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How to help your puppy adjust to loud noises

Every dog has different innate tolerances and different early experiences that contribute to their ability to handle loud noises. You can help your dog by slowly introducing noises at a low level, then increasing. This includes things like fireworks, gunfire, loud construction noises, amusement park sounds, big party sounds, you get the picture.

The most important thing is to start small. That means short periods of time and low volume.

For example, if you know that 4thof July is coming up and there are fireworks nearby, don’t assume that you can just take your puppy to the fireworks and all will be ok. You have to help him prepare.

  • Look on youtube and find some fireworks videos.

  • Grab some of his favorite treats.

  • Start at a conversational volume and turn on the recording for a few minutes.

  • While the recording is on, give the puppy or dog lots of treats and praise.

If at any point your dog appears frightened, lower the volume immediately.

If your dog is scared, you have gone too far.

Repeat this on a regular schedule (daily is good). Very gradually increase time and volume. Add in other things to do that your dog loves, obedience with treats, tricks with treats, tummy rubs, whatever he finds rewarding.

Again, never place your puppy in a situation that may be scary and if he’s scared you are doing too much too fast. And please call us sooner rather than later if something comes up.

If your dog gets scared, you want to support him but not coddle him. It’s a natural response to want to pick him up and hold him if he gets scared, but with dogs that can sometimes inadvertently end up rewarding the dog for being scared which has the undesired result of teaching the dog to be frightened.

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