Does your dog turn into a trembling scaredy dog when exposed to certain sounds? While some dogs don’t pay attention to loud noises, some are freaked out by them. Since infested dogs can be destructive, helping Fido deal with unpleasant sounds can reduce anxiety for both of you.
Dogs hate noise
The louder the noise, the more likely it is the whim of some dogs. Thunder and fireworks top the list of sounds dogs hate. Sirens, motorcycle engines, car horns, and noisy trash cans are likely to be thrown. Even vacuum cleaners and bells can send some dogs into a full-blown panic.
Why do dogs hate loud noises?
Dogs have a more acute sense of hearing than people, which is why they tend to be more sensitive to sounds. Your dog can raise his voice up to four times farther away from you, and he can detect frequencies you are not aware of. While the sound of a vacuum may sound like it’s no big deal to you, your dog is hearing a little different sound than you do.
Dog’s reaction to a loud noise
Fido wants to escape from the terrifying sound of loud noises. Many dogs react to loud noises by trying to run away or hide from them. If they are unable to escape the noise, some phobic dogs respond to fear by whining, barking or urinating. If your dog is desperately trying to escape from the sounds that rattled him completely, he could injure himself or your property in his attempt to escape.
Dealing with Noise Phobias in Dogs
Are you inadvertently reinforcing your dog’s fear of loud noises and intensifying the danger to your loyal friend? Think about how you usually react when you see your dog displaying fearful behavior around a particular noise. If you are comforting or stepping over Fido in an effort to make him feel better, rewarding the extra attention may enhance his fearful state. If you are punishing Fido for showing fearful behaviour, it is a breach of his trust in you, and will greatly increase his desperation. The best way to deal with a dog’s phobia is to ignore his fearful behavior while reinforcing increased noise tolerance with praise and rewards.
Check your local pet store for commercial products such as the Thundershirt, which is designed to reduce your dog’s anxiety. Studies as well as anecdotal evidence have shown that it is beneficial for some. Consult with your veterinarian or animal behaviorist about the possibility of using behavioral therapies such as sound desensitization or oral medications to reduce noise anxiety in your dog.
By Christina De La Calle
HumaneSociety: Fear of Thunder and Other Loud Noises WebVet: How to Calm a Dog Fearful of Loud Noises DogBreedInfo: Understanding Your Dog’s Senses HillsPet: Helping Your Dog Deal with Loud Thunder and Fireworks Thundershirt: How Thundershirt Works PerfectPaws: A Dog Fearful of Loud Noises PetSamaritans: When You’re Frightened Dogs of Loud Noise GoldenRetrieverClubofAmerica: Dogs and Loud Noises