Noises in apartment building scaring my dog
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Thread: Noises in apartment building scaring my dog

  1. #1
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    Noises in apartment building scaring my dog

    I live on the bottom floor of a 3-story apartment building. There are constantly noises coming from upstairs and the staircase directly outside as people walk around, drop things, and we can even hear the closing of cabinets in the apartment above us.

    Unfortunately for my little Corgi-Beagle mix (3 y/o), it's very disturbing. I think the sounds tend to echo through the walls as loud bangs and thuds, and he just can't handle it. Just about every day he ends up running around in circles through the apartment with his tail curled under him, and sometimes even shakes in fear.

    The worst problem is that he is compelled to pee when this happens. Otherwise he is perfectly house-trained; he will normally let me know very clearly when he needs to go outside, but when he's scared he will pee anywhere... even right in front of me.

    I've tried all kinds of things... punishing him seems wrong since he really isn't doing it on purpose, and he does know that he isn't supposed to pee inside. I've tried secluding him and ignoring him in an attempt to "let him deal with it" on his own. I've tried cheering him up with treats and praise when the noises happen, but he is very scared by it and often doesn't want treats. In reality I simply end up taking him outside 15+ times per day to prevent the indoor peeing. But there are times when I have to leave him alone for 6+ hours at a time, in which cases I've resorted to puppy training pads in an attempt to save my carpet.

    Can anyone help? I'm starting to think my only option is to find a new place to live. It's very unhealthy for my dog to be scared like this every day of his life.

    Noises in apartment building scaring my dog-toby.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Re: Noises in apartment building scaring my dog

    I would make him a safe place to go (like a covered crate) and put him in there with something like a Kong toy stuffed with Fat Free cottage cheese and frozen. Put him in the crate and give him the Kong and cover the crate with a sheet or something so it is like a den. He may feel safer that way.

    I would also check out the Fearful Dog Thread here (stick that in the search panel). There is good advice there. There is also a book you can get from www.dogwise.com called "The Cautious Canine" but Patricia McConnell that you may find helpful.

    You are correct.. punishing this is going to make it worse. Try giving him a safe place to go and be quiet and see how it goes from there.

  4. #3
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    Re: Noises in apartment building scaring my dog

    We have a futon with space under it where he likes to go as a "den." It's covered by blankets so he's enclosed, but the noises are noticeable enough that he comes out when they happen.

    Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.

    Well actually the "safe den" suggestion has given me an idea... The sounds reverberate through the walls, so I may try insulating his "den" under the futon a bit to lessen the noise where he can feel safe. I'll also try giving him some more delicious treats and chewies under there. I have a small kong but I haven't used it in a long time.

    Giving him treats and praise tends to help distract him from the noise, but the bigger problem is when nobody is home.

    EDIT: Okay, I lined the walls next to the futon with several layers of blankets... so it should be pretty sound-proof now. We'll see how it goes. Thanks for the help!
    Last edited by draftomatic; 02-21-2011 at 05:43 PM.

  5. #4
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Noises in apartment building scaring my dog

    Another possible help is to walk him around the apartment and get to know the neighbors, trying to get exposure to all of the different sounds. Dogs tend to fear noise that they can't see... but if they see the noisemaker, it may help to calm things...

    I know this isn't a solution, but may help you solve the problem.

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