Do our dogs like Hallowe’en as much as we do? How can we help them? Tricks and treats for making sure your dog’s Hallowe’en stays fright-free.
On this week’s must-read blog and podcast…
Trick or Treat? Halloween and how it affects our dogs
Why I choose the dogs that I do
Guest Interview with Beverley Cuddy, Editor of Dogs Today magazine
Podcast Listener challenge! – Door dashing training challenge and free download! Please email for the download link on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Or read Karen’s must-read article and podcast notes below! Enjoy! Comments welcome to email@example.com
Trick or Treat? Halloween and how it affects our dog
It will soon be Halloween so just to make things up to date I want you to keep a close eye on your dogs at this time of year.
I did have a client that called me after one Halloween after her dog had bitten one of the trick or treaters…!
I’m not a big fan of dressing dogs up but some dogs tolerate it more than others. Without being all schoolmarmish towards people, make sure your dog is actually pretty much ok with the spider outfit or the pumpkin costume! If the dog is panting or yawning, that means they are not enjoying it. At least train the dog to enjoy it by giving them a nice tasty treat as you introduce the outfit a few days before you expect them to wear it, and practice regularly. Get that clicker out and have a play, or some nice voice and treat reinforcement.
Remember also that dogs are not used to people dressing up in weird masks or face paint. Well, most dogs aren’t! I see some dogs that literally freak out at the sight of people in a hat or sunglasses… so making your face or body totally change shape is going to be noticeable for some dogs.
Research has shown that dogs read our expressions with a left hand bias – meaning they look to the left hand side of our face first, reading our emotions. They can even do this upside down! You can imagine the impact a brand new face or a mask will have. Try not to spook them, and save that for family and friends. Give the dogs a space to get away to ESPECIALLY if you are holding a Halloween party at home.
Watch out for the sweets and candy stash.
Lastly, remember that if you get trick or treaters at your home this is an unusual event for most dogs – all these visitors in one go. All dressed in weird masks in the shadows. Keeping the dog away from the door might be a good plan. Your dog will be hard to find if they run off into the dark. And I speak with reasonable experience having once had my old deaf-blind terrier decide to follow the carol singers and Santa’s sleigh down the road one Christmas after they called at the door to collect for charity. See, I told you I’m not perfect. I think he fancied a career change, maybe a mid-life crisis, and wanted to become a reindeer, but I’m not certain and he never mentioned it afterwards. 🙂
I feel like the voice of doom on this subject but as its Halloween then maybe that is appropriate!
Why I choose the dogs that I do
I was delighted to hear from you about why you chose your dogs. Answers have ranged from ‘I like them to be big enough to keep my feet warm’ to ‘I didn’t – they chose me’ which I find nicely circular. My pick from the emails was actually a little dog that writes into us telling us we have got it all wrong. This was Marley the Border Terrier who of course gets his typist to do jobs for him – some of you will know Marley from twitter as www.twitter.com/marleyterrier . He is a bit of a legend!
I cannot read his words out in the correct accent so forgive me Marley I didn’t think I could do it justice. I loved his email so I have published it in full here:
Ello for you. I did be listenin to your podcast again tooday and also I did make dad subscribe for it on the iTunes so we can listen to it on our iBone.
I did ear you askin why is peeple selectin their dogs and I fink mebbe I would write to you to say you dat I fink you haz it wrong. My pawsons did come and find me when I woz a puppy but I say that it woz I wot did decide to stay ere after that so I fink I am sayin that I did be selectin them.
So, Marley, I ear you askin, why did you be agreein to stay wiv your familee. Well, I say for you dat this do be combinayshun of the followin factors:
- walks – they is givin at least one a day and prefflably in area when I can be walkin off my lead
- noms – they is delivered twice a day and is always of high kwality an fresh, sumtimes wiv treats
- beds – fanks, I got a comfy one
- ovver services – they is doin wot i want on twitter and on my blog partickly when I be gibbin dad the eye
- elf – they is lookin after me (foods is the best meddysin I say)
- laps – i got access to laps in the evenin
- company – they has brort Lola to liv wiv me (this do be mixed blessin but too long to go into now)
- wuzzes an belly rubs – i gettem
Fanks. I iz King of Dogs. That’s why they be selectin me.
Guest Interview – Dogs Today magazine Editor Beverley Cuddy:
In the podcast we feature a special guest interview from Dogs Today,Beverley Cuddy. Beverley is a great ambassador for dogs and dog ownership. Listen to the podcast to hear all about it.
Thank you Beverley for a great and fascinating chat!
Don’t Dash thru the Door Training Challenge!
I have a challenge for you all now! I want you to brush up on door training, as this is another way to develop steadiness in your dog. Dashing out of the door is a really problem for many of the owners and dogs that I see. The dog becomes conditioned to the sight and sound of the door opening, not to mention the handler reaching for the handle, or putting their shoes on, or picking up their coat or keys, or even with some dogs when the owner just thinks ‘hmm I may open the door…’ so as you can see it is not just a big signal like the doorbell going.
Please email me here for the download link, with ‘Download’ in the subject title : firstname.lastname@example.org
DUE TO TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WE CANNOT LET YOU DOWNLOAD DIRECTLY FROM THE SITE. HOWEVER! Email me and I will forward you the link as soon as the technical difficulties have been resolved. You may have to wait until this Friday though – sorry about that! But in return I will give you an extra week to do the challenge!
I have still got my offer on ‘Build your own Dog Training Manual’ so there may be one of two chapters to add to in if you wanted to get your 40% discount on those other chapters.
Don’t forget the free handout on ‘Door Dashing and how to stop it’ is going to be free for the next two weeks after which it’s going to be 2.99 – the same price as all the other chapters on the site.
And let us know how you got on – with photos please!