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Fireworks

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by pongo111, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. pongo111

    pongo111 Member Registered

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    it's that time of the year which I normally enjoy, but this year I have a puppy and she's not so keen.
    Yesterday she was in the garden having a wee and a firework went off mid flow. She bolted inside and needed consoling for quite a while.

    Any tips to get through this period?
     
  2. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Last year we picked up Harri and let him watch through the window making suitable comments in a calm and non frightened voice. He was fine.

    It'll be interesting to see how he reacts this year.
     
  3. Lucie Lou

    Lucie Lou New Member Registered

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    I’m not sure yet if it will help but I’ve been playing fireworks on you tube as background noise just to get my puppy used to the sound and the bangs.
     
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  4. pongo111

    pongo111 Member Registered

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    interesting idea to play the videos on you tube.
    i'll give that a go - hoping it doesn't scare her! :(
     
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  5. Lucie Lou

    Lucie Lou New Member Registered

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    Play it quietly to begin and slowly turn the sound up in stages throughout the day.
    Hope it works.
     
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  6. Michele83

    Michele83 Active Member Registered

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    I played mine fireworks sounds too, when she was young, and she seems to be fine with loud noises so I think it does help.

    I have also read in several places that to console your dog is definitely not something you should do (cruel as it may seem). Consoling just serves to confirm to them that the event is worthy of consolation and that you are upset too. I've read that the best thing to do is act completely normally as if nothing is going on.
     
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  7. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    The not comforting idea has been de-bunked. Thank heavens.
    Its normal to seek comfort be you a child, an adult or a dog. Reassurence that all is well is not a bad thing.
    Murphy isnt too bad, if we are out and one goes off I just tell him 'ok walk on' Dont spend hours saying oh my goodness dont panic dont panic. But dont ignore their discomfort.
     
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  8. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Jasper's pretty good - there have been a couple of years when he gets quite anxious but now he tends to just lift his head, look at OH and me to see if we're reacting, and settle back down again.

    He doesn't 'share' sofas well so in the evening he generally can't go on them - but a couple of times when the fireworks or a storm have upset him he's asked to go on the sofa (OH and I have one each) so we've let him up and OH and I have to share - then he's fine.

    His downstairs bed is pushed up against the radiator and an external wall. One year I tried pulling the bed away from the wall a little and he seemed a lot calmer - I wonder if it's not so much the sound as the vibrations that were upsetting him, and this reduced the vibrations coming through to his bed. This makes me wonder if a raised bed would help some dogs.
     
  9. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    They do all react so differently don't they!
    Our old lady who we had put to sleep at the end of January this year. She worked in the beating line, and loved picking up/retrieving shot game. She was never worried about guns banging ever!
    As a youngster she absolutely hated crow scarers, even in the far distance she would go quiet and come back close to one of us. She also hated firework bangs (this was all of her life).
    We never made a big fuss about the bangs she disliked but we were always there if she felt the need to come and sit on our laps and hide her head.

    Another oldie from years gone by just loved firework nights. She would rush from the patio window into the garden looking up to see if anything was going to drop from the sky for her to retrieve, just a crazy girl!:rolleyes:
    We have joked for many years that the ground where she is buried moves up and down on firework nights :D:):rolleyes:
     
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  10. Michele83

    Michele83 Active Member Registered

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    I don't think any theory can be debunked entirely, because all dogs are different and therefore some things will work for some and not for others.

    This is exactly what I mean. When mine hears a loud sound she looks at me to see what my reaction is, and when I carry on as normal so does she. I can actually see her glance at me to assess 'is this something we should be worried about?' and if my reaction tells her it's not, she is content with that and goes about her business.

    Yes of course it's normal to seek comfort. But just because something is 'normal' it doesn't dictate that the response should acquiesce with it. It is perfectly normal for a dog to eat its own poo but that doesn't mean we accept the behaviour. As far as loud sounds go, we can choose which things to react to and which not to in order to carefully and compassionately shape our dog's personalities, surely? For instance, with a child, your first instinct would be to comfort them if something was wrong. But you also need to be wary of the common phenomenon whereby a child will get into the habit of crying even when they're not that upset, just because of the attention they've learned it will get them. Therefore we can discern between a dog seeking comfort from an earthquake and a dog seeking comfort from things that are much less scary, and importantly, are going to be part of normal life which they'll have to get used to (including fireworks, because similar bangs will be generalised to other things too).

    Therefore, if mine seeks comfort for someone shutting a garden gate she's not going to get it, sorry. I comfort her if she's hurt herself, or if her reaction to a noise is such that she might endanger herself. But that's it. Ignoring the bangs of everyday life, coupled with noise socialisation from a young age, has worked very well to produce a calm dog who hardly ever startles, even when huge articulated lorries zoom past her on the road.
     
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  11. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think there's a big difference between comfort and reassurance, and that some people, seeing their dogs distressed, feel anxious themselves and manage to convey this to the dog. If my dog, say, found an ear rub or a cuddle relaxing and this would help him settle when fireworks went off, by all means I would do it. Personally I think it's better to acknowledge your dog's fear and try to help them deal with it - being able to, say, ask to go on the sofa when they're upset, or take a wide detour round a dustbin lorry, helium balloon or whatever, both acknowledges their mental state and shows them that they have the tools to cope with the situation.

    You can't actually reinforce the emotion of fear by linking it with a positive, you can only reinforce the behaviour. And if a dog previously afraid of fireworks now responded with 'Yippee, now I just have to whine a bit and I'll have the perfect excuse to cuddle with Mum,' that can only be a good thing. If you end up with a dog who now loves fireworks but whines to get his cuddles, then you can go back to ignoring - though I'd settle for a brief cuddle and then tell them to settle down.
     
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  12. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    Our "Sika" as a puppy herself was petrified of feathers, no matter how small they were she would give the feather a very W I D E birth:eek:. A picture attached of her practicing with a large feather to slowly build her confidence. Loud bangs have never bothered her:rolleyes:

    Now as an adult she is so happy to find a bird and give it to my husband.
    Sika RESIZDE 19 weeks.jpg RESIZED 19052013 056.jpg
     
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  13. Whippylove

    Whippylove Well-Known Member Registered

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    Marley is terrified by fireworks he gets himself so stressed out, he looks for me for a cuddle or to hide under the quilt which i let him do. Oliver isnt as bad he didn't care when he was young but the older he's got the more aware he is, Rolo im not sure as he hasnt heard any yet touch wood. But i think if they look for comfort then I'm always their for them.
     
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  14. Josie

    Josie Administrator Administrator Registered

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    Dennis is the same! Loud fireworks, thunder and quad bike races (my brother rides) he is absolutely fine with but if the wind blows a curtain in the house be prepared for a complete breakdown!!
     
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  15. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Both my brother and sister have dogs that are scared of fireworks, one is a Staffie, the other a Chihuahua.
    Any tips welcome as I don't have this problem with Roxy thank goodness, she doesn't bat an eyelid!
    My sister wanted to get her Chihuahua tablets from the vet to help her but didn't realise they have to be on them for a couple of weeks before!
    The other thing is that she's got a chihuahua puppy too so I hope the older one's fear doesn't run off on the younger!
     
  16. millymojo1

    millymojo1 Member Registered

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  17. Marie1958

    Marie1958 New Member Registered

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    Rosie 6mths old now has her moments with fireworks but i just play firework sounds from utube every now and again. Worked last night for her no barking just raised her head from sleeping now and again.
     
  18. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Jasper was doing so well with the fireworks... till this evening, when I managed to set the smoke alarm off cooking tea. It's happened often enough :oops: that I know it doesn't usually upset him, but the combination of that and fireworks gave him a bad case of the collie-wobbles.

    Mind, I'd also been cooking chicken to turn into dog treats and when I offered him some kibble to help him relax (the chicken was in the oven so too hot) I'm pretty sure his body language was saying 'No Mum, I'm too stressed for kibble. But I'd feel MUCH better if I could have some of that chicken I can smell' ;)

    He's settled down on his bed now, but not 100% relaxed. The last few nights he's just slept right through them but now he's opening his eyes and looking at me whenever he hears one. And I just looked back at him trying to assess his stress level... Must ignore him, nothing's happening, nothing to see, go back to sleepy-byes...
     
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  19. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    We have fireworks going off all around us this evening, 5 dogs are fine but there is 1 that has put herself beneath the sideboard at the moment.:eek::rolleyes:
    We will ignore too, unless she comes out for a cuddle with her dad.
     
  20. Caro Perry

    Caro Perry Well-Known Member Registered

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    Harri is coping this year by going into fierce guard dog mode and barking and growling at each bang. He doesn't seem worried - tail is jauntily aloft and he plays ball between each fusillade but oh dear the racket. He has a very loud bark for such a small dog and my ears are ringing.
     

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