October is here, which means we are just a few weeks from costumed kids to be ringing your doorbell. Halloween is a fun holiday, full of sweets and parties, but it can be a stressful time for many dog owners. Howling or barking dogs, excited pups jumping on trick-or-treaters, and lunging dogs on leashes can make for cranky owners and scared guests.

This year, you can have the best-behaved dog on the block. October is the perfect time to introduce new expectations and practice them, as the holiday season rolls on through New Year’s Day. Here are a few of our expert tips on how to make your Halloween one of the best yet.

Reinforce the Place Command

At Charleston Dog Training, we love the Place command. It’s versatile, easy, and gives your dog a bit of freedom to relax while still following the command. The Place command instructs your dog to stay on a specific bed, rug, or towel. They can chew a toy or bone, sleep, sit, lie down, or anything they want, as long as two paws are always on the Place.

Start reinforcing Place in your home now, allowing your dog to be “all free” only with your verbal command. Practice Place and ring the doorbell, or have neighbors act as trick-or-treaters to give your dog the chance to grow their patience and obedience.

Practice Leash Skills

If you are hitting the sidewalks on Halloween to trick-or-treat with your kids, be sure your dog has good leash manners so he can go too. Start with daily walks now, making sure your dog knows he isn’t allowed to pull or lunge at passersby.

Stop Jumping

There’s nothing quite as scary as an unknown dog excitedly jumping up to greet you, especially if you are a kid. Your dog may be on edge a bit more on Halloween, as costumes can be confusing for our canine friends. Give everyone a bit of peace of mind by reinforcing the expectation that jumping on, or extra sniffing of, guests are not allowed.

Get Our Help

Obedience training can be overwhelming for even an experienced dog owner. Fortunately, you don’t have to go at it alone. Charleston Dog Training offers a variety of options for obedience classes and boot camps your dog will love. You’ll love the results, and we will work with you to be sure you have the tools you need to keep up the good behavior at home.

Call us today to set up your consultation or to talk about a specific behavior you are seeing. We are here to help and have the experience to give you a better relationship with your dog.

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