Sure, you might like the idea of dressing up your canine friend in a dog costume, but that doesn’t mean they like that idea.
Dog costumes may sometimes give even the best-temperament pooches a bit of anxiety. Luckily, there are several ways you can train your dog to tolerate wearing a costume whether it’s a Halloween dog costume, Christmas dog costume or a birthday dog costume.
How do you know if your dog doesn’t like wearing their dog costume? Don’t worry; they’ll let you know. There are several visual signs your dog will give you that their dog costume is not enjoyable for them to wear. Some of these signs include:
- Keeping their head down
- Turning their head away from you
- Tilting their ears back
- Getting as flat to the ground as possible
- Freezing when the dog costume is on
- Raising one paw
When your dog continues to do any one of these signs we recommend taking the time to train your dog, so they can get more acquainted with wearing their new outfit.
Dog Costume Training Tips
First things first, let your pooch get acquainted with their costume, especially if it’s their first time wearing a dog costume. Remember, while you know this is a fun costume for your dog to wear for a special event, your four-legged friend doesn’t know that. To them, it’s just a strange object that is on them! By letting them sniff and getting used to the costume before it’s ever put on, your dog will realize that the dog costume is harmless.
Next, you want your dog to associate the costume with positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to train your dog a trick or in this case a new behavior. Now that your dog has had a chance to give the costume a sniff over start giving your dog positive reinforcement when you show them the costume. The goal of this is to have your dog associate good things with the costume. Give them a treat, praise, or a toy when they sniff or see the costume. Whichever method of positive reinforcement your dog enjoys the most, do this for praising them for interacting with the costume.
After you do this a couple of times with the costume, now try the same method of praise and positive reinforcement when your dog touches the costume. This training will take your dog’s association to the next level with the new dog costume. The goal of this step of training is so that your dog not only associates good things with the costume but good things with touching the costume.
Now after a few rounds of rewarding your dog for touching the costume, repeat with them wearing the dog costume. Now your dog has had plenty of time to get used to the dog costume and should associate the costume with something positive. Make sure to give your pup extra praise and treats.
We hope this training helps make your dog more comfortable wearing their dog costume. Have questions about the dog costumes we sell online or other tips for getting your dog to wear a costume? Contact our team today!