While you and your family might eagerly await the annual fireworks display, your canine friend is likely to be huddled under some furniture shaking like a leaf. The deep and loud sound of fireworks may startle us, but such sensitive canine hearing can leave your dog feeling like bombs are being dropped overhead. He might not be eating his food, he may stop drinking, and he might not be able to sleep.
Training your dog to accept and live with fireworks will save him serious anguish. Seeing your dog trembling for hours on end isn’t easy, so if there are steps and measures you can take to reduce that fear, it’s a no-brainer!
Due to the serious fear that fireworks can bring out in dogs, training isn’t always a walk in the park. You will need to take a number of steps to reduce his fear. A big part of training will be gradually desensitizing him to the terrifying sound. If your dog is young and a puppy, then overcoming the fear may take just a week or two, if he has had a deep-rooted fear of fireworks for many years, then training may take many weeks to yield results.
Fortunately, the measures you can take as an owner are straightforward and it’s vital you follow them for the wellbeing of your dog. Dogs who experience such extreme fear may develop behavioral problems and fears in other areas of their lives. So be patient and persistent and you’ll soon have your dog smiling through fireworks.
Before you get to work with your canine pal you will need several things. His favorite food or treats will be needed to calm and reward him during fireworks. You will also need some recordings of fireworks and an audio device to play them with.
You will also need to ensure your dog’s den is comfy, homey, and a safe shelter when fireworks do start to go off. Apart from that you just need 10 minutes a day for the next few weeks and a proactive attitude and you’re ready to begin!
I’ve tried literally EVERYTHING!!! Thunder Hold method, Thunder Shirt, medication and even was successful at training him to movies/stereo firework noises (voice commands;” Only TV, your safe “)
Sadly he was severely abused, and I rescued him from a puppy mill, he was literally fused to the chicken wire fencing and had to be shaved to be removed. He had heart worms, and some having the rapid kill procedure, he developed a seizure disorder. So he is already taking a medication that should keep him sedate during loud, popping/banging noises. But it truly has NO EFFECT whatsoever! He becomes sooooooo anxious during any sort of “outside noises” that happen to sound like gunfire/fireworks, he’ll work himself into a seizure. Witch then takes anywhere from 2-3 days to recover from. HELP!!!!
Hello Cindi, I suggest contacting someone who specializes in behaviors like extreme anxiety and aggression. Check out SolidK9Training.com. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
Last year we went camping and no fireworks were allowed at the park. Our dogs had their best 4th of July ever!
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