Trick or treat—how about both? It can be tough to include your dog in the Halloween festivities, but there are a few dog tricks that will help make the day fun and safe for everyone. Teach your pooch these 5 commands to get them ready for whatever Halloween has in store.
To Have Some Halloween Fun
Teach Your Dog to High-Five
Many dogs love to go trick-or-treating with their humans! If your furry friend is joining you for the best walk of the year, there’s a good chance one of your neighbors will offer them a dog-friendly treat. What better way to say “thank you” than with a high-five from your pup?
If your pup already knows the “give paw” command, teaching them the dog trick will be a breeze. To start, give your dog the “sit” command. Reveal a small treat in one hand and hold your other hand straight up. Your dog will probably paw at the hand holding the treat. Wait until your dog paws at your raised hand, then reward them. Repeat this process, adding in a playful “high five!” command as they get better. With enough practice, your dog will be high-fiving (or high-pawing) every neighbor on the block!
Teach Your Dog to Sit Pretty
Let’s face it—picking the perfect dog costume to share on social media is likely on your Halloween to-do list right behind “stash candy” and “scary movie marathon.” The “sit pretty” command is a one of the best Halloween dog tricks if you want to get some great pup-arazzi photos!
“Sit pretty,” also known as the “beg” command, starts with your dog sitting. Take a small treat and hold it near their face, slowly raising the treat so your dog has to lift their front feet off the ground to reach it. When both front paws are up, praise your pooch and give them the treat. Gradually work the command into your training routine and your dog should be sitting pretty in no time!
To Prevent Dog Anxiety from Trick-Or-Treaters
Teach Your Dog to Stay
Handing out candy to eager trick-or-treaters is a highlight of Halloween for humans, but unfamiliar faces and strange costumes may spook your dog. If your dog gets anxious around strangers, teach them to sit and stay a few yards away when you greet trick-or-treaters. Keeping your dog away from the door also minimizes the risk of them running away or harming one of the ghosts or witches at your door. If you are new to the world of dog training for beginners, this is a great trick to try!
To train your dog to stay, put them on a leash and have them sit next to you. Then, raise your palm toward their muzzle and say “stay.” Step in front of your dog, wait a few seconds, and then step back beside them. Reward with a small treat if your dog sits still. If your dog moves, calmly say “uh-uh,” send them back to the starting position, and try again. As your dog gets more comfortable with the “stay” command, you can practice slowly walking away.
Teach Your Dog Not to Bark
It’s Halloween, the doorbell is constantly ringing, and your dog won’t stop barking. What do you do? The best way to stop your dog from barking is teaching them to stay quiet.
To teach your dog the “hush” command, all you’ll need is a few small dog training treats. Wait for your dog to start barking, then try to capture their attention. If they look at you and stop barking, reward with a treat. Do this as often as possible, eventually adding the word “hush.” Once your dog gets the hang of it, give the command before the treat reward. Having a quiet, well-behaved dog on command is definitely worth the effort!
To Manage Dogs and Chocolate
Teach Your Dog to Drop It
What’s the best part of Halloween? Candy, of course! Sweets like chocolates or anything with the sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs. In the event that your pup finds the candy bowl or other Halloween items your dog should avoid, use the “drop it” command to save them a trip to the vet.
To teach the “drop it” command, give your dog a toy to hold in their mouth. Then, hold a small treat near their nose and say “drop it.” The smell of the treat will cause your dog to drop the toy and go for the treat. When your dog opens their mouth, praise them as you offer the reward. Repeat this several times throughout the day until you’re confident your dog will drop whatever is in their mouth without being bribed with a treat.
Mastering these Halloween dog tricks will take time, so practice early and often. Once your furry friend understands what is acceptable and what is not acceptable during the big day, you’ll be ready to celebrate Halloween together!