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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Staying Home For Halloween Party Tips And Doorbell Issues

Staying Home for Halloween? Party Tips and Doorbell Issues

PetSmart Debbie McKnight, Accredited PetSmart Trainer

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Throwing a Halloween bash this year?  Is Fido invited?  Here are a few simple tips to make sure he stays safe and is enjoyed by all:

  • Keep him on leash or crate him while everyone arrives so he doesn’t accidentally get out the door.
  • Leashing him while greeting your guests will also help you ensure he stays seated and doesn’t jump on your guests.
  • Make sure everyone knows if and what they can or cannot feed him.  A blanket rule of “don’t feed the dog” is probably your safest bet.
  • Let everyone know that Fido can only be petted if all four paws are on the ground.  This will ensure that he isn’t reinforced for bad behavior (like jumping up).
  • Your pup should be well-socialized and not nervous around costumes, funny hats, glasses, funny sounds and noises, etc., if he is truly going to enjoy the party.
  • Don’t hesitate to crate him or send him to bed if you see that he’s getting over-tired or over-stimulated.  Sometimes we all just need a nap!
  • If he is a barker when the doorbell rings, some pre-training will be necessary:
    • Begin by leashing the dog and grabbing some great treats.
    • Take him to the front door, open it, and ring the doorbell.
    • As soon as you ring the doorbell (and preferably before he barks), feed him a couple treats.  
    • Repeat these steps until he looks at you when you ring the doorbell, rather than beginning to bark.
    • To make it harder, enlist the help of a neighbor or friend.  Send them outside to ring the doorbell.
    • Whenever it rings, feed the dog a treat.  Repeat until he looks at you, rather than barking.
    • Your next step would be to repeat the previous step off leash.
    • Now it’s time for the real test: have the dog off leash and have someone ring the doorbell.  When it rings, call the dog to you for his treat,  then walk to the door and continue to treat if quiet.
    • Repeat, repeat, repeat!

With some simple training and rules, your dog can be a part of all the family fun.  Happy Halloween!

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