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Fireworks

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Jjohnd, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Active Member Registered

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    Tried to beat the start of the fireworks this evening with Brooke to clear her bowels and have a Lee but to no avail. She was frightened so I got her back home asap.
    A friends dog likes fireworks so it makes me wonder what Brookes earlier life was like to make her nervous of bangs and flashing. She certainly is not a fan of gunshot type sounds. Any comments or anything to add regarding your dogs? She is a lab if that is relevant.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Jasper used to be fine with fireworks, but over the years he's got more anxious. He's not too bad - he wants extra fuss and cuddles, and then usually asks to go on OH's sofa (he doesn't usually go on the sofas). After dozing on the sofa for a while, he got down and dozed on the floor and then on his bed, quite happily even though the occasional firework is still going off. I was also able to distract him with an activity game before he took to the sofa, though he kept looking round when he heard a firework.

    Does Brooke have a 'safe place' - a crate, or den, sofa, on your lap? Will she take treats?

    I've also read that playing music/watching TV can help - though I wouldn't be surprised if they have no problems telling the 'scary' sounds from what they're used to hearing within the house.
     
  3. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Active Member Registered

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    Just being home indoors has calmed her, meanwhile I am having a glass or two of red wine to see If that helps her!
     
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  4. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    If it does, you'd better stock up - the fireworks go on for a good couple of weeks round here! [​IMG]
     
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  5. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    I've had two dogs that were terrified of firework noise. One of them was the bravest dog I've ever met apart from that. My current one is out of her mind with fear, and has to be tranxed. I bred both dogs three generations apart, and none of the others was noise fearful. While sometimes we know a particular incident has triggered noise sensitivity, I think some dogs are just born extra noise-sensitive.


    I hate indiscriminately anything to do with fireworks. I hate the people who make them, sell them and use them. I would like there to be silent ones only. I don't think the visuals upset animals, but the noise is so distressing to so many of them.
    .
     
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  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    We are so, so lucky with Timber. He is pretty chilled over fireworks.
     
  7. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Active Member Registered

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    Last year she was as upset as well. The trouble is that we are almost on the flight path of a military airfield and helicopters with their flashing navigation lights can concern her though she quickly gets over it.
     
  8. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Active Member Registered

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    I should add that the helicopters only bother her for a night or two after the fireworks.
     
  9. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Our whippet didn’t seem to be too concerned with regard to last night’s fireworks although this year’s were of industrial strength judging by the bangs. What was of more concern was that we couldn’t find our young cat - he hadn’t come in after 18.00 when we would have shut him in. Eventually the little (forgive me) bugger came down from upstairs - he’d been watching the pyrotechnics from the window sills. For what it’s worth some friends of ours have a whippet which is extremely nervous re fireworks and this year they’ve had positive results with the use of valerian. 49F3DE87-ADEA-4DC6-961D-4BEC2D797FE5.jpeg
     
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  10. Biker John

    Biker John Well-Known Member Registered

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    Fortunately Folly my Whippet is not to bothered, when there is a loud one she lifts her head up and looks round but that's all. A Whippet we had, (called Clive but dont blame us), used to be frightened of them and if possible got himself behind someone sitting down, when he managed it he was ok. Later on he went deaf so wasn't then bothered.
     
  11. Finsky

    Finsky Well-Known Member Registered

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    Our Iida is not too bothered with fireworks and she is quite happy to wonder outside with me and look at the sky....but being in her current condition and I don't want to take any chances her getting scared resulting early delivery...she is forced to take it easy.
    Now younger one is not too keen but is able to stay calm'ish as long as she doesn't hear loud bangers. Fortunately there haven't been that many of those sort this year.
    We've had daily fire works for couple of weeks now and I suspect it will still go on for some time.
    Every night I go around living room spraying adaptil travel spray around their sleeping places and we either have telly on bit louder than normal or have some music on....light on and curtains closed so they can't see the 'illuminations'.
    They don't even twitch their ears when we have war noises from the telly..:rolleyes:...but hearing some firework noises, and they soon stretch their necks o_O
     
  12. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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  13. Jan Woodhall

    Jan Woodhall Active Member Registered

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    Hi Jjohnd,

    Interesting to think about this firework stuff! Robin is 6/12 old now (on the 8th) and I wondered how he would deal with things. Well, he sat out in the garden (lay down actually) and did what he always does at night, survey the garden for interesting things, like the neighbours cat or the hedgehog!
    I started to think about how things had been since he came to live with me. There is a railway close by and we walk close to it from time to time, I have always given him time to stop and look, with no reaction from me and when I see his mind click to 'what's next, that is now boring!' we walk away. The other day we walked underneath the bridge when the train was crossing it! Very noisy and Robin faltered I stopped and waited with him, until he was ready to walk on. At no point did my lead get tight, and no point did I react. I might be wrong but like so many things in life, if there is a reaction from the human, the animal will respond accordingly. I have had horses for 50 years and observed similar with them.

    I think if you are lucky enough to have the first impact on an animal (and human) and it is a good experience, that sets them up for life! :)
     
  14. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    If only! I bred both my noise-sensitive dogs (and quite a few who weren't) one was born on my lap and the other close by me. You don't get much more "first impact" than that. I was holding both their mothers when they were conceived! They had no noise-related negative experiences, were very well socialised, and were always scared of "bangs". The rest of the pups I bred had no problems with noise, and several were happy to act as gundogs (not a drop of gundog blood in any of them).

    I think dogs, like us, vary in sensitivity, and it's just bad luck when it comes out as noise problems.
     
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  15. Jjohnd

    Jjohnd Active Member Registered

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    I was talking to somebody this morning who gave their dog steroids for calming purposes. Is there a downside to this?
     
  16. JacksDad

    JacksDad Active Member Registered

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    Love the big booms. Fireworks, thunder etc. love it. it's exciting and for me, there is something about that deep tone where you just "feel" it that is so cool. On the other hand, I have members of my family that zero reason rational or life experience to fear/dislike etc those booms. Never been any life threatening experience such as, the storm came, lots of thunder and our roof caved on us.

    But that doesn't matter. They aren't "wired" to handle the noise. something about their nervous system makes the experience in it's self unnerving or out right traumatic. I am fairly sure our dogs (being manuals with super sensitive hearing) aren't much different. Some individuals just can't handle those VERY startling and intense noises.

    My dog ignored fireworks and gunshots. We get the real deal professional sky rockets over our heads once a year as I live in town. there was a trail area that took us near a gun club's range. Never once did he show any signs of distress or fear. Kids giggling and running past the house...whole different story. His best dog buddy, she turns to jelly with fireworks. Heck the "beep, beep" that you hear when people lock their car with their remote makes her SUPER nervous and run home.

    Dogs do not have to have had someone be cruel to them to develop fears. sometimes it is simply a matter of never having encountered something before and for whatever reason it startled them thus scared them. Sometimes with noises their nervous system is simply more sensitive to the unexpected, startling, sharp noises that are made by fireworks and firearms. Among other noises.

    Vet behaviorist Dr. Karen Overall suggests taking these fears seriously. Which I know is preaching to the choir around here. The reason, if you can desensitize to something, the opposite can also happen. You can become more sensitive to a noise, thus having more intense averse reactions with repeated exposure. Dr. Overall generally encourages treating this situation much like we would a physical medical issue. Meaning, talk to your vet about possible situational medications to help. If your dog has general issues with noise/sounds, a more general medication is what you would be asking about.

    Non medical things we can do include.

    Noise canceling. turning on the radio or tv a bit on the "loud" side.
    Close windows and doors
    have LOTS of special, yummy treats ready. I am talking real food, not something bought in the pet store, comes in a bag and has lots of flour as part of the ingredients. I am talking real meat, hot dog, cheese etc. each boom gets access to this special treat.

    trying to change what the boom predicts might help. you will be surprised how stressed some dogs can be and still take food, so worth a try. For dogs that are just startled by a novel sound, you likely will make progress. But do not discount medical option to help to relieve suffering, particularly for dogs that show signs of startle to lots of different and far less intense noises. like my dog's buddy who startles and shuts down simply because someone pressed lock on their car's remote and their car made a soft beep.

    sensitivity to sound is real, and doesn't mean there was abuse or some horrible life experience in the past. it could just simply mean an individual's nervous system is very sensitive to the stimuli..aka noises.
     
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