Fireworks and Sounds Preparation in July!

You read this correctly!!

We have our annual Sounds Preparation Campaign taking place in July 2022 which includes preparing puppies for all kinds of sounds as well as helping dogs who already have a fear of specific sounds.

The most commonly found noises that dogs tend to be weary of include:
๐ŸŽ† Fireworks – single bangs, displays, random screeches
โ›ˆ Thunder and storms – clap of thunder, lightning before the thunder
๐Ÿฆ… Crow scarers from farm fields – random bangs
๐Ÿš› Lorries and heavy traffic rattling or banging

But there are so many sounds that can cause upset in our dogs – such as:
๐ŸŒง Heavy rain eg on a conservatory roof
๐Ÿฅ Music such as drums, symbols, gong
๐Ÿš•๐Ÿš“ Regular traffic or emergency services
๐Ÿš‚ Trains passing in the distance
๐Ÿ› ๐Ÿ”จ DIY and people visiting to do work on the home
๐Ÿ“ข Loud speakers at shows
๐Ÿ๐Ÿณ๏ธโ€๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿšฉ Flags flapping in the breeze plus flag poles rattling in the wind
๐ŸŒณ Wind blowing through the trees
๐Ÿ—ฃ People shouting
๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿฆœ Other animal sounds can be a worry to some dogs

These are just some examples of noises I’ve worked on with dogs over the last 17 years but in reality dogs can develop a worry over pretty much any sound – all it takes is a negative experience at the same time or similar time to hearing a sound. This might be an event happening, such as an animal making their noise then chasing them or racing up to them, or could be a sound they hear during a moment of pain, or just that it’s a sound they find scary and cannot find a way to move away from it.

As sound can really affect a lot of dogs – 80% of dog owners in the UK say they notice a change in behaviour of their dog when there are the sounds of Fireworks taking place. That’s just fireworks, so imagine the amount of dogs overall that show different behaviours to noises in general! – we know that the best way to help dogs is prevention rather then treatment so for this we can introduce puppies to a wide range of types of sounds while they are still young to help build positive associations. There are recommended ways to do this; we don’t want to just play a load of new sounds on high volume to a puppy for several hours!! Sound plays a big role without puppy socialisation so ensuring that young puppies get to experience as many sounds as possible really sets them up well for the future.

However sometimes there are uncontrollable events that cause our dogs to start showing anxiety to a sound, or we may introduce a rescue dog to our household who already has fears of sounds. In these cases, while there are a huge amount of things we can do to help, we need to identify that the training is different to preparing a puppy to sounds. For dogs with a fear already in place we need to now help them with a combination of being able to stay calmer along with creating positive associations with the sounds they are worried about. Often we are contacted end of September and into October asking for help for their dog with fears of fireworks but this is such a busy time for fireworks that it’s almost impossible to help a dog through their fireworks worries at the same time as there is very little chance of a break between night time fireworks sounds.

When dogs have a fear or anxiety it affects their level of cortisone, amongst other things. When the cortisone is disturbed it prevents a dog from returning to feeling calm and this causes dogs to be on alert and needing to protect themselves. As a result after a situation that causes a dog to feel fear they can show reactions to other people, dogs, activities that they usually are fine with or even might be excited about. This can take several hours or even a few days for dogs to return to ‘normal’. So if we are working on noise fears in a controlled way we can keep the exposure to sounds much lower and shorter times, plus have gaps between days. When a dog is scared of hearing fireworks, for example, once they start around mid October time there’s not much of a break until after 5th November which causes many dogs to be heightened for days or weeks. That is a lot of stress for the body and mind and is a reason why dogs tend to worsen each year rather than suddenly recover!

Do you want to start helping your dog prepare for Noises?

Whether you have a Puppy you’d like to prepare for sounds or you have a dog of any age who have a fear or concern over sounds, help is on hand!!

Our Free online 5-Day Sounds Preparation Challenge starts on Monday 18th July 2022! We will be showing you a series of ways to start helping your Puppy have positive experiences with noises as well as the foundations towards starting to help your dog with existing worries around sounds.

You can join in with the 5-Day Sounds Preparation Challenge here:

During July 2022 we are running our annual Noise Fears Campaign where we try to help highlight how sounds can become worrying for dogs, how we can help prevent this, and also a host of advice on helping our dogs through future sounds they might be worried about. Methods can include:

Calming techniques
Desensitisation – very gradual
Checking for discomfort
Using food to help with relaxation

Starting with our 5-Day Sounds Preparation Challenge will actually be the best place to be before joining us for the Noise Fears Campaign the week after so if you would like to know more about all of the free help and advice we will be giving out end of the month, use the same sign up for the 5-Day Challenge – you can then take a look at the easy challenges each day and be ready for the Campaign itself!!

To join us for the Challenge and the Noise Fears Campaign just register your name here:

It’s Aero the Assistance Dog Puppy’s first lot of sounds preparation too so she will be working on the exercises in real time!!

Take care of yourself and your dogs

Joe Nutkins x