Fireworks and other loud noises are very scary to dogs. They do not understand what they are and from a dog’s point of view they are ‘potential threats’ to its family/pack.
Here are a few tips and ways you can help your dog to cope with fireworks other loud bangs and other unfamiliar frightening noises.
- If your dog wishes to take himself off and wants to lie behind the sofa or under a table, maybe even in its crate (maybe even cover the crate with a blanket) then let it, the dog will find smaller spaces comforting. Maybe close the curtains and turn the telly up an bit to help drown out the noise or put the radio on and stay in one room. Try to act like the noises are the most normal things in the world.
- Don’t keep watching your dog and avoid eye contact. Ignore your dog’s behaviour if it is not too disturbing. e.g. whining, pacing around or just being generally unsettled.
- If you dog gets very stressed e.g. barking, howling, spinning or digging then call the dog to you. If your dog ignores you then take it by the collar (if it is safe to do so) or place a slip lead round its neck and hold your dog next to you you gently but firmly. When you feel your dog relax then loosen your hold.
- Don’t speak to the dog or make direct eye contact and don’t make a fuss of the dog to try to reassure him. This will get the dog thinking that you are stressed and will make the dog worse as if will fell that it has to look after you as well as cope with the fireworks.
- You can continue to have the dog on a lead near you during the time the fireworks are going off. One they are finished and your dog is settled then remove the lead.
- Most of all keep calm and try to stay relaxed. The key to success is to be a strong, calm leader by showing your dog that the noises are nothing to worry about.
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