Dear Critter Corner: This will be our pup’s first Halloween; do you have any suggestions on how to help prepare so that we have a safe and stress-free Halloween?
There are several things we can look at to make sure the night goes well for all involved. Here are a few of my suggestions. This is a great time of year to take advantage of all the decorations that are out and use them as training opportunities to expose our pups to new and unusual items.
If you notice your pup is afraid, take the extra time to allow them to check out the decoration and realize it is not something to be afraid of. Encourage them to help build their confidence. If you are planning to hand out candy, it is a good idea to be sure that your dog doesn’t try to dash out the door. You could teach them to go to ‘place’ or ‘wait’ at doors. Both of these exercises are great exercises to teach our dogs to help with their impulse control in general and can be very helpful around the holidays.
If your pup is vocal when guests ring the doorbell, you may want to think of putting them in another room for the night with a fun chew or toy to occupy their time and turn on a TV or radio to help muffle the sound of the doorbell. Candy poses a hazard for our pups and they should not be given any. Please be sure to educate any children you have in the home about the dangers of dogs eating chocolate. Many of our little ones like to share and don’t realize that this could harm their favorite pup.
If you have further questions or need further help with other behaviors, please reach out to our Behavior Helpline or our Behavior Dept. to schedule a 1:1 Consultation or sign up for one of our training classes online.
Tasha Suda is the Lead Dog Trainer for the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA Behavior Department. For more information, please visit www.phs-spca.org, call 650-340-7022 or email [email protected]