DogWatch asked for the best Halloween photos of your pets in costume, and you delivered! We received over 500 photos, the largest turnout in the six year history of our contest! The DogWatch team had a VERY hard time choosing a winner – there were so many adorable and very creative entries! After lots of discussion, debate (and giggles), we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2019 DogWatch Halloween Photo Contest!

THIRD PLACE: Nugget the Corgi as a “Corn Dog”

Nugget the Corgi as a Corn Dog

We love a good dog pun – even if it’s a little corny. (Sorry, we couldn’t resist!) Nugget the Corgi looks adorable in his corn cob costume, handmade by his talented mom McKenna Carrigan ( from Wauwatosa, WI. The tiny butter hat just seals the deal for us.

SECOND PLACE: Caden, Riley and Logan as the “3 Bugeteers”

3 Yellow Labs as Bumblebee, Butterfly and Lady Bug

Yellow Lab siblings Logan (Bumblebee), Riley (Butterfly) and Caden (Ladybug) are quite the trio of flying cuties! How mom Barbara got these three to stay still long enough to take this group shot we’ll never know, but we’re glad she did. Logan, Riley and Caden hail from Brighton, MI, and no doubt they were the delight of all the trick or treaters in their neighborhood this year. Have fun, “Bugeteers”!

FIRST PLACE: Taylor and Ryder as “ET and Elliott”

Dogs as ET

Who could forget that magical moment in the 1980s Steven Spielberg classic “ET”, when Elliott and his new alien best bud launch into the air on his bicycle? Ryder the German Shorthaired Pointer and Taylor the rescue dog’s parents definitely remember that scene, and used it as an inspiration for this year’s winning photo!

We spoke with Ryder and Taylor’s mom Jessica Bumbera about how she came up with the idea, how she captured the moment, and all about her adorable dogs. Check it out below!

DogWatch: Congrats Jessica! We love your photo. How did you choose the ET costume this year? Was it difficult to get Ryder to “steer” the bike, or to keep Taylor inside the basket?

Jessica Bumbera: When I was little my grandma bought me an ET doll and I kept it in a tote in our basement. This summer we were cleaning out totes and saw the doll and thought it would be so great to incorporate that into a Halloween costume for the dogs. We then started thinking of ways we could setup this scenario.  We decided Taylor would be in the basket but with her being timid I started placing treats in the basket and allowing her to get them and I would also lift her in the basket everyday to get her feeling comfortable.  Ryder is our happy-go-lucky dog that just kind of lets us do whatever (but there better be treats 😊). We actually placed her on a platform to give the illusion she was actually riding the bike. Taylor’s basket with bike handle bars attached to it was on the ground and she was very focused on mommies treat she had.

DW: How old are Ryder and Taylor, and how long have you had them?

JB: We have had Ryder since she was 8 weeks old. We picked her up in July of 2016. Taylor has been with us since Oct. 2018. Taylor was rescued from a ditch in Texas when she was a tiny puppy with her mom and sister.  We were looking to add a new addition and found this great rescue Two Ladies and Four Paws. This is where Taylor was fostered and taken care of until we were able to take her home.

DW: Do Ryder and Taylor use any DogWatch products at home?

JB: We have them both on the DogWatch Hidden Fence. Ryder has been using the fence since September 2016 and Taylor since June 22nd of this year.  The installers were so great with training the dogs during the initial setup which made the process so easy for us. We are very fortunate both dogs understood the flags after their first training session. We had to be very careful with Taylor due to her past issues she scared easily. We actually purchased the collar a month before and had her wear it going into the “big yard” each day. We didn’t want her to associate the collar with the fence. After, we turned the collar on she was exposed to the initial vibration and that was enough to keep her away.

We absolutely love the hidden fence. This product allows our dogs freedom to roam the big yard and gives us a sense of security knowing they will not run away. The collars are very durable as well, thankfully!

DW: How do Ryder and Taylor get along? How are they similar, and what are their biggest differences?

JB: Ryder and Taylor are besties! Taylor loves her sister so much! Ryder has been a great support system for Taylor. Ryder is great with welcoming new doggies at daycare and she did the same for her new sister. They both love chipmunk watching and watching the deer/turkey in the yard. The biggest difference with them is Taylor wants lots of hugs and Ryder wants to run and have a good time.

We love them to so much.  We created Instagram accounts for them feel free to follow their Instagram @taylor_aka_taytay  and @ryder_the_gsp!

Taylor and Ryder

The First Place Prize comes with a $100 donation to a pet-related charity of the winner’s choice. Jessica has chosen Two Ladies and Four Paws, the foster-home-based rescue in their home state of Pennsylvania that rescued Taylor. Click here to learn more about them!

Congrats Ryder & Taylor, Caden & Riley & Logan, and Nugget, and to all of this year’s many amazing entries!


In addition to our top three, we also wanted to give a shout out to some of other favorites this year! Here are our 2019 Honorable Mentions:

Salt & Pepper Pooches – how clever! (Photo by Jessie Saint)

Salt and Pepper dogs

Ghost the Pomeranian (@paranormalpuppy) channels that other Halloween classic – Dracula!

vampire pomeranian

Sophie and Maddi (@pointerpawprints) are pointers in sheep’s clothing!

German Shorthaired Pointers in sheep costumes

Oakley the Newfoundland (@that_nepa_newfie) impressed us with his awesome tribute to Animal Crackers!

Newfoundland dog

Liberace (@liberace_minipig_divadude) proves that pigs love Halloween, too! Here he is with his best buddy Heisenberg the Boxer.

Pig and Boxer dog

Aubrey the Dachshund (@aubrey_the_noodle) is bananas – B-AN-AN-AS!

Dachshund in banana costume

Handi-capable pup Maisy the Cockapoo is her favorite flying rescue dog, Skye from “Paw Patrol”! (Photo by Mandy W. Lee)

Cockapoo dog dressed as Skye from Paw Patrol

Charlie the Toy Poodle (@littlecharliedog) pays tribute to another 1980s classic, “Edward Scissorhands”!

Poodle dressed as Edward Scissorhands

We loved this creative entry from Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein – her adorable pup Havee the Havanese is the greatest prize even won in an arcade claw machine!

dog inside arcade claw machine

Finally, Queen of Costumes Lola B. Boston stole our hearts this year as the Hamburglar!

Lola B. Boston as the Hamburglar

We’d like to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in this year’s DogWatch Halloween Photo Contest! And if you don’t already, follow us on Facebook and Instagram (@dogwatchfence) to see the rest of the Halloween photo contest entries!