Pumpkin Spice Puppachinos: Getting Puppy Ready for Halloween

tri color teddy bear puppy www.habibibears.comWe at Habibi Bears, home of the Original Teddy Bear pups, can’t believe that we are winding up summer and sliding into autumn in a few days!  You know what that means? Falling leaves, cozy sweater weather, snuggly puppies and pumpkins, apple pies and Harvest festivals! It also means it is time to prepare your puppy for any Halloween costumes you may be considering for them because Halloween is a little more than 35 days away.

You know from our Instagram feed that our beloved Habibi Bear Puppies are some of the most photogenic pups you’ve ever laid eyes on! We begin desensitizing our little guys and gals by using bows, both bowties and hairbows for our photo shoots. Desensitization is the process of gradually exposing a person (or pup) to an object slowly and methodically in order to avoid stress, overstimulation or an emotional response. 

Desensitization of new smell: This can work for you at home as well, for a new collar or leash for example. Since dogs have over 300 million olfactory (smell) receptors in their nose and are driven by smell, it is super helpful to let a brand new object soak up your home and family odors and scent to make the item more appealing to your puppy before placing on or around them. Some dogs (or even cats) don’t feel comfortable using an object until their own smell is on it. If you have an environmentally sensitive dog, this will often help them accept a new item. 

Desensitization of touch or feeling of new item: We can use the example of a doggie t-shirt but the process will work for a harness too. Leave the shirt out where the dog can smell it, see it, and freely approach it. When they do touch it with their nose, you can reward them for it with an enthusiastic YES! or a high value treat. When they no longer are interested or intrigued by it, you can proceed to phase two, placing over their back or shoulders in a hanging position while praising them and offering treats. If they don’t back out, shake or look distressed after a few practice runs, you can move on to phase three: actually having them wear the item. Take your time with placing the item on them, offer praise and treats, and avoid stressing them out by leaving it on for a long time. 

Desensitization of length of time: When your puppy is comfortable with you placing their tee-shirt or harness on, make sure you don’t overdo it. Start out in small increments over a period of time, say 15 minutes a day over a ten-day period and increase it accordingly, adding 5 minutes every other day. Take a critical look at the end of your training period and evaluate if your Habibi Bear guy or gal is ready to rock their spiffy new style with ease or if they need additional time and support. The important thing is the comfort of your puppy in wearing those cute costumes that we all love to see. 

Perhaps your pup is a Party Animal who loves to dress up and lives to impress all the other doggy influencers! These puppies prance and parade a new kerchief, t-shirt, or even hats whenever they get a chance. If so, you will be able to have your pup wear more complete complicated costumes and use props, so get your camera ready and make sure to share with the other members of the Habibi Bear Tribe! Even if you have a subdued and stoic pup, by taking the time to desensitize your dog to a new neckerchief or collar, they can be styling by Halloween with all the other pups on the block. 

Have any other questions or comments? Drop us a line or slide into our DMs! We have over three decades of doggy experience that we love sharing. We are always here for you, cheering you on! 

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