A Treat for a Trick: Training during Halloween

A Treat for a Trick: Training during Halloween

Halloween can provide great opportunities for training or refining your dogs’ behavioral problems. With distractions like strange people, costumes, and noises, it can be easy for simple commands to become background noise to your pet. Practicing in this type of environment will help your dog understand the importance of following commands during the times and situations you most need them to. Here are some helpful hints on how to work on obedience training during Halloween.

Some dogs can become overly excited or anxious when strangers approach or ring the doorbell. Try securing a leash on your dog and setting up a boundary line a few feet away from the door before trick-or-treaters arrive. When the doorbell rings instruct your dog in a firm and confident voice to sit and stay, it may be necessary for a second person to hold or answer the door until your dog understand what is expected. If your dog stands or tries to go towards the door slightly and quickly pull on the leash and use the command again.

There are also great ways to train if you plan on taking your dog out for trick-or-treating. A crowded neighborhood with new people, smells, sounds, and decorations can be tempting distractions to start pulling on the leash. By practicing regular leash training techniques during a walk with so much stimulation can enforce expected behavior for normal every day walks. Give your dog confidence with positive reinforcement and with a relaxed demeanor. Use quick jerks of the leash to grab attention and change walking directions when your dog starts to pull. A key to successful leash training is consistency.

How to Train a Dog to Walk on a Leash

New people and situations are also a great time to work on socialization. Curious children will surely want to approach and pet your dog. Teach your dog manners by having them keep calm while others approach and pet them. You may also want to teach them to be polite by not greeting individuals unless instructed. Keep a short leash and use calming positive reinforcement.

When doing any training a dog that is physically tired tends to be the easiest to train. For this reason many trainers recommend taking your dog on a long walk or run before you plan on training. It is also important to remember to take the necessary safety measures to prevent any injuries from happening to other people, animals, or yourself. If your dog is or may be aggressive you will need to talk to a professional about how and when is appropriate to work with your pet.

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