Dogs With Noise Phobias
One can imagine that a sound phobic dog would create a tense situation for everyone in the family on and around the 4th of July.
Check out the 7 steps below to aid in reducing the fear response in your dog. (Also works with other animals too.)
Share with others and we welcome your comments below.
It’s summer soon and for dogs afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks around the 4th of July; this time of year is not easy. Fear of sounds is a pretty common problem in dogs and is avoidable and even correctable.
How do you know if your dog has sound fears? Symptoms of sound fears or sound sensitivities can include:
- Drooling or salivating
- Staying close to a person
- Barking, whining, howling
- Trembling or shaking
- Urinating or releasing bowels
- Ears pulled back and lips pulled down
- Tail tucked under body
- Escape behaviors, scratching or biting at doors/windows, running, inability to settle down, clawing through wood/screens and more to get away from the fear.
The problem is that animals with sound fears don’t react to the sound and then return quickly to normal behavior. They stay anxious and alarmed.
If your pet has fear of sounds you most likely know this already by seeing their reaction to sounds. Others may return home to destruction to pet and home.
What can you do to help your dog overcome the fear of sounds? We recommend the following steps:
- Desensitize your dog to the sounds he fears. This is the most effective long-term solution for your pet. Angel Dog’s Sound Socialization has digital high-quality sounds of the most common sounds dogs fear most. Also included are audio and text training steps from a professional to ensure positive training and achieve the desired results of a more relaxed dog. This is very effective and highly recommended for modifying the fearful behavior to sounds. This training does take time so if you are preparing for 4th of July, begin the training now.
- Use a Thundershirt or a snug t-shirt tied in a knot on the dog’s back. The dog’s nerves run just under the skin and the theory is the snug fit interrupts the nervous system’s preset alarm response to the sounds. This allows new programming to get developed. This is effective for most dogs.
- Use Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Get the drops and use about 1-2 drops for a small dog and 5-7 for a lab-sized dog. Put the drops directly under the dogs tongue to be absorbed or place in the palm of your hand, press your hands together to get on both palms and then gently apply to dog’s cheeks, chin and chest for them to inhale the scent. Also can be added to water bowl and then add water so mixture blends and not a film on top of the water. Watch your dog for about 15-20 minutes and see the results. You can give more as needed. There are also other calming products you plug into the wall. Be willing to try different products and see what works best for your dog. You may talk with your vet about prescription medicine. Be cautious about getting on prescription medicine. It can have opposite results and serious side effects. I tend to recommend trying everything else before going the prescription medicine route.
- Do not reassure the dog and his behavior during the event. Reassuring locks in the behavior you and your dog to not want.
- Provide a safe zone for your dog. An inside room like a bathroom or closet are good choices. The closet offers your comforting scent and darkness while a bathroom can ease the static shocks to a dog’s coat and skin. (Rubbing a dryer sheet on dog’s fur helps these shocked dogs.) Some dogs find comfort in their crate and others will hurt themselves trying to escape a crate. Ensure your dog has a collar and id tag in case he “escapes” from the sound. This may aid in his return home.
- Add radio or TV or calming music to normalize the moment and aid in covering the frightening sounds. This is helpful when you are not going to be home as your dog has the comfort of feeling like you are home.
- You can help by staying calm and relaxed. Try and engage your dog in pleasant pastimes if he will such as playing a game, chewing a favorite toy, playing hide and seek with a blanket.
The best way to deal with fear of sounds is to socialize your dog on the front end. Prevention is the gentlest, easiest all around and most effective method. Get your puppy and dog used to the sounds with Angel Dog’s Sound Socialization. Review the training just you do with other training to keep it in place. This simple training makes a significant positive effect in your dog’s life and the family’s life.