Noise phobic dog

(5 Posts)
libertyminty Fri 15-Feb-19 09:23:34

We’ve had our rescue Lurcher for nearly 2 years now. She’s had a fear of fireworks which we’ve had treatment for and once a few days have passed she’s back to her normal self. Recently though the fields near us have been having a bird scarer going off. The first time it happened she bolted on me which was horrendous for both of us. Now having to walk her on lead and also already go to a secure field 3 times a week so she’s still getting to run.
Anyway her fear has got so bad that she’s now point blank refusing to leave the house, we get to the end of the driveway and she pulls back. I’ve taken her in the car to different areas and she’ll walk fine for a bit, then something will spook her and all she wants to do is get home as soon as she can.
Yesterday I was at the secure field and two loud bangs went off nearby, she panicked and tried to climb the metal fence to get away.
I’ve tried a thunder shirt, adaptil plug ins, adaptil calming pills, red light therapy and desensitising her with a cd playing fireworks, guns etc.
Nothing seems to help with her fear and I’m at a loss.
Have got a vet appointment later today to get her checked over and to see what they say.
So upset for her, she’s such a sweetheart and to see her feeling so panicked is awful.
Any advice from anyone who has experienced this would be much appreciated, many thanks.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Fri 15-Feb-19 10:33:33

I know this is said a lot of mn (inc by me) but this really does need a behaviourist. Fears and phobias are so difficult because they spread (as you've seen).

One day a firework, then a bird scarer, then just being in the same field as the scarer, then just being outside.

Desensitisation and counter conditioning do work but need to be done correctly, which can be hard for the average pet owners among us to do. Even a slight mistep, such as pushing the dog a bit too fast, can set the dog back instead of helping her move forwards.

A good behaviourist - someone qualified to MSc level, a member of a professional behaviourist body and with great recommendations - should work with your vet to help, potentially by using medication to lower her fear to a level at which she is capable of re-learning that noises are not threatening.

libertyminty Fri 15-Feb-19 13:00:42

Thanks for your reply, I agree I need a professional, hope the vet can recommend someone

OP’s posts: |
LunaFortuna Fri 15-Feb-19 13:11:14

There's a CD you could try called "Sounds Scary" - there's lots of info here about it.

www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/dog-behaviour-health/sound-therapy-for-pets

Both the vets who wrote it are well respected within small animal behaviour.

Yes to talking it over with a behaviourist too though, most annoying thing about dogs with fears is that left alone the fear just increases. I had a lurcher who had the same fear of noises and it was awful to see the distress it caused him. Good luck.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Fri 15-Feb-19 18:56:26

My previous dog used to be a stray in rural Greece and, in common with all Greek cats and dogs, was TERRIFIED of anything that sounded like a gunshot. When she came to UK, fireworks and any kind of bangs reduced her (big strong dog) to a quaking, cowering wreck and she would try to crawl under the nearest thick bush when we were out and stay there until it had been over for some time. I learned to avoid being out walking when fireworks were at all likely. Indoors, she was equally scared and would crawl under my bed or into the wardrobe and quake until all bangs had stopped entirely. In the end, for known bad times like firework nights/public holidays, I managed to get the vet to give me some sort of tranquilliser tablet and they worked a treat. She just got too drowsy to notice and dozed for hours. It beat lying on the floor next to her, hugging her all night and muttering reassurances into her ear.

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