Barktoberfest benefits local dogs to stay in their homes

Walton County

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– If you’re looking for a fur-real fun time, then look no further than Barktoberfest happening on Oct. 28 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Grandboulevard in Sandestin.

The event is free admission, and will feature raffles, a silent auction, contests, and a human and dog duo costume competition.

This is the events sixth year. Dog-Harmony helps dogs stay in their homes by providing behavioral classes to ensure that dogs are well trained.

“Often people don’t realize when adopting dogs how big they are going to get, or how energetic they can be, and by providing basic training and teaching the dog manners we can help prevent owner surrenders,” said Dog-Harmony founder, Nancy Bown.

Bown also gaves tips on how to dress your dog up in a costume. She recommends starting small with accessories and to show the dog, allowing them to smell and get acclimated with it. You also want to introduce the costume before Halloween as it can take weeks for an animal to get comfortable, Bown said. If the animal backs away, that’s a key indicator they may not feel comfortable with the costume piece.

Dog-Harmony also has trainings with small children to teach them how to interact with dogs that can be high energy, so they are less afraid.

Dog-Harmony does not typically house dogs, but they did acquire Koda, an American-Bulldog shown in the video below. Koda’s owner was placed in hospice care and could no longer care for him, and Bown stepped into help as she felt due to his breed he would not be adopted. Koda has been trained by the program.

Koda’s adoption fee is $250, and Dog-Harmony can be reached at (850) 376-4190.

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