by Dave Wright // October 2017


Halloween is fast approaching and, though many humans are undoubtedly relishing the prospect of pumpkins, parties, ghouls and gluvein, our canine companions need to be uppermost in our thoughts when considering any plans for celebrations, ‘trick or treaters’ visiting the house and the inevitable onset of fireworks!

Those of you who attend training classes, particularly the lucky ones who are currently enjoying training with your local Dog School, will have plenty of valuable input from your coaches and trainers, but here are some of the fundamentals to consider carefully at this time of year:

H – Have a plan. Sit down with the family and discuss, taking your individual dog’s needs into consideration, your intentions for anything Halloween related.

A – Arm yourself. If you have a dog that struggles with visitors to the home, loud noises, people dressed up …etc. consider making and displaying a polite notice requesting that you and your dog/s are left in peace ( most people will respect a notice that refers to a puppy or dog that needs help ). Here is an example to inspire you:

L – Leave ‘Fido’ safe at home (accompanied if possible). Should you have intentions to venture out ‘trick or treating’ yourself, please don’t be tempted to take your dog with you – who knows what you may encounter on your excursion and better safe than sorry from your dog’s point of view.

L – Love and understanding. If your puppy or dog comes to you looking for reassurance do give it – if he or she is worried they are gong to need to know you are there to help them. Please don’t tell him or her off if being worried, upset or excited has led to them doing something you don’t like – as we say at Dog School “Reward the behaviour you like and, as much as you can, ignore the things you don’t like.” If you cannot ignore it, try to distract and encourage a desired behaviour and then reward that.

O – Organise routines and activities. Have pre-prepared things ready to amuse your dog and distract them from the noisy goings-on. A ready stuffed interactive food toy filled with their favourite foodstuffs, a shoe box containing shredded paper and lots of small treats, snuffle mats …. These and plenty more ideas will help your dog cope with new and possibly worrying situations. Do get in touch with your local Dog School to find out about ways to enrich our dogs’ lives and help relieve boredom and stress.

W – Walking the dog. ‘Fido’ is going to need fulfilling exercise – this will help to promote relaxation whilst in the home, but please try to avoid walking during the evenings when the likelihood of fiends, fireworks and frights is going to be huge.

E – Enjoyment for all. Planning a party or having some friends round for pies and punch? That’s great, but ensure that your dog has somewhere comfortable and out of the way to retreat to and relax if he or she so desires.

E – Eat, drink and be merry. Halloween treats are a big part of the proceedings and to be found in abundance in most homes. Take care to keep these out of reach of your dog/s, ensure your guests are not tempted to give leftovers or snacks to them and if you are providing ghostly delights for potential ‘trick or treaters’ be sure to keep them in a sealed container out of harms way or leave them outside your property with a suitable notice attached.

N – No unwanted surprises. ‘Fido’ may generally be an angel at the front door when visitors knock, but at this time of year you never know what will confront you when you open that door! To avoid any over excitement or worry, use a baby gate or encourage the dog away into another room where they can enjoy a few treats while you answer the door to Frankenstein, The Adams Family and Freddie Kruger!!

Whatever your plans for the end of the month, Dogs Trust Dog School wish you and your furry friends a Happy Howloween!!!

 Life with a dog at your side is a wonderful and precious gift! But let’s face it, ‘learning dog’ can be difficult. Often we know what we would like or even need from our dogs but we just don’t always know where to start.

 Nothing is easy without support…

Cue the Dog School Essex team, who are on hand to help you and your dog learn practical and handy skills to make those park picnic days with your favorite furry friend just a little brighter!

Come rain or shine you can get in touch with us, to find out about our classes throughout Essex and start your journey to a bond that lasts a lifetime!

Get in touch with us on 01268 535047


Email us essexdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk