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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Fireworks

Well the time is upon us for fireworks. I was just curious what everyone’s opinion was on getting their dogs used to it. Our girl hasn’t really been exposed to anything like that yet and wasn’t sure what the best route was. Act normal like nothing is going on? Pet her and try to keep her calm if she gets scared? I know they make thunder shirts but I don’t want to have to use that. She might also be fine but just looking for input.

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 01:55 PM
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If you have a basement, it may help to sit in the basement with your dog as the noise will be less prevalent underground. We have a finished basement so I'll probably just sit down here all night with the dogs.
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 02:06 PM
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I would say make sure she is secure and isn't somewhere outside with a low fence or something that she she could overcome and flee...plenty of dogs go "through" stuff when they are really frightened.

If she has never been exposed, she may not even react. So hopefully that is the outcome. Has she reacted to thunderstorms or other sudden booms/noises? If she hasn't I say don't borrow trouble, just act like nothing is going on and see how SHE reacts first.

Normally I would say gradually see how she does with loud noises from distances and stuff, slowly over time..and don't flood her. But, it is the day before 4th of July so it is kind of a baptism by fire thing, if you live on a type of block where people are going to suddenly let stuff off.

As for how you should react- my trainer has this great saying when it comes to how he taught us to deal with our fearful pit mix. "Nothing is nothing". Just act like nothing is wrong. If she is secure and cant get away just act calm like nothing is out of the ordinary. Soothing, using calming tones that sound like praise, from what I was told this is a way to inadvertently reward/validate the fear. Neutrality on your part and gradual introductions to what fears them without flooding them is the way to go. But, like I said, if people crack em off right outside your property tomorrow it will be hard to not flood. Guess you will know right away if she is ok with it or not!

Good luck! I know, this time of year is the pits for some animals and kids/people :/

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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 237harley View Post
Well the time is upon us for fireworks. I was just curious what everyoneís opinion was on getting their dogs used to it. Our girl hasnít really been exposed to anything like that yet and wasnít sure what the best route was. Act normal like nothing is going on? Pet her and try to keep her calm if she gets scared? I know they make thunder shirts but I donít want to have to use that. She might also be fine but just looking for input.

Thanks
I take the same approach as I do to storms. I make sure they are securely and safely contained and turn it into a party. When Shadow was a puppy we went outside with yummy treats and the very best toys and gave her a positive association. That said if your pup displays fear or anxiety, get her somewhere secure, use a TV or stereo to muffle the noise and go on about your business. DO NOT comfort or coddle, it justifies the fear and can actually escalate it. Be aware that frightened dogs can and will do massive damage to themselves in efforts to escape. I have seen them go right through windows, door and fences. So if you choose to take her outside, make sure she is securely leashed and unable to slip her collar (this is where martingale collars come in handy). If she shows indications of escalating fear, get her in somewhere secure!
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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 02:43 PM
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I've been pretty lucky that over the years I've only had one dog afraid of fireworks. (and the way she was first exposed I don't blame her).

I keep in mind that it might hurt their ears. It might be OMG hot outside. They might get tired of waiting around wondering why we are spending 45 minutes staring at the sky. There might be too many drunks around. So even though our dogs don't seem to be bothered by fireworks, distance is our friend. If we watch we make sure we aren't right next to the display or revelers.

Back when I had my dog who didn't like them, I just pretended they were nothing. She didn't really believe me but it helped her deal with them.

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 06:13 PM
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I hate the fireworks more than my dogs do, I think! I live right next door to a golf course that loves to have a big fireworks display. It rattles my windows and drives me nuts. They were going off this past Friday night, and Scarlet would bark every time. I turn on two TVs and close the dog door until it passes.
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 07:13 PM
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We just enjoy them and our dogs don’t mind them at all. We have a new pup and I’m thinking he’ll do fine, he has not reacted to any of the random neighborhood fireworks so far. A dog with decent nerves should be ok as long as there is no negative associations with the fireworks.
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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 08:30 PM
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The fireworks by my house arenít the little ones you shoot off yourself. These are the big ones. Itís toooooo close to my house (about a football field away) and obnoxiously loud. Scarlet barks, and the other two just stare at me. Iíve turned into a grumpy old person.

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CARLY ......... Ch. Lauremi's No Reservations (AKC GCh pointed, HIC)
SCARLET ..... Lauremi's Almost Wasn't (AKC pointed)
and absent friends... SAGE ~ Lauremi's Whim Z v Jakmar ~ AKC major ptd, HIC ~ 2010-2015
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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-03-2018, 09:08 PM
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Mine arenít affected at all. Our trainer did a few sessions of noise training. Mine didnít even react at all. He sat there and looked bored. I have never had a dog afraid of noise, so I canít help you. Donít assume yours will be. Although an emergency vet told me the 4th is the most dangerous holiday for dogs. They are busy all night long that night every year.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 07-04-2018, 08:45 AM
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Our first GSD was terrified of storms and fireworks. When she knew a storm was coming (and I didn't), she would literally come and get me and walk me to a closet where I kept her herbal calming supplement!





I sent our breeder some cd's of fireworks and all types of gun fire and she played them for the pups. So far, the early pre 4th noise has not bothered him (11 weeks old). I've been playing the cd's almost every day for the last 2/3 weeks.


Years ago, I did this for our last 2 puppies and they never had an issue with loud noises.



It's kinda too late now, but you may want to "desensitize" him to this and possibly other noises.



They say to start the volume very low during feeding times and then increase as you see fit.


Turn up the tv and put on some "white noise" from your i-phone wherever he is laying!



Wishing you the best for tonite!

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