Scared of Fireworks from 4th of July
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Thread: Scared of Fireworks from 4th of July

  1. #1
    sujir is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultScared of Fireworks from 4th of July

    I have a 1 year old lab named Ollie! This was her first 4th of July home with us and was frightened by all of the fireworks that were being set off in our neighborhood. She stayed in her crate most of the night and would not go outside in our backyard to "use the bathroom" before bedtime. Since that night we have noticed that she is fine during the daytime and will go out and play and do her business. As soon as it gets dark it is almost impossible to get her to step foot outside. She has never had a problem with this until the night of the fireworks! I have tried putting on her leash....she just sits down and will not move. I have tried luring her with her favorite treats...she continues to sit there. We were able to get her outside last night but she would not leave our side. We are giving her treats and playing with her favorite toy when she is outside to try and reinforce outside with something good! I would apreciate any suggestions you may have to help her overcm her fear of the dark! Thanks

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    victorytea is offline Member
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    If it truly is fear of the dark you should be able to desensitize her in time with repeated delightful, short sessions outdoors. If it is a condition called gun shyness, it is just about impossible to cure. Is there still loud noises when you go outside at night?

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    sujir is offline Junior Member
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    There haven't been any loud noises at all the last two nights. It is just impossible to get her to go outside. Once she is out there for a few minutes she seems to be okay. She just stays close to either me or my husband.

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    victorytea is offline Member
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    Keep it short and offer all kinds of reassurance. Pet, love, treats. Make it wonderful to be in the dark.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    There are methods to desensitize to noise - but the process is lengthy and requires a lot of commitment.

    I had a dog who freaked about fireworks - and unfortunately there was a very large fireworks show just a block away. It is a good idea to prepare for those kinds of events by getting as much white noise happening in your house as possible. All windows closed, air conditioner on, TV on, Radio on - - lots of background noise. Ahead of time - then when the noise starts it is not as startling.

    Make sure she has a safe dark place to be when there are fireworks happening in the neighborhood. Her crate with a blanket over it should work. Some dogs prefer a closet.

    Your vet can give you doggie downers (Clomicalm is one) is her case is extreme. I used Rescue Remedy on my dog and it helped take the edge off.

    I would keep doing what you are doing to try to get her to get over this association between nighttime and lound scary noises.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Since she does go Okay outside in the daylight, I suggest you continue to use that time slot but try to widen it by using treats.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    victorytea is offline Member
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    Gun shyness or noise sensitivity is very difficult to cure 100%. Field trialer's have been known to walk their dog closer to a skeet or trap field (where shotguns are banging away) each session. just be sure you start far enough away and end the session if the dog appears uncomfortable the slightest. Offer treats and reassurance as much as possible. I would ask your vet about the "doggie downers" as Sharon suggested. I never heard of that but it makes sense- to calm the dog.

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    Carasfavoritetoy is offline Junior Member
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    As for the darkness, I would take the dog out just before sunset and play with them or walk them until they become uncomfortable as the sun sets, gradually extending it till full darkness. Or if your dog is anything like mine, a routine can and will be enforced by the loving pooch . They will want to do whatever activity you choose at the same time everyday. Pick a time close to sunset and as the days get shorter, 'their' routine will be forced to be into the darker hours. This wont work if you live in hawaii or someplace where the sunset doesnt change much. As for mine, we have a strick treat schedule that we HAVE to follow, have to go lol, Good luck

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    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    I like the suggestion of Carasfavoritetoy.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    Felix is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by victorytea View Post
    If it truly is fear of the dark you should be able to desensitize her in time with repeated delightful, short sessions outdoors. If it is a condition called gun shyness, it is just about impossible to cure. Is there still loud noises when you go outside at night?
    Hmm, may i correct you ? If it is the problem of "gun shy".. It is trainable, ive trained several dogs who has this issue, and they all go out now when the fire a lot of fireworks (mostly at new years eve in the netherlands, and realy .. its looking like a war zone in those days!) ..

    So, if you have a dog who's shy for loud noises like fireworks, it is fully trainable

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