PDA

View Full Version : How can I help my Baby Boy


eillac@dow
07-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Each year...my husband I typically buy some fireworks. Not a whole lot, but some...the kids like it. 3 yrs ago we got a puppy. Year 1 he was fine with them, Year 2 he was really nervous...Year 3, this year, we did not head North till Sat am. But the night before (Friday) a neighbor came by and said, Hey I got this "one" firework...if you want to take it North. We decided to light it off then.

My poor baby boy (Hunter...3 yr old German Shorthaired Pointer) was scared to death. He went up to our bed and was shaking. We said then "no way to buying fireworks" as he was so scared.

In NH, we got a prescrip from a vet for a relaxer (we did talk to our own vet at home, who basically said...a nice dark, quiet room)...we gave it to him and it helped a bit, as he did not shake but panted and was restless.

Problem is now, he is so frighten with loud noises. He never did like them, but now is is scared to death. Even the next morning he does not like to go outside to do his business. I have to coax him out.

Anyone experience anything like this? Any recommendations on how I am to make him feel better. Today is July 10th and the poor baby is still skittish. Every now and then someone sets off a firework and it throws him into a tizzy. Breaks my heart. So if anyone has any advice or recommendations I would sure appreciate it.

Thank you.

Eliiac (allie c)

steadyon
07-10-2011, 08:35 PM
You may be babying the dog too much. They feed off of your emotions.
try acting like nothing is wrong and don't act like it is bothering you as you are putting fear in his mind. good luck!

ishoot308
07-10-2011, 09:38 PM
Each year...my husband I typically buy some fireworks. Not a whole lot, but some...the kids like it. 3 yrs ago we got a puppy. Year 1 he was fine with them, Year 2 he was really nervous...Year 3, this year, we did not head North till Sat am. But the night before (Friday) a neighbor came by and said, Hey I got this "one" firework...if you want to take it North. We decided to light it off then.

My poor baby boy (Hunter...3 yr old German Shorthaired Pointer) was scared to death. He went up to our bed and was shaking. We said then "no way to buying fireworks" as he was so scared.

In NH, we got a prescrip from a vet for a relaxer (we did talk to our own vet at home, who basically said...a nice dark, quiet room)...we gave it to him and it helped a bit, as he did not shake but panted and was restless.

Problem is now, he is so frighten with loud noises. He never did like them, but now is is scared to death. Even the next morning he does not like to go outside to do his business. I have to coax him out.

Anyone experience anything like this? Any recommendations on how I am to make him feel better. Today is July 10th and the poor baby is still skittish. Every now and then someone sets off a firework and it throws him into a tizzy. Breaks my heart. So if anyone has any advice or recommendations I would sure appreciate it.

Thank you.

Eliiac (allie c)


I have a way I think you may be able to break him of being scared. I have trained many hunting dogs not to be gun shy using this same method very successfully.

Go buy yourself a starter pistol and blanks. Cost will be around $30.00

Every day at feeding time and while he is eating, shoot the starter pistol off. Starting off one time in a far away room and close the door if necessary. The idea is not to startle him at first but to let him barely hear it while he is eating. Every day do the same thing but move a foot or two closer. It also good to have someone watch him to see how startled he gets and don't move closer until he gets comfortable with the distance. It may take time depending on how gun shy he is but eventually you should be able to fire the blank pistol in the same room. He will then associate loud noises with feeding which is a happy time for him.

Good luck!

Dan

P.S. Wear ear plugs when doing this. Your pup should be O.K. as he will not be as close to the starter pistol as you are.

Tadpole
07-11-2011, 06:03 AM
There is something called a Thundershirt - http://www.thundershirt.com/ - that many people swear by. The company offers a money-back guarantee, so it might be worth a try. You may be able to find it in pet stores or you can purchase on-line. Also, along the same lines of ishoot's idea, you can try conditioning. I don't know as I would go the route of shooting off a pistol during meal time though. I would be concerned that if not done correctly, it would have the opposite effect: make the pup think eating time is a bad thing. But what I have heard works is this: make a recording of loud noises - fireworks, thunder, etc. Play this at an EXTREMELY LOW volume (so you can barely hear it) as often as possible. And I do mean low. A dog's hearing is something like ten times better than a human's. VERY gradually - again VERY - increase the volume, little by little, over a period of time. This can take months. The theory is that the dog will become used to the sounds and not freak.

Good luck with your baby. I have a big old guy that is afraid of thunder and fireworks too, so I feel your pain.

LIforrelaxin
07-11-2011, 11:16 AM
Having had many dogs and experienced issue with Fireworks and lighting with all of them, let me start by saying this. It isn't completely about the sound. Watch the dog, not only is the sound making them jump, but they are smelling to. If you are close enough to a lightening strike, or the fireworks are close the smell, the odors as well. So the issue can be not just the noise, but the smell associated with it. Case in Point, my Golden Retriever who never had an issue on the 4th as long as he stayed at the camp.... He didn't like the noise and just kinda stayed right beside and layed down. However one year I took him to a park to see the show... I was plenty far away, however the sound and the odor sent him pan icing as the odor, was not normal.

Now as for the idea presented here, they are good and may help.... The question becomes how ingrained the fear has become. However I will say this at 3 years old if your going to try and work on this issue you need to do it sooner or later.

As far as another way to deal with this, just simply keep the dog close to you during these events, and make sure they have a favorite comforting toy available to them. If you remain calm, and don't show an alarming amount of anxiety during the events the dog will not feed off of you. However to that end, this means not playing into the dogs, anxiety, don't get worked up over his state, just stay calm, and praise him.

beagle
07-11-2011, 07:19 PM
With my first beagle, when he became upset due to fireworks or thunder, our response was "it's okay poor dog" in a very babying tone, holding him on our laps and petting him. Dog was always afraid to the point if he heard static on the am radio, he ran under the bed!
Second beagle, first thunderstorms and fireworks "oh wow listen to the boom booms!" in an enthusiastic praising voice, no extra attention or petting. Dog stays close to me now, but does not pant, shake or whine. If only we could get him to stop panting and shaking in the car (4hr trip to NH)!

songkrai
07-12-2011, 05:49 AM
.

Go buy yourself a starter pistol and blanks. Cost will be around $30.00


Dan

P.S. Wear ear plugs when doing this. Your pup should be O.K. as he will not be as close to the starter pistol as you are.

This is exactly what I did with my dog. Dog never got nervous with thunder and fireworks.

May or may not work with all dogs but did work with mine.

Rattlesnake Guy
07-12-2011, 07:10 AM
Our oldest dog (10) is a wreck with thunder and fireworks. We have found that putting him in a shaded room with the radio going loud seems to reduce how upset he gets.

We have noticed this year that with the new puppy who could care less about the loud sounds, the older dog is doing a lot better by the good example.

Rattlesnake Gal
07-12-2011, 09:54 AM
In addition to what Paul stated, we also put him into his crate, so he will feel safer. One of his favorite places is in the crate, under his bed. :laugh:

He also likes to hide in the pantry, any open closet, tote bags and under the bed that has a bunch of stuff stored. Basically any nook that he can fit into.

Good luck eillac. I hope you can figure something out to help Hunter.

tis
07-12-2011, 07:11 PM
My tiny little girl has the same problem and it makes me feel so bad. She has been shaking for much of the last week. The wind and rain also seem to scare her. I think maybe she connects them with the thunder. We heard some fireworks go off this afternoon again.

I have given her rescue remedy and it seems to help some.

It seems she is getting a little better because if we are in bed (of course she sleeps there) it doesn't seem to bother her.

That's my boy in the picture. Nothing bothers him.

eillac@dow
07-12-2011, 07:46 PM
Wow, thanks everyone for your advice.

One of my FB friends also commented on the Rescue Remedy. I might give that a shot. His issues really just surface with Fireworks. He has never had a problem with loud noises or Thunder.

If the Rescue Remedy does not work, I could try the Thundershirt. I am hesitant to try the pistol as we just got a new kitty (15 wks old....named Tuukka...after the Bruins backup goalie :) I am afraid I will spook the cat with the pistol.

Even today, July 12th, he is still not himself. He is typically outside 15 times a day....we just open the door and he plays and runs in the yard. Now, I basically have to step outside first and then he will come out. I can go back inside but he will only stay out there for a short period of time by himself.

Thanks again everyone.

@ steadyon....you must know me :D.....cause I do baby him :) Perhaps I will try to handle it a little differently.

SIKSUKR
07-13-2011, 10:57 AM
In addition to what Paul stated, we also put him into his crate, so he will feel safer. One of his favorite places is in the crate, under his bed. :laugh:


I had a dog that would feel the safest in the back seat of our car.Probably not an option for you guys.:laugh:

MikeF-NH
07-13-2011, 11:15 AM
I agree that the dog (at least partially) is feeding off your emotions and concerns. You need to be excited and happy to hear them and be setting the example rather than transmitting the concern for your "baby boy".

I like the starter pistol idea but have a different approach with it. GSPs are hunting dogs....finding prey, pointing and fetching is engrained in their genes. Try this:
1.) buy a couple of tennis balls and a small bottle of "pheasant" or "grouse" scent (available at all sporting goods stores that sell hunting goods) and put about 20 drops on each ball.
2.) start by having him fetch the ball in your open back yard
3.) next have him start trying to find "hidden balls" that you place in the edge of your yard (now he is REALLY into this game)
4.) now have a person with the starter pistol at least 50 feet away from you fire as you throw the ball (your dog will begin to associate the bang with his ball). The more you do this, the more the association of the shot will be with his ball

Hunting breeds love this and even though you may not hunt, he IS a hunter and this uses instincts he wants to use, gives him great exercise that GSPs need and beings the process of associating loud sounds with his favorite game.