Halloween and hounds

Halloween and hounds

Keeping Halloween SPOOK-FREE 

Halloween is “fright night” for humans not dogs.  Screaming, running, spooky children in masks make many dogs uncomfortable, nervous and frightened.
Halloween costumes are fun and are meant to disguise our normal appearance. Dogs do not understand this change in appearance and may become frightened. 
Costumes that change the way a person walks, stands, or general appearance may cause a dog to react differently than usual even with those they know.

Keep in mind that children on Halloween night are excited and doing their best to be scary. This is not a fair or safe situation to put even the best of dogs in. Even the normally terrific tolerant family dog can find this night hard to handle.
Along with costumes being frightening to a dog there are some that may become interesting too. Swords, tails and dangling things may be fun for an excited dog to chase and toddlers certainly won’t appreciate that.

Every child and every costume is a new opportunity for different reactions from the same dog.

I recommend setting up your dog with their own private Halloween bash in a safe quiet spot with a yummy treat of their own. Here are some tips to help make this safe haven most comfortable.

  1. Stuff a food dispensing toy with yummy mush and freeze it until it is “Halloween” time.
  2. Use a fan or radio for white noise. Something consistent is best.
  3. Be sure the blinds are down or the dog is not watching kids coming and going by the window. This will only frustrate him and allow him to practice barking and carrying on at the window.
  4. Keep your dog on leash with you.
  5. Put candy in a bowl on your front step and allow trick or treaters to help themselves to save you from having to get the door.
  6. Use this time to “teach” your dog what you want.  Leave the bowl of candy outside so you can work uninterrupted with your dog. Sit with a large amount of high value doggie treats inside with your dog. When your dog barks at a trick or treater….be ready to reinforce him the moment they stop and look at you.  Repeat. 
Chocolate is toxic to dogs.  Put candy in a safe spot.  
*****Sometimes dogs and cats (especially if they are black) are stolen, poisoned or injured by Halloween pranks.  Keep your companions safe inside your home.
Be safe and aware and have fun!*******

Here is a short clip I took several years ago with my daughter.  Windsor had been with us 6 months.  We practiced alot with the various looks before taping so don’t worry, spider man was already a bit familiar to Windsor by the time we taped this.

Every Young Family Needs a Support System.

Find a Family Paw’s Educator near you and get the support you need to safely and happily raise your dogs and children, together.