Dogs Fireworks And Other Noises

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Dogs Fireworks And Other Noises

by Angela Fitch



Introduce a crate, or bed in a quiet and safe area of the house. Most dogs like to retreat to a 'den' and you need to provide this for them. If using a crate, you can drape it with a blanket to make it feel even more enclosed and safe. The idea is that they retreat to this area of their own accord. Never lock a dog in a crate if they are extremely stressed by fireworks and Thunder etc. - it may cause them to injure themselves.

1. Make the crate /bed and enjoyable experience. To re-inforce the security of the area, you can feed your dog their dinner in it, provide chew toys and rewarding interactions with you. It can be good to play music while they are in the crate/bed. They get used to the noise and you can play it quite loudly during a thunderstorm or fireworks. Sometimes, dogs find the hum of a fan reasuring.

2. Use a Sounds CD playing the noise you are trying to de-sensitize your dog with. Start with a low sound and play it every time your dog is enjoying a rewarding/positive activity. Play it while eating his dinner, playing with him, training him, anything he enjoys doing. If you begin every rewarding experience with the 'Sounds CD' - the dog will learn to associate the noise with good things. When he is happy with the level you are playing at, and you get his tail wagging when he hears it - then increase the volume. Start over again, and when he is at this level again - increase the volume again.

3. Play the CD when he is in his crate/bed. Feed him treats and make it a rewarding experience - so he learns that the crate/bed is a good place to go if he hears these sounds.

4. Make sure you have good basic training with your dog. Teach him to sit, lay down and stay. Using well rehearsed commands can relax a dog when you apply them in difficult situations as you are using something he knows and understands to build his confidence.

5. What is it that triggers the behaviour? with thunderstorms, often dogs sense a change in atmosphere and the wind and rain are all abuild up to the event. We cannot imitate the atmospheric changes that dogs can sense. This gives a dog time to build up his anxiety levels ready for the big event! He has learned that these events preced the storm, so try distracting him and using your training and play to avoid/ reduce the intense emotional build up and so making the experience less intense.

Do not try to force a dog to confront his fears. He must learn to cope in his own time although these are the things you can do to help:

Do not re-inforce a dogs fear. By reassuring, cuddling and giving him attention you are acknowledging the fear. It is far better for them to retreat to a safe area and sit it out on their own. Only praise and reward them when they are displaying the calm behaviour you are seeking.

Everyone in the house must display the calm behaviour you are expecting from your dog. When you see your dog building up his stress level: display calming behaviours to communicate with him that you are not bothered. when he looks at you, turn your head away from him and break eye contact. Twist your body away from him and show him your back. Sit or lie down on the chair or sofa, do lots of yawning and stretch your arms in front of you, pointing down towards the floor, not up towards the ceiling.

OTHER THINGS TO TRY:

1. Try using 'Anxiety - Thunder, Fireworks and Loud Noises' - A homepathic remedy which can help many dogs to cope.
2. Try a DAP diffuser - A plug in device with Dog Appeasing Pheromone which gives the calming scent of a lactating bitch. You can also purchase this in a spray to put on beds etc.
3. Bach Flower Remedies - Rescue Remedy, another natural remedy which may help your dog to cope with anxiety.

Using all methods takes time and patience. If your dog does not respond after real time and effort - you may consider talking to your vet if there is a real case of medication required due to severe symptoms being displayed. Using this in conjunction with these training methods may help your dog cope.

Products are available at www.progresspets.co.uk



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