Getting dogs used to noises

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EllaBella
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Getting dogs used to noises

Postby EllaBella » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:36 am

So, my living situation will be changing and we'll be going from a house on nearly an acre to a townhouse. Kirby, adorable as he is, seems to be kind of overly alert and barks at weird noises (like the sodastream). There will be a lot more weird noises, I'm guessing. Any suggestions on things I can do in the next 6 weeks to pre-acclimate him to potential sounds?

I also need to get him to stop whining and barking when closed in a room or crate, but that I have more of a handle on. Will still take any suggestions. He was supposed to be crate trained per the rescue but.... It didn't translate to our house.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby Calypso » Sat Aug 01, 2015 5:56 am

I've been experiencing something kind of similar with Pixel. I find the more I get him out into public and he can see where the weird noises are coming from, he does a bit better. Yesterday we were sitting right next to the loading area of a ferry where the cars were pretty close and the metal ramp was banging and a Harley roared on. Pixel wasn't a huge fan, but he did manage to keep quiet and mostly had his stuff together. Even when the ramps went up and banged into place he was wary and hid under the table until I talked to him, then he came out again. He's been out in a more urban environment with me a lot the past few weeks and I think that really helped.

Now he'll probably go batshit on something simple today, but we're getting farther and farther ahead.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:28 am

Those "through a dog's ears" cd's have a puppy one with some subtle noises on it mixed into the music. No idea if it's helpful at all.

The whining in a closed room or crate sounds like a milder version of separation anxiety/distress. It might not take much for that to get worse, or better, depending on how it's addressed. I really like this women's approach to SA, though I haven't read her book yet: http://malenademartini.com/how-serious- ... it-matter/
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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby LisaT_II » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:33 am

BTW, SA and noise anxious seem to have a correlation, and some sources point to genetics being part of this. I think with a newer dog, you can follow some of these SA protocols so that the condition never develops. Jazz here is a severe case, but I think most young or new dogs go through a development stage without actually having the syndrome, so I don't mean to imply that these dogs have it, just that the tools may help.
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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby JudyL » Sat Aug 01, 2015 8:46 pm

I can relate to what you are anticipating. When I got married and moved to a apt, I brought my two existing dogs to the apt a few times to stay with me and they were a nervous wreck being able to hear the neighbor noises but not see where the noise was coming from. I'm sure they'd have gotten used to it, but being in an unfamiliar place without a comfort spot where they felt secure and safe, they were very worried.

Maybe you could try playing a cd of repetitive noises, like one with white noise that people use for sleeping, for them to get use to and play it for them once you move so that the sound is familiar and soothing.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby UpwardDog » Sat Aug 01, 2015 10:03 pm

Classical conditioning to every loud or annoying sound you can think of.
Tricky started off pretty stressed at my house and would physically jump and startle, and bark at sounds particularly outside. Plain old classical conditioning worked wonders. I started off using a clicker because it was faster. I;d just hang out outside and click and treat sounds, leaves falling (or whatever her spooks were). She got really good. She was still somewhat of a barky girl but it became more of a regular alert bark to say "I hear you near my yard ! This is MY YARD !" than the holy crap jump out of your skin quality it started with. I phased out the clicker fairly early on because she figured out quick that weird sounds meant treats from me and she'd look at me like "scary sound, pay up"

The other thing I find helps is teaching them to make loud sounds ala the agility bang game, playing on a tarp, crunching water bottle toys etc so they sort of self desensitize and CC to louder sounds within their own control.

I think general confidence building type stuff helps too- proprioception and body awareness games etc

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby Jen » Sat Aug 01, 2015 11:51 pm

I agree with Heather. Plain old classical conditioning and confidence building.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby EllaBella » Sun Aug 02, 2015 10:38 am

Thanks! I just haven't had time to really dig into my books and think about this so now I have a plan. I grabbed a handful of treats when I went to use the sodastream today and when he heard it and ran to the kitchen to bark at it I just tossed them on the floor and that seemed to work. He's still hilariously freaked out by the bottle if carbonated soda water. Carbonation terrifies him.

I'll just start making loud weird noises and throwing him treats. General confidence issues were already part of our plan. I mean, he had whatever crappy home he had, some time roaming the streets, a foster home, my mom's house, and then here, within 2-3 months. So he's definitely a little unsettled and clingy. And now I'm going to partially uproot the poor dog again.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby Jen » Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:43 pm

Bella is not a fan of the soda stream either. Treats helped. She still gets up and leaves the room when she sees me get out the bottle for it. :)

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby EllaBella » Sun Aug 02, 2015 3:44 pm

That makes me feel a lot better. I was like.... Seriously? The first time he heard or he barked and growled at the location for 3 minutes. Sigh. He's not that barky but way more alert than Fraggle who notices nothing aside from a door knock.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby connie » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:27 pm

Rowley hates the sound of stir-frying or bacon sizzling. Go figure. He likes bacon though!

I agree that pairing yummy treats with things he is hesitant about will work, and very likely pretty quickly. As for the crate thing, my Alex objected to a crate for a while, as he doesn't like being separated from his group. He doesn't have SA, he has what I call 'separation annoyance.' Once he got used to routines, the situation got a lot better. I bet Kirby will settle in, given time. :thumbup: Maybe he would prefer an ex-pen to a crate?

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby Amanda » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:05 am

That through a dogs ear cd is used at my work to calm dogs down. Might be worth getting to encourage calm in the crate and to mask outside noises.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby EllaBella » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:59 am

Connie, he's 11lbs, but he's a jumper and a climber....and a total hamster who gets through tight spaces. So I think he needs a crate instead of an xpen because he's kind of a lunatic. A really cute, silly, fluffy, friendly lunatic. I need to clean out the wire crate (last used for isolating a sick chicken) and see if he prefers that to the plastic crate. Oddly he was *great* in a travel bag on airplanes.

I'll get that CD and see if he responds to it. Hopefully he does.

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Re: Getting dogs used to noises

Postby connie » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:15 pm

Alex chewed the bars out of the window in the wooden crate that Rowley had used when he got here. Left the bars inside the crate and greeted me at the door. :grin: He could scale an ex pen in no time. He had to be confined in my biggest VariKennel. So I know what you mean. Kirby sounds very sociable, like Alex. :rofl:


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