Hi, I want to talk today about sensitive in this time of year subject-FIREWORKS. YES,they might be scary but we can help our dogs even if we have not done it yet. As a dog trainer and dog owner I do not have any issue with the fireworks as long as they are watched/heard from the distance. Properly raised dog should be exposed to all sort of noises and become oblivious to firework noise... but it is not always that easy. Therefore if you have a rescue dog, sensitive dog or simply not noise trained dog, I strongly recommend to be there for your dog when fireworks are expected. Studies have shown that dog’s turn to their owners when they are frightened so your presence alone will help an anxious dog. The dog will be watching your reaction to the loud bangs and will relax if he can see that the noises don’t affect you. All dogs react differently to stress. It’s obvious that a shaking, cowering dog is scared but he may hide this fear and show it in a different way. The dog can also be short-tempered so it is better to keep children away explaining that he is scared and needs his space. Other behaviours may arise so be aware of the signs that your pet is frightened such as; Constant barking Destructive Behaviour Aggression toward people or other animals. Panting, pacing, crying, howling. Scratching at doors. In a perfect world you have time to introduce a puppy to the noise of fireworks and avoid fear and pain you beloved friend may experienced during festive period. In certain countries all breeders are required to introduce little pups to loud noises. Therefore breeders becoming creative by using all kind of noisy domestic equipment to gradually progress to sounds such as shot gun in later age. If you are not so lucky to get dog so laid back try to find firework or thunderstorm CD's (soon on sale by Southern K9 Training). Take for a walk before dusk and feed early so that the dog is fairly tired. Then start playing the videos, slowly increasing the volume. Keep the puppy indoors and try not to leave him alone. Have a cosy bed or crate nearby, somewhere the pup recognises as his ‘safe’ place. Every time noise is heard, give him a tasty treat to keep him distracted from the noise and also to make him associate the noise with something good, rewarding. Most importantly act normal as the pup/dog will detect any anxiousness and react in the same way. This exercise might be altered with play .
With time and bit of persistence you will have a happy dog that is not afraid of the loud noise and you won't have to be upset with the neighbour that is just a little too much into firework displays.LOL -Eva