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Hey all...

We're less than a month away from "fireworks season" here in the U.S. For many dogs, this is an awful, awful time of year. Some of you may have dogs that have never cared about noise, and some of you may have dogs that hate them! For those that have those that don't care, keep in mind that noise sensitivity is more likely to develop as a dog ages, and there are some things we can do to help "prevent" it, but sometimes you also just can't...and then there are really good strategies to help dogs who DO develop an aversion to some noises.

If you're looking for some resources, this very long, VERY detailed resource is, BY FAR, the BEST I've ever seen for helping dogs with noise phobias. It will give you many, many options to help your dog, from natural remedies to some suggestions to ask your vet about if your dog is really struggling. It also will walk you through what preventative strategies there are (especially good for all of you with puppies and young dogs!) - things we should all keep up with, as well as "emergency measures" to take if your dog is having an unexpected bad reaction RIGHT NOW.

I'm sharing this because I think it's incredibly valuable. I have it bookmarked, and refer to it really often. The author, Karolina Westlund, has a phD in ethology and teaches behaviour management from a welfare perspective

You will find a ton of scholarly links at the end, too, for further learning and to back up the research presented.

Happy reading!

 

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Living la Vida Loca!
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Coco was so bothered by fireworks and thunder. Poor girl had to go into the back of my closet when either were happening.

I remember the first time it thundered when Sugar was a puppy. I instantly froze up. My sweet boy continued to sleep away on the couch unbothered. The same way with fireworks.

I so hope it continues for him. It's funny how used you get to your old dog's ways and then are surprised when the new one doesn't have that reaction.

Thanks for the information. I will definitely take a read through it.
 

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I feel like I got very lucky with my litter they were 5 weeks old and I have TONS of fireworks around my house. I sat outside all night while they went off and the puppies just played. It helps that neither of my other two care about fireworks too.
 

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I feel like I got very lucky with my litter they were 5 weeks old and I have TONS of fireworks around my house. I sat outside all night while they went off and the puppies just played. It helps that neither of my other two care about fireworks too.
You got it figured out. (and your dogs are better off now because you have it figured out).

If you want a dog that can sleep through a freight train going by you really 'need' the freight train going by here and there. :)





Dogs learn / desensitise by doing / experience. :)
 

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I've been very lucky that my dogs are not very noise sensitive. Harvard at 13 1/2 still is not bothered by fireworks. His one exception is when one of the smoke detectors starts to chirp that the battery needs to be replaced - he HATES that! I grew up with a noise sensitive Dalmatian - so I definitely do know how bad it can be. We have a neighbor down the street whose dog will go through windows and become VERY destructive in thunderstorms and during fireworks - they drug him.
 

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Oh yes--those pesky fire alarm chirps--we woke up in the middle of the night one time because Katana was trompling all over the pillows (and our heads). She was absolutely panicked and trying to get as close to our faces as she could.

But it did make me feel good in a way, to know that if the thing ever went off in earnest, she would wake us up if the alarm didn't.
 

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I feel like I got very lucky with my litter they were 5 weeks old and I have TONS of fireworks around my house. I sat outside all night while they went off and the puppies just played. It helps that neither of my other two care about fireworks too.
G -Red - When we picked up Ali many years ago , the breeder told us she played T-Storm tapes when they were first born till we picked her up , Kasia was a mess with fireworks and storms , After Ali got here , the spring storms fired up and what a delight to see Ali just going on with her business and not scared to death , When Ali turned 9 of so , the fireworks from down the road started to bother her , and a few of the big time storms , she was glued to me . Like Meadow has said about her RIchter , they are starting to bother a rock solid dog . I do think that early training sounds from tapes help , yet as they get older , something sometimes change in them .
 

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Oh yes--those pesky fire alarm chirps--we woke up in the middle of the night one time because Katana was trompling all over the pillows (and our heads). She was absolutely panicked and trying to get as close to our faces as she could.

But it did make me feel good in a way, to know that if the thing ever went off in earnest, she would wake us up if the alarm didn't.
Oh Lord , That trips up our puppies to Mel - more like they go ape chit , : )))))
 

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So far, our 12 wk. puppy Neo hasn't shown outward fright of any loud noises, not vacuum cleaner, leaf blower, garbage trucks or the like.
Exceptions are a falling baby gate, which I want him to be respectful and slightly fearful of.
When (3) Great Danes next door were out for first time barking, since yards dried out from rains, little Neo had a worried look on his face, but continued to do his business in the potty area, since I was with him.

Only thing I've found him afraid of so far, was an empty Dr. Pepper 12 oz. plastic bottle rolling on the kitchen floor, which he gave a wide berth to. WTH?

Here's a short video clip of Neo seeing his first Garbage Truck pickup while outside on potty break with his dad.

Neo Protects From Garbage Truck
(Previously posted on Chicken Thread)
 

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We've been lucky with Mocha; thankfully she's never been bothered by loud noises. Not fireworks, not thunder, and not even when the guy that lives on the property behind our house shoots his firearms, which can be very loud at times. Our Shih-Tzu Coco was terrified of thunder and fireworks and nothing we tried helped.
 

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Like ECIN mentioned, even with the most diligent work and early exposure, things can change over time for a dog. Your best bet is to continue making sounds positive for a dog, but also to be prepared to support them if something does change. Richter has never cared about sounds (and still doesn't care about storms or fireworks), but he's become sensitive to a few strange sounds as he's aged - Mary Jo, the smoke detector is one of them! We are aware of the types of sounds likely to bother him and are able to support him. He generally just chooses to go to his crate, but sometimes he's more upset than that (heaven forbid the smoke detector actually goes off!). Sypha has never, ever cared about fireworks before, but last year the fireworks in our neighborhood were SO BAD. Just utterly non-stop for days and very close by....finally she just said "no thanks - staying inside." Indoors she didn't care one bit, but she would prefer not to potty with "pop pop pop" all around her!
 
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The first of my Dobes to go through a WAE--was only about 19 months when he went through--looked around at the gun shots and went on and passed easily.

Two years later when I was living in a little cluster of houses in Portland, OR that was right behind an old dirt track and had racing with fireworks every week end during the summer I realized that he was starting to be much more noise sensitive than he had been and by the following year (when he was five) when the racing started he would move into my bedroom--I'd shut the curtains and turn the television on low and by the time the racing stopped and the first of the fireworks started he'd be in the closet. I learned to open the closet--put one of the big dog beds as far back as possible on one side and leave the door ajar--as soon as the racing started he was in the closet.

He was good with that but I was surprised at just how much more noise sensitive he became as he aged.

dobebug
 

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McCoy, as a young dog, was never bothered by any noises. Then one summer, at our cabin in the Montana, we were barraged for days with he most incredible thunderstorms. The kind that comes with shaking ground , nearby lightning strikes and wind so hard that it blows down trees. For hours on end. After that experience, thunder or fireworks absolutely freak him out.
To make matters worse, we live an a a hill in a city that pays absolutely no attention to local fireworks regulations.

So... 150 mg. of Trazodone and .2 mg. of Clonidine at sunset. It works like a charm and he has never had any side effects. It does knock him oh his butt, but that's cool. He kind of reminds me of some of my stoner friends back in the '60s and '70s. LOL

Fortunately, unlike the midwest where I grew up, thunderstorms here are a rarity. And, he is still ambivalent towards other loud noises.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
 

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Here's a short video clip of Neo seeing his first Garbage Truck pickup while outside on potty break with his dad.

Neo Protects From Garbage Truck
(Previously posted on Chicken Thread)
First garbage truck my current girls saw was the big one coming to empty the dumpster at work when they were pups. The adult girl I had at the time heard the truck back there and headed for the back gate to watch it / get ugly with them for messing with our 'stuff' and the little ones followed her to see what was up.

About the time the little ones got back there where they could see - The truck started banging the dumpster to get it all the way empty and it was LOUD. They both literally pissed their fur pants as they were running BACKWARDS to get away from it. :(

Adult dog saw them pissing and flipping out and cocked her head to the side with this WTH expression as she watched them. Was sad but funny at the same time. Reminded me of a cartoon the way their tiny legs were trying to run backwards so fast but not really getting traction on the slick floor. Legs going 50 MPH and bodies barely moving (while pissing everywhere). :(
 

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Lavender oil has a calming affect. I'm using it on my girls stitches from a shoulder wound.
I made the mistake of letting her run off leash over ground & high grass I couldn't verify as safe.
She clipped something at speed and cut a 5" wound in her shoulder. I never did find out what it was.
Last time I make that mistake. Try a little lavender with water, I use a little coconut oil in it too.
 
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