Independence Day, Noise Sensitivity & Safety Tips

July 2, 2010

As we all know, fireworks = loud, booming noises. These noises can be very startling for some of our four-legged friends. Have you ever wondered why one puppy may grow to fear loud noises while another completely ignores them? According to Chris Cos-Evick, writer for DogFancy magazine, there are three contributing factors:

1) Genetics. "Some breeds, specifically hunting and sporting breeds, were developed for their ability to ignore loud noises," says Cheryl Smith, behavior lecturer and owner of Forever Friends Dog Training School in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. She believes this partly explains why Labrador and Golden Retrievers often adapt well to large families."

2) Socialization. "The brain develops more neurotransmitters with exposure to stimuli," Smith says. That means your puppy needs ongoing varied experiences to accept life's noises.

3) Negative Association. Consistently banging the crate or clapping loudly to startle a puppy into stopping undesired behavior can create a lasting negative sound association.

Overall, consider your lifestyle before choosing a breed, socialize well, and stop undesirable behavior through training to help your puppy avoid noise sensitivity. For dogs sensitive to noise, you may reduce the reaction by playing music or a television fairly loudly in the background.

For more information regarding how to keep your dog calm and comfortable during Independence Day celebrations, visit my previous blog entry here: http://www.sweetsamuraikennels.blogspot.com/2009/07/fourth-of-july-fireworks-fright.html.

For ASPCA tips on how to keep furry friends safe during this holiday, visit my previous blog entry here: http://www.sweetsamuraikennels.blogspot.com/2009/06/fourth-of-july-safety-tips-from-aspca.html

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