If your dog has a fear of loud noises you can help her defeat the fear with a little patience and calm behavioral modification techniques.
Sherry Woodard, dog trainer and consultant for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, says that the following technique is especially useful.
- She suggests getting an audio of the loud noises that your dog has the most fear of. Play the audio at low volume so that your dog will hear the sounds but not be frightened by the normally accompanying loudness.
Do things to divert her attention while the audio is playing. You can play with her, pet or brush your dog while the audio plays.
Once your dog becomes accustomed to the sound or noise which has previously invoked fear you can adjust the sound level up a bit so that she gradually hears the sound at higher levels.
By doing this over a period of several days your dog will be able to end your dog’s fear of loud noises.
- Calm your dog by talking to her. If your dog has a fear of loud noises that are produced by the sound of clanging garbage cans for example, stay with her when the trick comes and calmly talk to her. Just don’t make too much of a fuss or she will associate your attention with the noise and the fear of loud noises will be reinforced.
- The Cave is really a crate– We adopted a dog that had been abused and was frightened of any noise above a whisper. Shaking and quivering, this little Chihuahua mix would run and hide when the doorbell rang. To overcome her fear of loud noises we left a crate in the living room. When a loud noise produced fear, the little pooch would run to the crate and calm down. Many dogs have a cave as safe haven instinct, from days in the wild 10,000 years ago.
Once the little dog had calmed down we would sit by the crate and just let her feel our presence. No calling, no fanfare. She soon would emerge, reassured by our presence. After a few weeks, she started running to us instead of the crate. She was no longer afraid of loud noises.
- Cool as a Cucumber -Make sure never to show excitement or anger when your dog displays fear of loud noises. The fear will only become more intense. Stay cool and calm. Your dog will react in kind.
- Nature’s help is OK, too-If all else fails you may want to consult with a holistic veterinarian to determine if a natural supplement is available, appropriate for your dog, that will help calm her and alleviate your dog’s fear of loud noises
Does your dog show a fear of loud noises when thunder rolls, cars approach, or kids romp and yell in the yard? Does she run and hide when loud music is playing? Whatever the problem, help is at hand.