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    1. #1
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      Afraid of loud noises

      So it seems Latte is afraid of loud noises. My dad started his tractor, me starting the ZT mower, there was a loud boom (unknown the source) and Latte ran away. We did not react to the noise at all. When the tractor started she ran to my feet and I assured her that it is always safe with me.
      Any suggestions for aversion training? Blank pistol? Fire crackers? All from a distance like around the other side of the house? We just want her to not be afraid of noises.
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    2. #2
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      That is a great picture of the two.
      Don't you think she'll get over it by herself?

    3. #3
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      I used to clap my hands while Leo was eating. He didn't really react so I stopped doing it. Assuming he didn't mind loud noises. If a door slams or something he will often stop doing whatever he's doing and look in that direction. I'd call it startled, but not like fear. I haven't done any work with gunfire with him yet. But was thinking I'd start with blanks far away as he's sent on retrieves, but I want to be certain his retrieves are solid first. I'm not rushing anything with Leo. I'm just enjoying his company and working on basic commands, introducing different environments like water, fields, wooded areas, and our town streets of course. He's a joy to hang out with and I'm not in a rush on Any of his training really. Sorry, I ramble when talking about Leo.

    4. #4
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      Bragging on your pup? I so get that!

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    6. #5
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      Since we knew thor would be exposed to anvil clanging, gunfire, and fireworks we worked on exposing him to the noises from a distance. At first, David would be in the shop working and I would keep Thor in the house. When the anvil would start, I'd just feed Thor treats as long as he wasn't reacting.

      Same thing with 4th of July. We had a neighborhood BBQ and everyone got a little baggie of kibble. Whoever was closest to Thor when a random firework would go off would give him a treat (We weren't doing them, but plenty of others around the neighborhood were). And the same with gunfire. We went to a shooting pit in the desert and while David started with a little .22 I kept thor about 500 yards away and fed him treats.

      Of course this means that he's been conditioned so that now whenever he hears a loud noise he comes running over for a treat. That's better than being scared, though, so I'll take it.
      Mighty Thor, "So Much Dog", born 1/6/2014

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    8. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by tims229 View Post
      Sorry, I ramble when talking about Leo.
      Nah. Around here, all dog talk is just normal conversation.

      My two had no fear of loud noises until the horrible fireworks in the neighborhood last year. Now they tense up with both fireworks and thunderstorms. We put them into their apartment in the basement where there's less noise.

      What I have to contend with...first with Sunnie and now with Danny as he's aged...is fear of crinkling/swishy noises. Dry leaves being stepped on for the first time in the Fall (they get used to that). Sunnie HATES the sound of the refrigerator being opened (I've gotten her to just flinch and not go running out of the kitchen). Plastic bags...even some of the bags I've used to pick up after them and dog treat bags (unless they're anticipating and focused on the treat). The list goes on and on. All I've managed to do with that is to say, "It's just noise. Don't worry about it." Sunnie is also on Chinese teapills for anxiety (not recommending that for you, just mentioning because they really do take the edge off and someone else reading might be interested for their adult dog).

      I never knew why Sunnie was like this from the start (she was ??? when we got her), but with Danny seemingly growing into it (not the loud noises which definitely have the same onset for them both, but the weird ones), I'm wondering if it's just got something to do with the tendency toward anxiety. And perhaps genetic. Mine might just be a mix of neurotic breeds but that could happen in a purebred, too.

      Or perhaps it's that sensitive dogs have extra good sensory perceptions as a basis for their reactions. Both of mine, but Sunnie especially, seem to have better than average (compared to any dog I've ever had, at least) sight and hearing...also sensitive skin and paws, and stomachs. I wonder if that seemingly enhanced ability also has its drawbacks. At any rate, this would probably cause anxiety. And the anxiety would affect the reactivity to any kind of stimulation, loud or not.

      Good luck with whatever you decide to try.

      [Who mentioned rambling? ]
      Last edited by SunDance; 09-18-2016 at 07:02 AM.
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    10. #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by sparky View Post
      So it seems Latte is afraid of loud noises. My dad started his tractor, me starting the ZT mower, there was a loud boom (unknown the source) and Latte ran away. We did not react to the noise at all. When the tractor started she ran to my feet and I assured her that it is always safe with me.
      Any suggestions for aversion training? Blank pistol? Fire crackers? All from a distance like around the other side of the house? We just want her to not be afraid of noises.
      So, your puppy may be in a 'fear period' right now, and you just need to wait it out. I know how tempting it is assure them that they are safe buy petting them, but thats the wrong thing to do. Puppies need to be desensitized to loud and unexpected noises while they are still with their mother, and take cues from her that everything is fine. If that hasn't been done, then you need to do it yourself, but carefully. I vacuum, turn the TV really loud, clap my hands, drop stainless steel bowls etc... all around their indoor pen while they are 0-4 week old babies, then later the lawn mower, weed whacker, wind chimes and more annoying noises when they move to the outside pen, 4-8+ weeks, for play in the daytime. The pups go home "bomb proof", and very confident.

      When my young dogs experience something that they are unsure of, I feed them, or clap my hands and say "puppy puppy puppy!' because thats what I said every time I fed them, so they related to the clapping and puppy puppy with positive associations.

      At this point I would wait a week or two, then sit out there with Latte on lead, special treats in hand, and a special favorite toy, and distance from the tractor when it starts, just act happy, like its an everyday occurrence, and play with her and feed her treats. Clap you hands and say "Yay! Good Puppy!!" if you think that wont startle her too. And bring out your other dog if they aren't alarmed by the noises, because the puppy will also take cues from them. You can also go into a busy parking lot of say Walmart and just sit there for 20 minutes at a time, just letting her watch the world go by, hear backfiring motorcycles, loud noises, lots of movement and activity. She will get used to car rides, and the busy world, bring treats to have people feed her too, thats fun for people and good for her. Just don't allow her to meet strange dogs you don't know, and don't put her on the ground.

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    12. #8
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      What did you do when these noises happened? I think a little fear of loud noises is normal and maybe even good. When Oban went through a fear period (garbage cans, not loud noises) I did my little song and dance routine in the street and acted like I was having fun. Would Mum be singing and dancing if there was really something scary to be worried about? Nope. I think I distracted and reassured at the same time. Good thing it was early and the neighbours didn't see, they might worry about me. Oban was older, about 5.5 months. Supreme confidence isn't so good either or you have a dog running up to snowblowers and big logging equimpment, like I do.

    13. #9
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      When she ran to me I just talked in a normal voice & told her its ok, nothing to be afraid of. I did not pick her up or pet her. We are going to just ignore the noise as just a normal thing. I think she'll get through this ok.

    14. #10
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      I second the fear period thing. I also second everything that Mighty Thor said. Go slow and build them up. Be aware that your dog has some fear issues or noise sensitives and work with that, understanding their unique temperament.

      Also, genetics. Some dogs are just this way. I've never had a dog afraid of noises (knock on wood) other than a non-Lab shelter dog that eventually became a little neurotic nor have I ever acclimated them to everyday stuff on purpose. Life happens and with that, comes noise. All of my dogs were raised in a regular house with their breeders with kids, vacuums, TVs, etc. and their parents had appropriate Labrador temperaments, which includes not being spooky or concerned about noise.

      I did puppy tests with all of my puppies before I brought them home and it was important to me that they were not spooky as I find it difficult to deal with a dog that is spooky by nature. I've had plenty of spooky fosters and know that type of temperament is not for me or my lifestyle. I looked at one litter before I got Sam and that puppy ran from the noise (dropped my keys on a hardwood floor while he was not paying attention as to startle him a little) and then associated me with that noise and would not come near me again, which to me personally, is a red flag. Every other puppy I've brought home might startle, but then they'd run toward the noise or even cautiously go toward it, check it out and recover quickly. While these tests are not fool-proof or perfect, they can give you some insight as to the puppy's temperament and what they are used to.

      I've sort-of changed my stance on comforting a puppy or dog when they are afraid. I used to think, "just ignore them because petting encourages them to be afraid" but then I realized that if you have a child who is afraid of a noise, would you just ignore their fear? If you comforted a child who was truly afraid, does that mean that you are encouraging their fear? Dogs are not children, of course, but if it is a real fear, whether or not you comfort them is not going to change things and as the person I want my dog to look to when they are unsure and to trust to take care of them, I'm not going to ignore their fears and worries. I don't try to distract them either or snap them out of it with food as it doesn't help them work through it, I allow them to become comfortable with the situation at their own pace and I help them through it.

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