4 Guides on Noise Sensitivity & Anxiety in Your Dog from Trainers & Wellness Experts
Step 19 of 23 in the Dogly Anxiety Channel
with Cory & Jane of Dogly

One of the most common - and agonizing - anxieties in dogs comes from noise sensitivity. Even dogs who are unfazed by every other possible trigger in life can feel panicked at the sound of thunder, fireworks, or even everyday noises like beeping alarms or car doors closing.

If that sounds all too painfully familiar and you're struggling with your dog's fear and noise aversion, we're here. We've brought together certified Dogly Training and Wellness Advocates to take you step by step through the ways you can help your dog and overcome noise anxiety together - from positive counterconditioning to proven massage techniques.

In these 4 guides in the Anxiety Channel here on Dogly, you'll learn:


Here's an overview of what you can expect in these 4 guides to helping your dog overcome noise phobias...

Noise Sensitivity Guide 1: How to Get Ahead of Noise Sensitivity

If the 4th of July is your and your dog's least favorite, even dreaded holiday, this guide from certified positive reinforcement trainer and Dogly Training Advocate Melissa Dallier is for you.

Whether your dog's fear responses are moderate fearful behavior or closer to a panic attack, counterconditioning (a positive behavior modification) can help how your dog feels about whatever sounds are triggering the noise phobia.

Many dogs benefit best from a multi-layered treatment plan, and Melissa covers the many options for your individual dog from positive reinforcement activities to calming aids to plan-ahead management in the full guide here.

What you'll learn in this guide:

5 simple steps to countercondition your dog for fireworks, thunder, etc.

In this guide and the accompanying video, Melissa takes you step by step through how to shift your dog's negative feelings about fireworks (or any sound) to a positive emotional response (or at least neutral).

You'll practice gradually and in short sessions with repeated exposure to low-volume versions of the sounds paired with highly desirable positive reinforcement - a raw marrow bone or other treat/chew your dog LOVES, for example.

7 tips to get ahead of your dog's noise aversions to thunder and fireworks

Melissa shares useful tips on why and how to plan ahead the day of fireworks/thunderstorms...including how to prepare mental enrichment, create a safe and comforting space for your dog, ways to drown out sounds, and recommendations for calming aids and chews.

You can jump into this guide here to get ahead of noise anxiety. Or, continue to see what's next with more ways to help your dog handle scary, upsetting noises...


Noise Sensitivity Guide 2: How to Help Your Dog Cope with Loud Noises

Dogs aren't usually fans of surprises - especially true when a scary noise startles them out of their feeling of safety and security.

In this guide, you'll learn to understand what your dog is likely feeling when loud noises and other surprises happen - and what you can do to change that.

Certified force-free dog trainer and Dogly Advocate Tressa Fessenden-McKenzie shares insights into our dogs' sense of security and how to help them with noise aversion and other anxieties.

What you'll learn in this guide:

Safety vs security - what's the difference for your dog?

Safety is the condition of being protected from danger, risk, or injury.

Security is the state of feeling safe, stable, and free from fear or anxiety.

Your dog can be totally safe without feeling secure. Your dog's fearful response is emotional rather than logical and it is very real. (Human behavior and animal behavior in fearful emotional responses are not dissimilar actually.)

In this guide, you'll learn ways to help your dog feel secure during noise aversion/scary times, using Halloween as an example.

You'll also learn...

  • The clinical signs of canine noise aversion - from fearful reactions to destructive behavior to other uncommon adverse reactions
  • How to be more aware of your dog's body language when it's not so obvious
  • Why and how to create a go-to safe haven in your home for your dog
  • Reminder to refresh (or learn) positive counterconditioning and desensitizing skills in the preceding guide here, the next guide here, or Tressa's guide on counterconditioning here.

You can see the full guide here on how to help your dog cope with scary noises and other anxieties. Or, continue to what's next: learn how to use desensitization to help your dog shrug off unsettling noises, even the everyday ones...


Noise Sensitivity Guide 3: How to Desensitize Your Dog to Noises

Dogs' anxieties around noises aren't always limited to occasional, earth-shattering sounds like thunder or fireworks. Many dogs react anxiously to everyday sounds - car doors closing, garbage cans being moved, or the little ding from your alarm system when an outside door opens.

If you're one of the many dog owners hoping to help your pup find some peace and calm amidst these inevitable daily noises (along with the bigger booms), certified force-free trainer and Dogly Advocate Richard Gonalez has you covered in this guide.

Richard takes you step by step through the process of systematic desensitization, showing you how to build a positive association with noises using the door alarm beep with sweet client dog Maggie, as an example.

What you'll learn in this guide:

  • What is desensitizing/counterconditioning & why it works
  • Why you might want to desensitize your dog to some everyday noises
  • 6 steps to desensitize your dog to stressful noises - described in easy-to-practice steps with each demonstrated by Richard in the accompanying video
  • Why you want to use high-value treats (in your dog's eyes) for your 6-step training + recommendations from Richard
  • What makes your desensitization skill useful in other anxiety-triggering situations

Get started now with the full guide here. Or, continue on to learn how you can help calm your dog's noise (or any) anxiety by giving your pup a massage at home...


Noise Sensitivity Guide 4: How to Give Your Dog an At-home Massage for Anxiety

One of the best ways to set your dog up for success in overcoming anxiety of all kinds, including noise sensitivity, is to help your dog develop a healthy sense of overall calm. With a calmer, grounded foundation, your dog will be more open to benefiting from all the techniques to alleviate anxieties in the previous guides.

And just like humans - maybe even more so, dogs respond to the healing, relaxing touch of massage to release stress and feel well - physically and emotionally. What a gift (for both of you) to be able to share a connecting, massage time with your dog!

In this guide and the accompanying video, certified canine massage therapist, Reiki master, and Dogly Wellness Advocate Ranna Lynn teaches you, step by step, how to give your dog a relaxing massage at home, anytime.

You may be surprised to find this becomes a favorite go-to tool for an overall sense of calm for your dog - as well as a special bonding time you both love.

What you'll learn in this guide:

  • The massage technique massage therapists use to calm rather than stimulate
  • When to do a calming massage with your dog - (hint: anytime to proactively keep your dog calm and de-stressed or spontaneously in the moment when you see the first signs of your dog's noise aversion/stress/anxiety around sounds or other triggers

3 key steps to perform a calming massage on your anxious dog

  1. Why and how to ground yourself and your dog as you begin
  2. How & where to use long, fluid strokes to relax your dog -includes how to release endorphins by massaging certain areas rich in nerve endings (like the inside or your dog's ear flaps)
  3. How to close with the 2 points that rest and relax your dog

Jump into this guide to learn how to give your dog a calming massage. Or, if you haven't started the first 3 guides on managing your dog's noise aversions - you can begin with How to Get Ahead of Noise Sensitivity and follow through to How to Help Your Dog Cope with Loud Noises and finish with this guide on calming your dog's anxiety and stress with massage.

Recommended Products

Check out the Anxiety Channel on Dogly

Now that you've got a good foundation in helping your dog overcome noise anxiety, check out the rest of the step-by-step guides to help you and your dog in the Anxiety Channel: from How to Know If It's Truly Separation Anxiety or If There's Another Explanation (the first of 9 guides on separation anxiety) or How to Build Confidence in Your Fearful Dog if you haven't already.

If you want to keep learning about how to help manage and alleviate your dog's anxieties, you can continue in the Anxiety Channel to Separation Anxiety or Crate Anxiety. Wherever you are in the process, enjoy spending time together to build your pup's confidence and the bond of trust between you that makes it all work!

And if you need help, you can ask the Dogly Advocates questions in any channel's discussion or work with them one-on-one through Dogly.

Cory & Jane of Dogly

Dogly started with our own dogs and quickly became about yours. We want our dogs to live long and we want them to live well, to go where we go and do more together with us. That’s why we created Dogly. To help you live well with your dog.