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My dog is 3 and is very reactive to loud noises or strange noises in the house. For instance, if I'm walking around outside with her and a balloon pops, or a car backfires, or any sort of loud noise she loses it and gets aggressive at the noise (barking and lunging at it). Similarly, if we're in the house and there is a strange noise (e.g. my phone dings in a different way), she runs to the door raising heck.

How do I train this out of her? How do I desensitize her to noises I can't predict?

I was thinking I could have people knock at the door, or have my girlfriend bang a pot outside, but when she reacts, I'm not sure the proper steps to calm her so I don't want to do it until I know how to teach her to soothe.

Thanks for any advice.
 

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work your way up to the big noises, do a small noise, like tapping on your floor, and work up to tapping on a pan that may rattle a bit more than the floor. Be gentle and kind, praise heavily, and give yummy treats when your dog doesn't react to a noise. If your dog does react to a noise, move down a step.
 

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And when your dog DOES react to noises, resist the urge to comfort her. That just reinforces the perception that there really WAS something to be afraid of.
 
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As others say, work on the issue gradually. It would also likely benefit you and the dog to work on Impulse Control games.

In the sport I do there are loud noises in protection. Most helpers crack a whip which can innervate the dog being worked. The dog hears it an ups his game (no dogs are beaten!! it is the SOUND that gets them "up"). In the obedience phase the dogs are exposed to gun fire which sounds just like the crack of the whip in protection. Two shots are fired from a blank gun as the dog is heeling down the field. The Second dog in the set (two dogs go up at once in obedience) is in a long Down while the first dog works on the field. The dog in the long down MUST maintain that down CALMLY when the two shots are fired. After the first dog has been up working obedience the second dog works the pattern while the first dog is in the long down.

Both dogs must be non reactive to the gun fire in the obedience phase.. and for some dogs it takes quite a bit of training to get them to stay in the down for gun fire (they want to get up and find the decoy who might be there cracking a whip) and to stay heeling during gun fire. This is achieved by teaching the dog impulse control in other areas of the dog's life such as wait to eat, wait to go through doors, lie down and not move from the spot until released with increasing activity around the dog and so forth. Eventually the ante is upped with secondary obedience such as heeling during protection work with the decoy cracking the whip (dog must stay heeling) and to stay in a down with gun fire or to stay heeling with gun fire.
 

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If you attempt to comfort her, you reinforce the idea the noise is an actual threat. You can’t reason with a dog like you can with a child or another human being. Ignore both the noise/her reaction and see if that improves the situation.
If it doesn’t really, try movement. It is a powerful thing with dogs. Jog with the dog on a slack leash and have a 3rd person make a loud noise. https://esacare.com/best-trainers-certified-therapy-dog/
And, as always, just like with actual parenting and setting boundaries: don’t run out of patience. Losing your cool is counterproductive.
 
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