Halloween is a tradition loved by many people. You get to dress up and be someone else for the night, decorate with spooky things, and you get to eat as much candy as you want! The other things that goes along with Halloween is trick-or-treaters. As fun as this is, your dog may not be a fan. You know your dog will bark every time someone comes to your door for a piece of candy, and you are not excited to deal with that. However, if you are able to start training your dog and preparing them for Halloween early on, you may be able to get them under control and enjoy the holiday the way you want to.
An important, simply trick for your dog to know is “sit.” If you do not know how to train your dog to sit, here is what you can try. Dogs love treats, so using treats will help you teach your dog to sit. Hold a treat in front of them at eye level, and then slowly move the treat upward. Your dog is going to want to keep its eyes on the treat in front of them, and they will naturally sit as they are watching the treat being held up. As they do, make sure you tell them “sit” so they can get used to the command. Then, you can give them the treat. Repeat this until they are able to recognize the command without the action of lifting up the treat. Before long, they will know the command and will be able to obey without a treat being offered. Although it is a good idea to still use a treat once in a while so they will always want to follow the command. If your dog knows this command well, then they will obey it any time. This will be very useful when there are people at your door and you do not want your dog running up to those people.
Another useful command will be to “wait.” You teach your dog to “wait” by telling them to do so, and then rewarding them when they do even if it is only for a short amount of time. Once they understand what the command means, you will be able to slowly extend the amount of time they are able to wait. You can also start adding other stimuli to see how well they do at waiting when things are not quiet. You could try things like getting food or walking outside and ringing the doorbell, then walk back in and see if your dog stayed in the spot you told them to wait. This will be extremely useful when it comes to a holiday like Halloween. People will be constantly knocking at your door, which is why testing them with this will come in handy.
One last trick that would be useful for Halloween is “quiet.” This will keep your dog from barking as people are stopping by. As with the other tricks, you will want to reward the dog whenever they listen to the command. They will soon learn the command and start to obey it. A combination of these tricks will help make Halloween a breeze!