How to Survive the Darkest Night of the Year for Dogs: The Halloween Howl

In his four years of existence, my dog Blue has never calmly gone to the front door after hearing a knock, ring or even a car door. You would think that putting him in a full costume, doggie wig included, would slow him down on Halloween night, but every ring sends him barking over and over again. Here are some tips to help survive the Halloween Howling, because if you can’t dress your dog up on Halloween, what’s the point of the holiday?!?


  1. Make sure your pupper can freely move in their costume. He or she may tolerate wearing it but if they stand still, lay down, and refuse to walk in it, they are not comfortable and will not act themselves around children and other strangers.

  1. If your doggo is going out with you and the kiddos, make sure you keep your distance from others. Your dog will see many frightful sights they have never seen before; small goblins, ghosts, Pikachu’s and ladybugs. Even dogs with the best temperament can be spooked. A short, non-retractable leash will ensure you have full control of your doggos every move.


  1. If you are trick or treating, never approach someone else’s front door with your woofer. Stay back and supervise your kids without going right up to door that might be home to another dog, cat, or human that may have a poor reaction to your cute fluff ball.

  1. For the doggers staying home to shell out candy like Blue, remember not to lock them in their cage if they are uneasy, barking or agitated. Their cage is a safe place and they should not associate it with fear.


  1. And for the problematic doorbell howling hounds….here’s what I’ve been trying with Blue. We have been practicing “treat parties” when someone comes to the door or into the house. Just yelling at your dog to stop is not training or halting any bad behaviours when the doorbell rings. Blue likes to bark, run from the door to the front window and even inch his way out the front door when opened. At first, I questioned that a “treat party” might reward his general nonsense, but instead, it distracts him from such unwanted behaviour. When I hear someone approaching the door, I throw some treats out on the floor in the opposite direction. If he is already barking I even hit him with them to fully break the negative behaviour of barking and running to beat me to the door. He is food motivated so this breaks his attention and he frantically spends his time searching for his snacks rather than greeting our visitors. My hope is he will soon associate the doorbell with some positive rewards, rather than a scary unknown world of mail deliveries and pizza boys and hopefully will stop barking like a little psychopath at every movement outside. (I even bought our postman a Christmas gift last year as a way to apologize Blue’s barking!)


Have you found a way to control your pup at the door? How does your dog react to Halloween night?? Let us know below and don’t forget to post your pup in costume on the PetVibe app!


Laura and Blue are an inseparable duo from Toronto who love looking for the latest and greatest doggie products. Their interests include fine dining at Blue’s doggie supper club, frequenting dog friendly breweries, and online shopping. Do you have an idea for pet related story? Contact us! @blues.crew 


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