Treating Impulse Control for Halloween

 Preparing your dog for Halloween

Halloween can be an opportunity to teach your dog polite behavior around food.

Training Impulse Control with treats 
Prepare a bowl of tasty treats that are healthy for your dog (slices of carrots, broccoli stems, plain rice cakes). Place them in a bowl and start this training game.

Training
Stand and hold the bowl of treats
If your dog is being polite - give your dog a treat.
If your dog is being rude - raise the treats higher.

When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with you sitting in a chair.

When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with you kneeling on the ground.
When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with you sitting on the ground.
When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with you placing the bowl on the ground.
When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with the treats sitting on a table.
When your dog gets 5 correct in a row - try with the treats sitting on a table but you move 1 step away.
Continue until you can open the door and your dog is still polite with the treats.

Safety Tips

Even through you are going to teach impulse control around food, you still want to practice safety so here are some tips to help you out.

The Goodies 
Most of the candy and other treats we have around for Halloween can be toxic to your dog. Dogs get very sick from eating chocolate and artificial sweeteners. The extra sugar and salt are also unhealthy for your dog. When dogs steal these items, they do not go to the trouble of unwrapping the tasty treat. The wrappers can cause choking, and an upset stomach or a blockage. So make sure the treats you will be giving out are kept up and in a secured container.

ID 
In addition, make sure your pet is properly identified (microchip, collar and ID tag) in case it escapes through an open door while you’re distracted with trick-or-treaters or on a walk.

Decorations 
For some dogs, new objects around the house are a cause to investigate with their mouth. Be careful where you place Halloween decorations. If your dog is likely to chew on the cords of the electrical decorations, run the cord through PVC pipe to reduce the chance your dog will bite into the cord. You will also need to be careful where you put pumpkins or Jack-o-lanterns. Some dogs try to eat them, which could cause an obstruction. If the jack-o-lantern has a candle in it, there is a potential for the dog to get burned or for a fire to start. You will also want to keep glow sticks and glow jewelry away from your pets. If your dog consumes the liquid it will make your pet salivate excessively and act strangely.

Debbie SchaeferComment