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Category: Fearful Dogs
  1. We love the Fourth of July. But this year, my dog was so afraid of the noise that he hid under the table all night. What can I do so my dog is not so scared next year?



  1. We love the Fourth of July. But this year, my dog was so afraid of the noise that he hid under the table all night. What can I do so my dog is not so scared next year?
    I have known several dogs with this problem. It’s very unsettling and difficult to solve. Some of them had dogs that ran away from home and were missing for several days.

    Here is something you can do in relaxed times, before loud noises are expected:

    Sensitivity Training
    1. Purchase tape or CD of noises with thunderstorms and fireworks on it. Or record your own next time there are fireworks.

    2. Play the recording in your house at a very, very low volume, almost unnoticeable to you. Remember that a dog has better hearing. Just play it and resume your daily activities.

    3. If your dog does ok with that, raise the volume just slightly, and repeat the process. If your dog reacts negatively, turn the sound back down.

    4. Now, continue over the days, to raise the volume on these noises and hopefully your dog will become desensitized to it.

    I have tried this myself and it worked like a gem. My dog’s fear was to an electric piano. Go figure! Anyway, because it was electric, I was able to increase the volume gradually over many days. In a week, the piano could play full loudness.

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    I have read that the animal shelter population goes up in the days after the 4th of July. So keeping your dog secure in your home is extremely important. Dogs who normally don’t jump fences can leap over them easily in fear. Lock your dog in the house if there’s a chance she could dig under or jump over the outside fence.

    If the above procedure doesn’t work, or you don’t have time to do it, here are a couple of things to try:

    1. Find a quiet place for your dog to feel safe and secure whenever there are any kind of loud, scary noises. Play some music or turn on the TV. It may relax your dog and also drown out some of the noise. Close all the windows and shades and hopefully that’ll block some of the noise.

    2. If your family goes somewhere away from home to watch fireworks, leave your dog home. You can have someone stay there with her. Or be sure to keep your dog somewhere she can’t get out if she becomes frightened.

    3. Try not to pet your dogs and give them lots of attention when they're frightened. That's a reward to them and they will think their behavior is appropriate. Best to keep your behavior as normal as possible and ignore the fearful behavior.

    In the absence of success with any of the above methods, some people have had to resort to some kind of gentle, safe calming sedation from a licensed vet. See your vet if this is the case. It is not a bad thing to do if your dog’s life, health, or well-being is in jeopardy.

    Here are some more info about the 4th of July:
    http://loveyourdog.com/july4th.html

    Category: Fearful Dogs
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