(Loud) Noise Proofing Your Puppy

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Kevin_Apsha, Jun 16, 2018.

  1. Kevin_Apsha

    Kevin_Apsha Registered Users

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    hi,

    We are about to get our lovely Choc.puppy (Apsha) in a couple of weeks and I was doing some research on how to teach a puppy not to be afraid of loud noises, thunders, gunfire and the like. I found tons of info on how to introduce your gundog to gunfire and a billion hits on calming an already fearful dog during a storm, I do not seem to find any good reference on how to properly introduce your puppy to loud noises.
    A friend of mine received his goldens from the litter at 9wks already being somewhat trained playing different pre-recorded sounds (gunfire, fireworks, street-noise etc) during all their meals (louder and louder) but other than that I have not managed to find any sound info.

    Any thoughts from the more experienced forum members?
     
  2. Kobe

    Kobe Registered Users

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    We have had a lot of firework celebrations near our house since we got our puppy, and we live about 800 metres from the location where they are set off. And a LOT of thunderstorms. We have always just ignored the bangs and not acknowledged them. Continued on with whatever we were doing be it playing with puppy or just being in the house. It has shown him that it's nothing to acknowledge, just ignore it. It has worked for us and he's always just gone on with his activity. Sleeps through fireworks 90% of the time and doesn't acknowledge thunder even when it is directly overhead.
     
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  3. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    You tube is quite a good place for sounds.

    Our pups are played sound CDs several times a day from three weeks old.

    Once the pup is with us I gradually introduce them to sounds, starting with traffic. I carry them into quiet traffic for 5-10 minutes twice a day and build up to main roads by five months old. Other noises (children etc) come naturally if you socialise them by carrying them to lots of busy places - this needs to be done every day for short sessions.

    I’m somewhat clumsy so I often drop things unexpectedly- so plenty of bangs and crashes here!

    :)
     
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  4. shawnlinus

    shawnlinus Registered Users

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    I've heard from a few places that this is a good method although can't comment yet on its effectiveness as we haven't really had thunder or the like to deal with.

    For things like traffic, what worked best for me was just exposure, exposure, exposure from the day I brought him home. He was a bit unsure and skittish at first but the more I brought him out and gave him treats to embed a positive association, the more he settled and is now unphased by it :)
     
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  5. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

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    My Lab was brought up (before I had him when in the litter) with a CD playing continuously of gunfire, thunder storms, fireworks etc, playing in the background, so he isn't afraid of any loud noise. If you can get a similar CD then you could introduce it very softly and at a distance when your puppy is eating, if no sign of fear, you could gradually get it closer so in the same room pup eats, but this will take time. Eventually, pup should hear guns, thunder etc and think 'oh good, food is coming' :)
     
  6. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

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    I believe that the Dogs Trust have some videos or whatever that you can download for different sounding gunshots and so on.
     
  7. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

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    I’ve done quite a lot of research about noise aversions, since I have a dog who has serious noise issues.
    Some dogs are genetically pre-disposed to noise aversion, so some is the luck of the draw. What you can do is sensitively habituate and condition your dog to loud noises by playing them at very low (barely noticeable) volume while pairing the experience with something positive, such as food. Gradually (over weeks, not minutes) increase the volume, but keeping under the threshold of him paying any attention. This doesn’t mean he will never startle, but a startle response and a fear response are two different things.
    I’m off out in a mo but will add more later.
     
  8. Jes72

    Jes72 Registered Users

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    I think that playing the dogs trust tracks is a good idea and follow their advice on building up the sounds slowly. I think this is good advice for almost all dogs.

    Like snow bunny I have a dog that is frightened of noise even though he was well socialised and exposed to city noises and fireworks as a puppy. Although we may have made a few errors or not addresses the matter as well as we could have early enough during his teenage period, he is predisposed to noise anxiety that’s just the way he is. Not that I’m giving in, it’s hard work and we are continuing to work with him.
     
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  9. Anomaly

    Anomaly Registered Users

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    I have always acted really routine about all household noises and started exposure immediately. Coffee grinder, vacuum, etc. The same with outdoors and thunderstorms - all routine. And never forcing. The only time she reacted a little was the recycling truck so I simply turned and walked the other direction.

    What’s interesting is that it’s raining this morning and she won’t go out. First time ever. I offered the lead, didn’t require it, and she passed. I’m not forcing her because of her reaction but am watching carefully for signs of potty. I’m learning her bladder is quite good!

    I think we are at the stage when there is a little fear here and there - 6 months.
     
  10. Kevin_Apsha

    Kevin_Apsha Registered Users

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    Thank you all for the swift responses. I will try the "pre-recorded sounds played during pleasurable moments" approach with increasing intensity and let you know how he is doing.

    Kevin
     
  11. Jojo83

    Jojo83 Registered Users

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    Here's a link for the Dogs Trust sound therapy

    https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-behaviour-health/sound-therapy-for-pets

    As others have said start by playing the sounds very low - barely audible. You can feed pup while the sounds are playing but you can also play games around food - dried food on the floor for pup to find, food hidden around room to find, stuffed Kongs etc. Watch the pups body language for any sign of distress. If all is well after one week increase the volume slightly and continue.
    The process should take some weeks to get to a loud volume with the pup unconcerned and more interested and focused on you and food. If there are any signs of distress go back at least one step as you've moved on before pup is ready.

    It is a really good idea to start well in advance of known fireworks whether you have a new puppy or an older or rescue dog that isn't keen.
     
  12. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Yes, good advice from @Jojo83

    We have a huge thunderstorm happening right now. Tatze is a great role model for the pups, she just snoozes, she doesn’t even look up as it crashes and flashes - so the pups do the same.

    .
     
  13. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

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    Our boy was intended on being a hunting dog. The minute we got him out of the car we was introduced to loud noise and consistently we made the noises slightly louder. At 5 months he was running towards gunfire. That’s where the fun people are. Lol.
     
  14. Kobe

    Kobe Registered Users

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    I took my pup outside of our house on bin day and held him and let him see what was happening. The bin men are great and always come up to let him and say hello. He knows what the noise is, that no one is stealing our garbage, and the bin men are his friends!
     
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