Abhorrent Noise

The start of the storm season means fear and torment for many dogs

But thunderstorms are not the only abhorrent noises that can turn a happy hound into a quivering, hairy blancmange.

Dogs are equally affected by:

  • fireworks
  • nailing guns
  • cap guns and similar explosive noises

Noise fears are very dangerous as dogs will go to great lengths to escape from the cruel clutches of the noise.

Not all of the above noises have the same characteristics and to help your dog cope, you need know how to handle each noise that can develop.

That means knowing:

  • how predictable is the noise that affects your dog (e.g. fireworks are after dark and you know exactly when New Year’s Eve fireworks will occur)
  • how long it last (some are momentary, some are for a few minutes, some, such as nailing guns, can be day-long)
  • is it local or is it wide spread (fireworks and nailing guns are local while thunderstorms are widespread)
  • is it seasonal (thunderstorms and some fireworks)
  • is there an odour that is associated with the noise (thunderstorms have a characteristic smell)
  • is there a tactile nature which means the animal feels the noise. (dogs feel the wind and rain of a storm)

A dog will often generalise its fear from one component of the noise to other related components, so, while a dog may  initially learn to become fearful of the noise of a storm, it generalises to becoming fearful to, for instance the feel of a storm.

This is why many dogs are fearful in windy conditions when there is no storm present – they presume the storm is on its way. In the same way, a dog will generalise from the crack of lightening to the similar type of noise that the simple flicking of a light switch will create.

Contents of page two

Solutions for thunderstorms

Solutions for fireworks

Solutions for cap guns, nailing guns and other explosions

General information on solving noise fears