.e. bark to alert then responding to the command “enough”). It is also important to make sure your dog knows how to greet or not greet people at the door. I always do a sit stay at least 10’ away to make sure my visitor is comfortable with the distance (not everyone is a dog person).
- Make sure to monitor your dog’s body language when you are out celebrating. If it appears that your dog is getting anxious or frightened by everything going on, it’s okay to let them go to their safe place (i.e. a bed, or a crate) and relax. Before trying it again make sure to do the lunge exercise to get them back into work mode!
- Some dogs love to get dressed up and they look awesome as Batman, however, some do not enjoy putting on outfits at all. Don’t force it…no matter how great they might look!