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OUR DOGS WAKE UP
Halloween offers opportunities to let your dog take the lead in looking for fun.
Dogs and their people showed their party enthusiasm at the 2012 Greater Fredericksburg Kennel Club's Halloween Costume Contest and Party last weekend. Kennel club member Kathryn Dennis of Spotsylvania County opened her horse barn and farm to doggy skeletons, ballerinas, Wonder Women, Harry Potters, sparkling pumpkins, canine witches, barking hobos and some dressed up to match their costumed humans. The joy and wagging by the dogs attending the celebration
Examples of safe costumes for canines were on display. Lessons learned included: Let the humans wear the masks. Keep dogs' eyes uncovered. Hats, collars, capes and ankle cuffs make dramatic Halloween finery for canines.
If your dog is wearing a skirt or ballerina tutu, be sure to test drive the costume before the dress-up event to insure your pet can walk without tripping. If a hat falls off, add an elastic band under the chin.
Some dogs will gladly dress up, while others are not going to wear hats, feather boas or sheriffs suits, even if you beg. Halloween parties that include dressed-up dogs should be as much fun for them as for the humans. Never speak harshly or allow your desires to dress the dog make your patience short with your four-footed friend.
Abide by this dog-training rule: If you aren't having fun, your dog certainly will not enjoy the activity either. Unless the human sets the tone for enjoyment, most dogs would be just as happy to lie about on the sofa, eating trick-or-treat biscuits at home.