Canine behaviorist warns UK dog owners ahead of Halloween weekend

A dog The behaviorist, owner of Ryecroft Meadow in Wrexham, has warned dog owners against dressing up their furry friends in Halloween costumes.

They ask owners to think about the potential impact putting a dog in a costume can have on their behavior.

Although you may think that your dog looks adorable when dressed in his scariest outfit, you need to be aware of his wellbeing and behavior.

Some dogs might like to be dressed up, but others don’t like the idea.

Peeblesshire News: A dogA dog (Image: Canvas)

Handling dogs while putting them on costumes can stress them out, especially if the costume has to be put on their head or their legs have to go through sleeves.

Something owners may not realize is that their dog can seem fine even when it isn’t.

The canine behaviorist explains that there are four Fs to watch out for in stressful situations: fight, flight, freeze or fuss.

You should take your dog out of the costume when it is safe to do so if they are:

  • Roll up, try to break free
  • Pulling the costume with his teeth or paws
  • Refusing to move or frozen in fear

You should never ignore these signals and be wary of aggression, as this is how some dogs try to get away from whatever makes them uncomfortable.

Aggression can occur especially when owners ignore the more subtle warning signs.

Warning signs can include:

  • Licking nose or lips
  • Yawn
  • Turn head or body and walk away

It can also quickly turn into growls, clicks, and bites.

Freeze’s response might come after they try to get out of the suit.

It is extremely common for dogs, when wearing outfits, to freeze up and emotionally shut down. They also stop trying to escape because they feel they can’t get out.

Some costumes may cover a dog’s face or restrict its movement, so much so that it may be unable to exhibit its usual behaviors.

The costume may make some dogs confused and not sure how to understand your dog when they wear it.

Peeblesshire News: A dogA dog (Image: Canvas)

Owners may also find it difficult to understand the dog’s behavior and misread its body language.

Dogs are also at risk of running away from the situation and hurting themselves in the process. They could also put themselves in danger if they are outside.

Injuries to the dog can occur, including getting stuck, swallowing objects, or losing balance and hurting themselves.

In worst-case scenarios, dogs can become stressed and experience life-threatening events.

When dogs have choice and control, they can excel at handling, but when they have to be restrained during a vet appointment, for example, it can be stressful for dogs and upsetting for them. owners.

The canine behaviorist encourages owners to work on cooperative care that trains dogs to tolerate handling and teaches them to be willing participants.

This requires classical conditioning, a process that means learning by association. For example, pairing things that dogs like, like treats, with handling can make them more comfortable.

This learning process can be used when it comes to clothing.


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When putting clothes on your dog, make sure he’s happy to be handled and doesn’t show distressing behaviors while wearing it.

You need to make sure the clothes give them a full range of motion and aren’t too tight which will affect blood supply or too loose which will allow them to get stuck.

The dog behaviorist asks you not to force your dog to wear something that does not benefit him and is just for human entertainment this Halloween.


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Instead, to get pretty pictures, you can sit them next to pumpkins or in front of Halloween decorations, like the one available at Ryecroft Meadow.

If you want to find more information on how to keep your dog safe and happy this Halloween and Bonfire Night, you can visit the Train My Puppy Facebook page.

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