terrifying shooting sounds

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KatrinH
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terrifying shooting sounds

Postby KatrinH » Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:38 am

So darn it :-(

The farmers here put up some sort of devices that make 2 loud shooting sounds every half hour that echo over the barren fields and off the mountains to scare the thousands of geese and seagulls from eating the seeds. There's no way to avoid it unless I don't go outside at all and according to a local they keep them for most of spring :-(

Ranger is terrified of shooting sounds and everytime it goes off he ducks , tail between his legs, charges forward and then lies down ideally somewhere below a tree or other hiding spaces.

It's going to the point where he doesn't always want to go outside anymore, generalizes his fear to other loud noises, and if I take him there are parts of our walk I have to convince him to keep walking (other parts he is fine and enjoying his sniffs)

Currently I offer him comfort when he does spook, long calming strokes and words. Trying to teach him that he can come into me instead of charging off for security.
I do indoor games too but obviously no walks are not an option either (they also echo into my room if my window is open so I need some way to deal with it).

It does seem that just the past days he is revcovering faster from his spook so maybe there's a chance he will get used to it.

Any tricks and tips what I can do to help him?


Ps: yes I've been told to ignore such behavior but it doesn't work for him. Ignoring it will leave him running and trying to find cover for the rest of the walk whereas calming him he can at least after a while go back to enjoying his walk. Also while I do see where the ignoring theory is coming from I am not sure of it 100% because I also wouldn't just ignore a child that is that scared...he's not rational in that moment and seems to be unable to get himself back to reality even after time passes.

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Sabine
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Re: terrifying shooting sounds

Postby Sabine » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:49 am

IMO ignoring is counterproductive and an outdated approach. Can you work on taking the edge off by pairing the noises with super yummy treats, or is he too stressed to eat?
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KatrinH
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Re: terrifying shooting sounds

Postby KatrinH » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:54 am

Oh good. I'm glad others think so. It's been recommended to me so many times and it just never made that much sense to me.

He won't take treats. But I just got brand-new duck liver treats I can try.

connie
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Re: terrifying shooting sounds

Postby connie » Tue Feb 16, 2016 3:10 pm

I agree with Sabine, ignoring it will not help, and a BC probably will turn it into a major neurosis if it's not addressed. I would use a really happy voice and say something like "there's the bang!" and feed him several awesome treats EVERY TIME the noise sounds. I did this with a shy Sheltie who was terrified of the sound of the teeter in agility class when other dogs were running the course. She would try to bolt from the building. Once we made the bang a huge payout for her, she came to accept it and even years later, would automatically turn her head for her treat whenever the teeter fell. I think the happy, stress-free tone is important, like you and Ranger are sharing a joke, not like you're annoyed by the noise.

Get cheese or liverwurst, something SO GOOD that just the smell will be delish to him. Make it a soft treat so he doesn't have to chew, or he'll spit it out.

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KatrinH
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Re: terrifying shooting sounds

Postby KatrinH » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:50 am

Connie, I will try find a treat he'll take, but due to his many intolerances it may be hard to find something that is also soft and that is high value enough. And since it is every half hour I cannot really just use something that he doesn't tolerate as even with the little bits he'll end up getting too much overall...

On the plus side. He pretty much ignored it during fetch time today. There were 2 other dogs around though that didn't react, so that is good. Maybe he will learn from them too.


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