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Both our new dog and our previous dog were rescue dogs that came from bad back grounds and had quite a lot of behavioural problems when we first got them, both were scared of loud noises and bangs, in the aproach to bonfire night this year we saw this cd advertised and thought we would give it a go at stopping henry being scared of loud bangs from fire works.
This thunder, fire works and gun shot pack contains a 32 page manual to take you through treating your dog step by step, an easy start poster and two cds of noises.
The idea with this is that you start playing the cds on a very low volume to get your dog used to the noise in the back ground wholst they are sitting in the comfort of there own home, you gradualy increase the volume of the cd slowly over a period of time to suit your dog, once your dog can tolerate the noise without getting too upset and wetting themselves like mine used to you then introduce treats to make them assciate the noise as being a positive experience, after two weeks of using this cd our dog had stopped panicing when he heard a loud bang and actualy looked to us with his tail wagging waiting for a treat, this worked wanders and i am pleased to say that henry got through bonfire night without any problems, i have began to play the cd in the back ground every few days for him again now in the run up to new year just to reasure him of the sounds but hopefully this will go without any problems too.
This cd cost me £20.
We have also just purchased sounds speedy as henry hates the out side world, he is quite happy in our garden but every time we attempt to go out for a walk we havent even gotten down the drive before he is cowering at a noise, i am hoping this will be just as succesful but have no idea how to cure his fear of the dark or of the lizards.
Its only June, but it won't be long before the firework season is upon us. For a lot of animals this can be a very stressful time and unfortunately the people setting off fireworks don't see the problems it can cause.
Many dogs develop extreme reactions to loud noises, such as fireworks, thunder and gun shot sounds. Their reaction can be to run and hide or they can get so scared that they can become aggressive. They can dig and hide in very small spaces, possibly chewing and destroying your possessions along the way.
My Mam and Dad had a border collie who would literally bark, shake and hide for hours when she could hear fireworks. I felt so sorry for her having to suffer like this, you could see sheer terror in her eyes. I didn't realise this was such a massive problem in the animal world before I worked in a veterinary practice.
Every year dozens of dog owners come to see the vet to get sedatives / tranquilizers for their pets. Some of these pets are old and owners tell us they are frightened that their pets may have a heart attack with the fright of the loud bangs that are associated with fireworks and thunder. It's quite sad to know that dogs both young and old sometimes have to be doped night after night.
A desensitisation cd is available to help with this phobia of loud bangs, it also helps with thunder and gun shots (if needed ??)Sounds Scary was designed by John bowen and Sarah Heath, two internationally renowned Vets who exclusively treat animals with behavioural problems.
Desensitisation in this case is when you gradually get your pet used to a certain noise in order that hopefully they don't react to it anymore. It does take time and patience, therefore you should use the Sounds Scary cd well in advance. The idea is that you start playing the cd at a very low volume and gradually increase the volume until your dog no longer reacts to the noises. The cd plays sounds of fireworks, thunder, gun shot sounds, rain and hail.
After desensitisation you need to do some counter-conditioning which is where you change your dogs emotions so that he/she associates loud sounds with a pleasant experience. You can use food trests and toys to help with this stage. As soon as the sounds are played you must give the treat or start the game, likewise as soon as your dog stops eating or playing you must turn the sounds off. This exercise should be repeated until your dog actually shows excitement when he hears the sounds from the cd, gradually increase the volume and repeat the same process each time. Your dog should eventually associate the sound with playtime or feeding and respond with pleasure.
Sounds Scary comes in a pack with 2 cds and a booklet to tell you how to use them. You must follow the instructions carefully to get maximum effect. I have seen this pack sell for anything from £20 to £30, however it is definately money well spent. It's worth it not to see your dog frightened and hiding every year, night after night.
Available from your Veterinary Surgery, also from various other websites and ebay.