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Note: I’ve partnered with Milk-Bone to bring you this post.
Leave a comment below to enter to win a prize bundle of treats from Milk-Bone. Click here
Does your dog freeze, shut down or completely lose it over wearing, God forbid, a festive Halloween bandanna?
Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have a dog who could care less if you plop him into, say, one of those big spider costumes?
Most dogs are somewhere in the middle, of course, so I thought I’d share a few tips for getting your dog (or your food-motivated cat) used to his Halloween costume using treats. This is assuming you are one of those people who enjoy humiliating their pets.
My models today are Ace the rufferee and Beamer the bee.
Leave a comment below to enter to win a prize package of treats for your dog from Milk-Bone and other brands.
5 tips to get your dog used to wearing a Halloween costume
If you are a clicker trainer, a clicker works great for helping a pup make positive associations with a costume, dog sweater or even a harness.
[quote_center]Remember, dogs and cats generally feel uncomfortable wearing clothes.[/quote_center]
Remember, dogs and cats generally feel uncomfortable wearing clothes. They already have fur coats and wearing something over them can make them feel vulnerable.
My own dog trembles (as though frightened) when I put his winter vest on him. He doesn’t act this way, however, while wearing a Halloween costume because I’ve made positive associations (TREATS!) with the costume. Go figure.
1. Let the dog sniff the costume without wearing it.
The “rufferee” costume was brand new, so Ace was interested in it. I rewarded him with treats just for checking it out. The Pup-Peronis are perfect for this type of training. They have a strong jerky scent and are soft and breakable. I also use them for bribing my dog to cooperate during a bath or nail trim.
If your dog generally freaks out over wearing a coat, sweater or costume, repeat the above step several times.
2. Set the costume over your dog and reward.
Don’t put the costume fully on your dog. Just gently drape it over his back. If he accepts this, tell him what a good boy he is and give a treat.
Repeat several times. Make this FUN and GOOFY so your dog is secretly making fun of you.
3. Put the main part of the costume on your dog.
Give a treat each time you put a paw through an arm hole and when you pull the costume fully over your dog’s body.
Then, give even more treats when the costume is fully on. What a good boy!
Take the costume off your dog right away, and if he is not stressed out, repeat.
4. Repeat the above step, keeping the costume on longer.
Try for 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 5 minutes, until it’s no big deal.
But come on, what dog wants to wear a costume all day or for more than an hour, really?
5. Get your dog used to other pieces of the costume.
If the costume has a head piece or boots or anything else like that, repeat the above steps with each piece of the costume.
Most dogs don’t like having something over their head or on their feet, for obvious reasons, but if you introduce the pieces slowly your dog might learn to tolerate it for a day just to humor you.
Such a good sport!
Again, some dogs really could care less about costumes while others will not have it!
The key is to slowly introduce your pet to his costume a few days or weeks before you plan to force him to wear it. Yep, I said force.
Giveaway! Win a prize package of dog treats from Milk-Bone!
*Congrats to Terri B.!
Milk-Bone is giving away a prize package of goodies to one lucky reader of That Mutt. The package will include treats from multiple Big Heart Pet Brands such as Milk-Bone, Pup-Peroni and Milo’s Kitchen.
To enter, just leave a comment below to indicate you want in on the drawing. What type of training would you use the treats for?
I’ll choose one winner at random on Thursday Nov. 5. Must have a U.S. mailing address to win.
Big Heart Pet Brands is the maker of Milk-Bone and other brands. You can find treat coupons, pet costume ideas and DIY projects at TreatingForAll.com.
Would your dog like to give these treats a try?
Let me know in the comments!
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