The Best Dog Noise Anxiety Treatments

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Not all dogs are as outgoing or as bombproof as I feel they used
to be many years ago.  I think that fewer puppies are being
socialized
by pet owners the way they need to be and in the time frame that is
demanded so that they are best set up to deal with the loud and
obnoxious society that we live in these days.

The need for dog noise anxiety
treatment, training, drug therapy, and supplements have almost
become the norm.

Noise phobia and noise aversion run rampant in a lot of dogs. 
I think this condition is sad.  Because, again, we live in a very
loud, distracting and stressful world.  My brother’s yellow
Labrador Retriever is a great dog, but he has all kinds of
anxiety.  We can leave the front door open, and he won’t run
out, but it isn’t because he is well trained, it is because he is
terrified of going out the front door.  I am not sure I have ever
seen a dog with agoraphobia.  And, I think most dog owners don’t
even really notice.

Pet owners are so busy with life, stressors, and the pull of
silly things like social media; they don’t take into
consideration that their dogs need more of their time,
desensitization to weird and noisy things and more
socialization.

I must admit, sometimes even I have some noise aversion and
social anxiety when I am out and about in public places.  After
all, I am a very quiet person.   But having an aversion to
something is definitely different than having a phobia.  I have an
aversion to liver (the smell, texture, and taste) but I am not
terrified of it.  Honestly, I often cook it up for use during my
dog training appointments.

But unlike man’s best friend, my aversion to loud noises and
social anxiety does not turn into fears, phobias, or a need for
behavioral medications.  I just dislike crowded places.

Fear, for lack of better words and descriptions, sucks. 
Phobias are terrifying.

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Think of what you are most fearful of closed in spaces or
claustrophobia,”
spiders or “arachnophobia,”
fear of falling or “basophobia,”
fear of drowning or “aquaphobia.”  The
truth is that ninety percent of us humans probably have fears or
outright phobias.  I can certainly admit to a few of them, so it
is common sense that some of our dogs have sound phobia, noise
phobia, or anxiety disorders.

I can certainly empathize with dogs that have extreme fears.

After all, even though I know my fears and anxieties are
irrational, I still have a difficult time combating or dealing with
them.  At one point in my life, after my dog died, I suffered from
panic attacks and irrational thoughts.  Every time I left the
house I imagined my other dogs would die.  I knew I was crazy, but
it didn’t stop the panic attacks and how I felt.

Your dog doesn’t have the mental ability to rationalize and
realize his fears are irrational; he just goes with the anxiety he
feels within.   Most dog owners just don’t understand how
differently dogs feel and deal with situations then we as humans
deal with situations.

Dog Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety
disorders among dogs
(and I swear humans) are also running
rampant in recent society.  I think people are overwhelmed by so
much that life now requires.  Gone are the days of working one
job, making dinner and doing laundry.  Most of us have to have
three jobs or more just to make ends meet.  This means people have
less time to spend devoted to their dogs and socializing them the
way they demand.

It is sad to watch either, dogs or humans struggle with anxiety,
but there are a few things step by step guides we use to help; your
dog that is!  Many dogs self-mutilate by licking themselves until
they bleed or develop other severe obsessive-compulsive behaviors
when they suffer from anxiety.

Prevention

Obviously, preventative medicine is always the best
approach.


Prevent your dog
from developing noise phobia, social anxiety,
and fears.

If you have a puppy, it is critical to socialize him and expose
him positively and socialize him to sights and sounds from week 7
to week 16.  It is also serious to try to ensure that scary things
don’t happen to him during this time.  Unfortunately, one
horrible experience during this time can affect how your puppy
feels about similar incidents.

A friend of mine let some neighborhood kids hold her puppy
during this fear stage, and he was dropped.  He never really liked
kids again.

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However, you can control how your dog deals with sound,
especially annoying or loud noise.

Because I believe in clicker
training
, or marker training, and positive reinforcement and I
start my puppies early, all I have to do is make a slightly
irritating noise, click and reward as long as the puppy doesn’t
show fear.

If my puppy shows some fear or apprehension, I try to muffle the
noise and continue while laughing, smiling and making light of the
situation.  Your dog wants to see that you are not scared and that
your behavior remains light and happy.  If you are not bothered
and showing happy human behaviors, the puppy can see that what he
thought was scary and might cause fear and anxiety instead is a
silly distraction to be ignored.

At my house, I work up from small irritating sounds to sounds
that would scare almost any dog.  I even string cans together on a
rope and attach them to a pole so that while we are playing and
training, I can desensitize my dog to noise.

I certainly don’t want a dog that is fearful or shows signs of
anxiety when they hear a noise.

After all, I try and take my dogs into many environments, and I
cannot control the noises that they might hear.  They might be
near a gun range and hear gunfire, they might hear a jackhammer
while we stroll through the city, or they might encounter the
irritating beep of a large truck backing up.  I want my dogs to be
as bombproof as possible.

So…. I am as LOUD and OBNOXIOUS as possible while tossing them
treats and desensitizing them.  It is not a far reach to see or
hear me banging pots and pans together as I play with and interact
with my dogs.

Stop Using Noise As A Correction

I hate old school dog training.

Old school training recommends using loud noises to deter your
dog from bad behavior.

For example: if your dog jumps on the counter shake a loud can
full of pennies or throw a can full of pennies to teach him that
jumping on the counter is scary and bad.

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This kind of training creates noise phobia, anxiety disorders,
and fear of random noises because the dog doesn’t always conclude
that “jumping on the counter” brings the noise.  Instead, he
just becomes scared and apprehensive of sound.

In my humble opinion, this is barbaric.

I want a dog that is “bomb proof.”  I want a dog that
doesn’t have a fear of loud noises and doesn’t need anxiety
medication like clomipramine.

I like a dog that isn’t a liability when he hears a noise.

In my opinion, loud noises and extreme stimulus should equal my
dog’s opportunity to earn a reward by ignoring them and paying
attention to me!

If a 44 magnum goes off, or a thunderstorm rattles my home, I
want my dog to look to me for reward and not for correction or
adding to their sound sensitivity.

I mean, imagine if every time you were scared, you were also
corrected physically or pain was added to the situation.  This
would certainly add to your pain and suffering and anxiety.

Recognize the Signs of Anxiety

Avoid your dog’s suffering by taking note of these signs.

Drooling

Panting

Whining

Circling

Pacing

Yawning

Barking

Shaking

Restlessness

Running or hiding

Aggressive behavior (especially when they are not normally
aggressive)

Establish a Safe Place

I like to establish a safe place where my dog can go and feel
comfortable.

One of my dogs has EXTREME thunderstorm phobia.  He drools, he
paces, he whines, and all in all, he feels like he is going to
die.

I have actually taught him to crate himself during these
times.

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He feels safe in his crate.

His crate faces away from the windows so he can’t see the
flashes of light that thunderstorms bring.

And, when I am home, I help ease his possible fears by turning
up the radio and put on some calming music to drown out other noise
sensitivity.

I am always very proud of him when the pressure drops, and he
runs and gets in his crate.  It tells me I have successfully
crate
trained
him and he feels most comfortable there.

Having a safe place can be crucial for a dog that has anxiety
and fear and noise phobia.

Drug Therapy and Supplements

Drug therapy and some supplements can also help to ease your
dog’s anxiety.

Some people even swear by things like “Thunder Shirts” or
even just a tightly wrapped T-shirt.

Anxiety Leads to Other Negative Behaviors

Anxiety leads to other bad or negative behaviors.

Imagine being anxious all of the time, as a human, anxious
behavior can lead to addiction and depression in humans.

Anxious behavior in dogs can lead to obsessive-compulsive
behaviors like licking and self-mutilation of your dog’s body. 
Some dogs will like their feet or skin until they create a bloody
skin infection.

Other dogs’ obsessive-compulsive behaviors can lead to eating
walls, furniture or ripping up carpet and flooring.  None of these
things are positive especially if it comes at the expense of your
dog’s health and body!

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Lessening anxiety is like lessening anxiety and depression in
humans and can help a dog’s behavior and help deal with life even
if it is sometimes scary.  Your dog’s suffering and preventing
it is critical to their and your happiness.

Symptoms of Noise Phobia

There are noise sensitivities, noise fears, and noise
phobias.

If I have a fear, it is scary; but if I have a phobia, it is
debilitating.

For instance, if I have arachnophobia, I am scared of spiders. 
If a spider comes into my space, I am scared, but I can get some
bug spray or some kind of cleaner (like bleach) that will kill the
spider, use the bug killer and then I can move on with my life.

If I have extreme arachnophobia and fear, I can’t even deal
with the thought of getting close enough to the spider to kill it
or deal with it.  I may have to contact someone else to come in
and deal with the spider or the premises.  The fear is literally
debilitating.  I am basically unable to function.

dog noise anxiety treatment, loud noises, noise phobia, noise aversion, dog owners, fear, pet, owners, social anxiety, sound

Understand the difference?  You can deal with one, even if it
is difficult but the other you can’t deal with alone.

You need to figure out which dog you have.  Fear of loud noises
or fear and anxiety and debilitating suffering from loud noises?
 And, I would recommend not to go with your emotions.  Most pet
owners hate to see their dogs have any fears at all.  But the
truth is that we all have fears, and most of us work through
them.  So give your dog the ability to become strong and work
through his basic fears.

After all, I used to be afraid of the dark when I was a kid. 
But my parents kept making me sleep alone, and they turned the
lights out and eventually I was able to overcome your fear.  You
can’t save your dog from EVERY fear.  Let him gain strength in
working things out.

If, however, the fear is debilitating and he can’t breathe,
can’t move or can’t function; consider talking to your
veterinarian about behavioral medications or supplements.

Medications don’t work alone when dealing with problem
behaviors, aggression, or fears. And, often behavior modification
alone will also not be as helpful.

But behavior modification with certain behavioral medications
can make a huge difference in making improvements with both fear
and anxiety and aggression.  And, a boarded veterinary behaviorist
can be integral in recommending the right medications, supplements
and form a baseline for behavior modification.

Destructive Behavior

Without behavior modification and possible drug therapy, anxiety
and fear can lead to anxiety disorders, problem behaviors,
obsessive-compulsive disorders, and extreme
destructive behaviors
.

So please do your pets a favor and don’t ignore their
fears.

I have seen dogs break windows to try and escape when they are
terrified (another reason I like a safe place and a safe
crate).

Do your best to help your best friend overcome his noise anxiety
and if you can’t come up with the perfect treatment on your own,
call your local veterinary
behaviorist
for help!

You can both feel better about life, once you learn to conquer
some fear and anxiety.

Source: FS – TheDogTrainingSecret
The Best Dog Noise Anxiety Treatments