Bells, buzzers and whistles

(7 Posts)
Holmgreen Tue 05-Mar-19 07:57:12

I have a rescue dog who is petrified of doorbells, buzzers and referee type whistles.

He fully panics (shaking, panting and drooling) at the tiniest hint of a noise that's scary to him and will panic and bolt if he hears a whistle whilst out on a walk, or sometimes even panics at birdsong that sounds like a whistle.

I'm working with a behaviourist to desensitise him and need recordings of his scary noises to work with.

I can find lots of recordings of thunder, fireworks etc (noises that don't bother him at all) but am struggling to find anything with bells, buzzers and whistles. The closest I have found is YouTube videos of referee whistle tests. These are good but tend to be quite short (2 mins or so) and I'd like something longer to work with.

Ideally I would like a recording of 5-10 mins with lots of whistles. Or possibly a game show with lots of buzzer action.

Can anyone help me with suggestions of programmes or sports to look up on YouTube? Or any other ideas?

Many thanks!

OP’s posts: |
OverFedStanley Tue 05-Mar-19 08:31:59

5 - 10 mins is way too long for a dog with a phobia even on low threshold - or are you playing bits of it at at time.

Company of Animals sells a cd with sounds . DO make sure you start with noises the dog is happy with before moving onto bells and whistles

Parly Tue 05-Mar-19 08:33:47


Hi just a quick one because my laptop has gone insane and the screen is ditching me but I may be able to help we always have a steady stream of dogs with issues many noises sensitive and with generalized fear as well as really specific

Just out of interest in meantime what breed is he? How old and if you know any info or specifics.

I'm guessing it's not any one thing and just sudden loud noise in general?

If need be drop me a message ;)

Holmgreen Tue 05-Mar-19 11:41:21

Thanks Parly and Overfed

He's a collie cross, with spaniel or some sort of gundog we think. We've had him for about 6 years so know him quite well and have done a lot of bonding and (positive) training.

He's generally a happy little thing but has always been noise sensitive. As I said, bangs and thunder etc are fine, it's just the buzzy, trilling whistles that are a problem.

The main environmental thing is we had a baby a year ago and the noise phobia has definitely ramped up since then, poor thing.

He gets loads of attention and the same walks as before the baby (hour offlead in morning and half hour ball throwing walk in afternoon). We are v careful to keep dog and baby apart and we have managed to fence off the room with the dogbed with a low barrier that the baby can't climb but he can jump over. This means he can be kept safely away from the crawling baby without having to be being shut away from us all.

He generally ignores the baby and the crying doesn't seem to affect him (sleeps through it) but the change has obviously been v unsettling for him.

With the desensitisation, we have been advised to give him a filled kong whilst playing the scary noises at a volume that keeps him well under threshold.
I play it on my computer whilst keeping a close eye on him and make sure there is no reaction at all from him. Eg No raised ear or little glances over. So far whilst playing the noises he is completely engrossed in the kong. I keep the noises playing until just before he finishes the kong (usually about 5 mins) then stop the recording, let him finish the kong then take it away.

My understanding is that we very slowly increase the volume over time (weeks or months) making sure he never reacts so slowly gets used to it.

We are also trying to minimise any accidental exposure to the scary noises eg on radio etc and are only walking him with a long line and harness in places and times where dog whistles are less likely.

The approach makes sense to me but I'm very open to other ideas/advice!

OP’s posts: |
Holmgreen Tue 05-Mar-19 12:16:00

Just to be clear, the volume I play the noises is extremely low, the lowest volume possible on the computer. I can barely hear the whistles myself even though I am right beside the computer speaker.

OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Tue 05-Mar-19 16:56:56

The Dogs Trust site has a load of tracks of various different noises specifically for this - including bells, buzzers etc. You can download them from there.

OverFedStanley Tue 05-Mar-19 18:01:21

Be aware that dogs are clever things and you will find your dog is fine with the recordings but is still worried by the real sounds - this will take time and effort. You will need to add different locations and situations to when the dog hears the noise so be prepared to be in this for the long haul.

Good Luck

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