Door Training During Halloween

Every year several clients tell me that they are concerned about how their dog will react on Halloween night. It can be a challenging time for some dogs. Along with doorbell ringing consistently when you open the door there are a number of children screaming “trick or treat” dressed in strange costumes.


Instead of looking at this as a “trick” see it as a “treat”. The treat is you get a chance to train your dog! Often I will hold door bell ringing parties for my clients where a large number of their friends come over to ring the door over and over again. We then work on training. Teaching the dog the correct way to behave when people ring the door. This night you’re going to have that opportunity a number of times. This is your chance to help teach your dog how you want him to behave.

To do this:

  • Put your dog on a leash.
  • When the door rings calmly walk your dog to the door and place him in a sit position.
  • If your dog barks when you open the door give him a tug and tell him to “leave it.”
  • Put him back in the sit position.
  • Close your door, give your dog a pet and wait for next round.

This is easier with two people. One person in charge of the dog and the other person in charge of answering door. Remember,  always work at your dogs pace.