Thunder and Fireworks affecting dogs
Whether your dog is bothered by bonfire night depends on early experiences, his personality and trust in you. It is very important to remember when your dog freaks out on November 5th it is more important what you do and not what you say to convince your furry friend that all is well.
When we are scared, we often feel better if someone puts a reassuring arm around our shoulders or offers a few soothing words. Indeed dogs are not humans but its always good to remember how you would feel if you were frightened.
So when all about you is going pear shaped for your dog, then
- DO... Be calm and place a calm palm on your dogs side if he comes for reassurance. If he leans into you thus giving you moral support, then lean back in to him to offer the support he so desperately needs.Do not speak or look him in the eye, Why ? Because; dogs to calm situations down, avert eye contact and they cant speak. Be clear in your communication when it really matters.
- DO NOT offer your dog a cuddle and stroke talking reassuringly as this only serves to add to his already anxious state, you are giving him attention for this behaviour and therefore re-enforcing the fear.
- DO ... Let him hide in a safe place behind the sofa or in a covered crate.
- DO ... Have the TV on and curtains closed
- DO ... Play find a toy and reward ... if you can play then al must be well. If he's too frightened then this is not going to be an option.
- DO ... Try a silent walk on a lead in house if he's panting and pacing, this will help get him to focus on you and off the noises. Reward as he looks at you with an upbeat voice. This is a game of be with me and all is well.
- DO NOT ... Take your dog out side after dark if he is terrified, this will only serve to make him worse as the days and years go by. The age old practice of getting dogs to face their fears should be well and truly over.
- DO NOT ... leave your dog if he gets in a state, he needs you.
- DO ... Try Pet remedy spray but in conjunction with a behavioural modification program.
- DO ...READ "Why Does My Dog Do That?" By Caroline Spencer
It is worth considering that your dog’s fear of fireworks is only one behavioral issue and by tackling your relationship with your dog from grass roots up, to convince him, you are a safe person to be with making great decisions is the best way to move forward rather than just firefighting each individual problem.