Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Frightened

garyb
July 6th, 2011, 08:29 AM
Hi, I hope I am putting this in the right area. If not I do apologize. It's a problem that I'm sure that most of us with dogs has run into recently. Loud noises!! We live across from a park and this past long weekend the fireworks display was unusually loud. It scared the begeebers out of our 19 month old MalShi. He spend the weekend walking around all night long as well as pooping in the shower and the bathtub.
We were told that there are products available to help relax him. The "vet" who specializes in this area won't be in until Monday or Tuesday. So, While we are waiting I am wondering what dog owners who have had this similar problem use to help their dogs get through this time. We have another long weekend coming up August and another in September and I would like to prevent if possible our little Walle from going through another weekend like this one.
Thanks

Melinda
July 6th, 2011, 09:06 AM
when the loud noises start, make it play time, if its storming here and I'm training a pup, we have a rousing game of tennis ball chase (her fav toy), I treat, and we run around the house, just have a great old time....now at 6 yrs of age, the minute thunder starts she runs to grab a toy.

garyb
July 6th, 2011, 09:14 AM
We tried to get hm to play. We put off soft calming music, but nothing helped. We tried to hold him to calm him down. He just had this terribly frightened look in his eyes

Melinda
July 6th, 2011, 09:23 AM
you have to "condition" him to loud noise, find a rock station, turn it up to where its comfortable to you, play games, put him through his tricks, treat him....only for about 10 minutes, the next day repeat...but turn up the volume a bit....continue doing that and continue turning up the volume..get him use to loud noises...don't sympathize with him or say "poor baby....come here I'll cuddle you up" you're telling him its ok to be scared.

marko
July 6th, 2011, 09:24 AM
when the loud noises start, make it play time, if its storming here and I'm training a pup, we have a rousing game of tennis ball chase (her fav toy), I treat, and we run around the house, just have a great old time....now at 6 yrs of age, the minute thunder starts she runs to grab a toy.

+1! We also have a basic article on this topic in case you are interested.

Dog afraid of thunder - fireworks (http://www.pets.ca/dogs/tips/tip-73-dog-afraid-of-thunder-fireworks-and-loud-noises/)

Good luck!

sugarcatmom
July 6th, 2011, 02:17 PM
Here's another article to check out, with info by certified animal behaviourist Dr. Sophia Yin: http://www.healthfinder.gov/news/newsstory.aspx?docID=654484

garyb
July 7th, 2011, 08:19 AM
you have to "condition" him to loud noice, find a rock station, turn it up to where its comfortable to you, play games, put him through his tricks, treat him....only for about 10 minutes, the next day repeat...but turn up the volume a bit....continue doing that and continue turning up the volume..get him use to loud noises...don't sympathize with him or say "poor baby....come here I'll cuddle you up" you're telling him its ok to be scared.
W live on a very busy intersection where there is loud noise every day. We have fire engines, police cars and ambulances continually going by, sirens on. There are heavy trucks, making a great deal of noise. And when the light turns green at our intersection there is incessant honking for cars to move. So Walle has heard loud noise since we adopted him back in November. It's just that fireworks that really startled him this time. Even the thunder from the occasional storm doesn't effect him too much.

hazelrunpack
July 7th, 2011, 10:13 AM
Are you saying the fireworks display was launched from the park across the street? Fireworks are tough because you 'feel' them almost as much as you 'hear' them. You can't replicate that sensation using a sound system without your china cracking and your neighbors complaining.... :o But I think having the launch site across the street is a mixed blessing--very loud, but you can predict when the displays are going to be held. That last actually might make your desensitization task a little easier. Especially if he loves going for rides!

Take a ride on those fireworks nights, in plenty of time to get far enough away to make the noise bearable to Walle. Have some delectable treats or his favorite toy and as you get gradually closer, have someone treat him or play with him while you're driving. When he breaks off play or seems nervous, get a little farther away and make it a very pleasant experience for him. Your aim is to find the distance where he is comfortable enough not to be entirely focussed on the terror of fireworks. Eventually the goal is to have him associate fireworks with a pleasant ride and some extra treats or his favorite toy. As Melinda states, don't coddle him when he's anxious--it'll just validate his worries. So remain upbeat, keep your body language relaxed, and reward only the calm or happy behavior on his part.

It'll be slow going because you can only do the desensitization when you can predict the displays are going to happen and that will only be a few times a year. Depending on where you live, though, there may be nearby special events where fireworks will be displayed that you can plan on "attending from a distance" just to work on the desensitization.

My other suggestion would be to just plan on being gone during fireworks displays, so even if the desensitization turns out to not work, you will at least be taking him for a ride to keep him calm. :o

By the way, I think your little guy is really cute!! :flirt:

garyb
July 7th, 2011, 03:28 PM
Good thoughts, but the fireworks lasted well into the night. My wife and I don't drive at night as we both have eye problems. What I was thinking is some kind of medication that I heard about that might help him relax.
Any thoughts about this from anybody?