Many people owning a puppy or dog may be surprised when dog exhibits an undo fear of noises such as thunder or fireworks.
All dogs have a mild fear of noises, just as most children do when they are young. But unlike children, you can’t really explain to a puppy or even a full-grown dog that the thunder is a simple natural event caused from lightning.
Some vets estimate that as many as 5 to 10 percent of dogs have some noise phobia problems and some dogs, notably, Collies, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds, have a higher incidence of noise anxiety than other breeds.
One thing you can do is not make a big deal about it. When a dog shows anxiety and runs to its owner for “help,” if you act too concerned, begin to do excessive petting and hugging, then the dog comes to it’s own conclusion: “see you’re acting if I had a real problem here, so I must indeed have a problem.”
Try not to make a big deal of it if you want the dog to calm down.
There are other things you can do to aid a dog or puppy when he shows anxiety.
One method is to create a small sanctuary where the dog can hide until he calms down. Add a blanket, some music, and the dog may quickly get over it.
Another method is to wrap a small cloth around the dog or pup, or buy a commercial dog thunder vest. Nobody knows exactly why these work, but people with dogs with noise anxiety problems swear by them. They give a constant, comforting hug to the dog.
Another tool is to buy noise-canceling headphones for dogs. Believe it or not, they make them for dogs and sell on Amazon by the thousands. And surprisingly, most dogs seem to tolerate them, particularly if you introduce them a little bit at a time.
Some people try gradual noise desensitization, by gently getting the dog gradually used to louder and louder noises. Noise desensitization does work, but you have to be exceedingly gentle about it, otherwise, you could make the dog’s noise phobias even worse.
Finally, some people buy Pheromone replicants. These are commercially available products that replicate what mother dogs give to their pups to help calm them down. They come in both spray form and on collars and work well on dogs and pups, and in mixed cat/dog households.
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