Updated: Oct 23
Is your dog afraid of fireworks, thunderstorms and other loud noises? A dog’s sense of hearing is much more sensitive than that of humans. They can hear sounds from a further distance and also pick up frequencies that we cannot hear. Which is why noises which simply seem only loud to us, can be disturbing and stressful for your dog. A dog scared of loud noises reacts by cowering, panting, hiding, urinating, running away or displaying agitated behaviour. You can help calm your dog with some training and conditioning. Here’s how to desensitise a dog to loud noises.
1. Expose your dog to noise gradually
The key to desensitising your dog to loud noises is to expose him or her to them gradually, and letting the dog get comfortable.
Young dogs can be taken on short, controlled visits to places with bustling noise. Gradually increase the duration and frequency according to your dog’s comfort levels. This is an easy way for getting dogs used to loud noises
However, if your dog displays signs of stress like pacing, panting or general agitated behaviour, reduce the stimulus level until he or she gets comfortable.
2. Use desensitisation tracks
You can find dog desensitisation sounds and tracks online, like this one. These tracks have specific noises such as fireworks, thunder sounds and assorted bangs.
Start with playing the tracks at a low volume for about 10 minutes a day. Gradually increase the volume over time according to your dog’s tolerance. Continue this for a few weeks and months. This greatly helps in reducing dog noise anxiety.