My 6 month old GSD male barks at fire works (Gun shy?) - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 12-22-2012, 03:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My 6 month old GSD male barks at fire works (Gun shy?)

I am a little concerned because my 6 month old GSD boy "Buster" barks when there are fireworks.

I always thought that GSD's are not gun shy, my previous male GSD never barked at anything such as thunder, fireworks or car backfiring etc.

Buster does not seem to react to thunder but he gets anxious when there are fireworks, will he out grow this or does he need some training/reassurance?

My wife had a maltese which would bark non stop at thunder/fireworks...anything actually it would keep us awake all night when there was a thunderstorm, I don't want my GSd to be like that
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Old 12-22-2012, 04:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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thunder vest?
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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How often are there fireworks? What do you do with him when the fireworks are going off?
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I bring him inside and try to reassure him by staying with him.
The fireworks do not occur that often.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I believe certain lines in dogs of all breeds are genetically predisposed to be scared of fireworks, thunder, gunshot etc. However, there are things you can do to desensitise your dog to fireworks.

You can buy CDs that play firework noises, as well as other loud noises, and the aim is to play them quietly initially at home when your dog is relaxed and doing something pleasurable (such as chewing a bone etc). Then, over time, increase the volume on the CD, but always keeping it at a level your dog can cope with.

Try not to overly reassure him when he is worried by loud noises, as it will reinforce his fear that there is something wrong. Just try to jolly him along if you can.

Another idea is to make sure he has a den where he can take refuge when afraid - such as a covered crate.

Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It depends on the situation. My wife and children are avid shooters. We take Ruger to the gun range and he has no reaction to gunfire. He will completely ignore any gunfire. He is the same way with most fireworks, but this past 4th my son set off some black cats in the back yard and Ruger got very excited and ran over and attacked the spot in the ground where they had just went off.
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muso View Post
I bring him inside and try to reassure him by staying with him.
The fireworks do not occur that often.
They don't occur to often by me either. This past fourth was the test for mine. I made sure she was securely on a leash and we sat about 5-10 ft away from the fireworks. She laid there and watched them, I'm hoping that we get the same reaction next year. I've also brought dogs in the past to firework shows..we stayed in the car but they were able to hear them and feel comfortable. I would probably stay away from the reassuring...I think that makes it worse. You need to have him in a controlled area.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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on a leash and we sat about 5-10 ft away from the fireworks --- that is too close . Dogs already have heightened sense of hearing .

I wouldn't train to condition him to this - fireworks are a unique once or twice a year event which he does not need to be front and central to - so if you know he is unnerved by them give him a safe place to be in the home and you enjoy the party. Reassuring him promotes , rewards, his insecurities. If you were to not focus on him or his reactions he might be okay .
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:17 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
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on a leash and we sat about 5-10 ft away from the fireworks --- that is too close . Dogs already have heightened sense of hearing .

.
I should have mentioned that these were smaller fire works(kids things that weren't that loud-- those fireworks are illegal), when we did the belt of fire crackers, we did move further away. No m-80's or things of that sort, lots of up in the air stuff. When we go to the big shows, dogs are either home or in the car, safety is the priority.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carmspack View Post
on a leash and we sat about 5-10 ft away from the fireworks --- that is too close . Dogs already have heightened sense of hearing .

I wouldn't train to condition him to this - fireworks are a unique once or twice a year event which he does not need to be front and central to - so if you know he is unnerved by them give him a safe place to be in the home and you enjoy the party. Reassuring him promotes , rewards, his insecurities. If you were to not focus on him or his reactions he might be okay .

Yes down playing the situation is probably best we probably have been feeding his insecurities!
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