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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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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 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...
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.
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...
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.
3 key steps to perform a calming massage on your anxious 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.
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.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this website and community is based on the research, expertise, and views of each respective author. Information here is not intended to replace your one-on-one relationship with your veterinarian, but as a sharing of information and knowledge to help arm dog parents to make more informed choices. We encourage you to make health care decisions based on your research and in partnership with your vet. In cases of distress, medical issues, or emergency, always consult your veterinarian.