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Old 01-01-2013, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Oy Vey, Fireworks Trouble

Skoll was a good boy on our potty walk today.

I have some ah. Noise sensitivities. Loud banging noises give me panic attacks. Thunder is bad. Gunshots are usually bad and yes I do flinch when I encounter them in the shows/movies I watch just like I have to take a deep breath for recorded thunder noises. Fireworks are okay if they’re at a distance and if I’m expecting them. If I’m close or not expecting them that day they’re bad.

Some drunk idiot decides to set off fireworks in the park that I’m WALKING IN, right freaking across the park, while I have Skoll leashed beside me. Skoll. The abused reactive 95# doberman who tells things he’s afraid of that he will definitely chew them up.

Kay. So. I was expecting fireworks last night and did not have [strike]much of[/strike] a problem. I was not expecting fireworks right next to me at 6pm in a public zone fired off by some drunk idiot today (also that's illegal). Panic attack starts. Skoll is suddenly a fantastic wonderful dog and while he seemed startled by the initial blast he came over to me and put himself between me and the source of the noise. Ears and nub up, frozen in position. I don’t think he realized WHY I was scared but I think he understood that the sound was the problem. No barking, no panicking, just a silent “go away I’m watching you”.

Eventually reason started to come back to my brain and I was able to get myself calm enough to start walking again [strike]yes I did yelp and freeze when this happened[/strike] and of course by this time because it’s 6pm all of the neighborhood dogs are out in their yards and NOW they’re all amped up from the noise. Again Skoll is a reactive mess occasionally and I was fully expecting to have to deal with him freaking out on top of my freaking out and was not looking forward to the walk back.

Loose leash the entire time. No pulling (shocker considering he pulls like the devil otherwise), no outbursts or aggression towards the amped up neighborhood dogs. He did the silent focused body block “this is my human go away” a few times when we had to pass a particularly bothered dog or someone who doesn’t reflexively jump out of a doberman’s way (most people here are scared of him) but he was actually BETTER than he’s ever been.

Then we got inside and he was a pest until I sat on the couch with a cup of cold water. Put his head on my lap and just waited it out. I guess when he was satisfied that I wasn’t losing control anymore was when he decided to distract me with play time. Then he got supper, another walk before bed, some more out time, and he was tucked in for the night in his crate a couple hours ago.





So uh. Lesson learned, Skoll does not appear to be afraid of fireworks. Or maybe he was just too focused on keeping me held together that he didn't have time to be afraid of fireworks. Either way he got goodies once I'd calmed down. A little late to reward him for good behavior BUT hopefully his dog brain will understand.
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How nice he didn't react and he seems to be in tuned with you. Lexi didn't have a problem with the morons and firecrackers on New Years. At midnight, we were sound asleep and they started, we sat straight up in bed, Lexi stood up and went right back to bed. She doesn't like everyday noise like a yard blower, that really sets her off. We are working on it and I can distract her. They are smart.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He didn't even react to the expected New Year's fireworks and there were a lot more of them (though it was MUCH farther away). At most he might have picked his head up when I was hiding from them myself I was impressed he didn't react to fireworks 20 feet away from him considering some dogs can't even handle them when they're miles away.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Deck never reacted to fireworks or gunshots. you might just have a dog that can handle the noise.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Toby thankfully is not bothered about fireworks or anything much that bangs.

Russell my Terrier is so scared he freezes to the spot and becomes unresponsive to even to me, his two leg mum. He is so bad with any sort of cracking, banging noise he jumps out of his skin when someone clips their nails.

Perhaps your boy thought you needed him to be strong, thankfully he pulled you through your fears.

If you suffer so badly from such things as sudden noises I wonder if something has happened to you in the past. I don't wish to pry, but perhaps you can try desensitising yourself with the aid of experts in the field of PTSD. You may not be suffering per say from this condition but they often have insight into the workings of the mind others don't
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You have a dog that went into protect mode when there was a "threat". Doesn't take a lunging lunatic just a dog doing his job. Congrats.
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toby'shuman View Post
Toby thankfully is not bothered about fireworks or anything much that bangs.

Russell my Terrier is so scared he freezes to the spot and becomes unresponsive to even to me, his two leg mum. He is so bad with any sort of cracking, banging noise he jumps out of his skin when someone clips their nails.

Perhaps your boy thought you needed him to be strong, thankfully he pulled you through your fears.

If you suffer so badly from such things as sudden noises I wonder if something has happened to you in the past. I don't wish to pry, but perhaps you can try desensitising yourself with the aid of experts in the field of PTSD. You may not be suffering per say from this condition but they often have insight into the workings of the mind others don't
One of my GSDs was terrified of thunder and had to be sedated or she would snap at every moving thing that got near her during a storm. My cat is bothered by storms and will wander and meow unless shut in the same room as me, and then she's extra cuddley until the noise stops. Mocha gets a little worried about fireworks but is fine with storms as long as you don't expect her to go out in them. The rest of the animals really don't/didn't care about weather or fireworks or other outside noises.

And please, no question is too personal with me Unless something happened when I was very young (4 years or under) that I don't remember, there's no event that's caused it. I've always been that child that screamed and cried during a storm and flinched at gunshots (much to the dismay of my hunting family) and worked myself into a tizzy over unexpected fireworks. If I'm inside I can usually force myself to stop paying attention to it, but if I'm outside and it happens it's always bad. Dunno why. Luckily due to me being proactive about watching for bad weather and knowing when games and celebrations are going on it doesn't bother me so much too often. My family doc did just give me a prescription for an anti-anxiety med but it's slow-acting so it hasn't kicked in yet.
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