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Dealing with noise anxiety

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Katherine, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Katherine

    Katherine Premium Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Charleston SC
    Does anyone have experience with using DAP (dog appeasing pheremone) and / or chlomicalm or other remedies for dealing with noise anxiety ?

    Capers, my older (non-sheltie) dog is terrified of thunderstorms; and fireworks are also a big problem for her. Big thunderstorms came up overnight the past two nights and her whining, pacing, and scratching on doors awoke me out of a deep sleep. She has a diazepam (valium) prescription, but it is ineffective unless you can anticipate the event and administer the drug with 20 - 30 minutes lead time. This morning my vet has recommended the combination of DAP and chlomicalm for Capers.

    Our "safe" room is my bedroom closet. Even it didn't seem to help last night. I feel sleep deprived and can only imagine what it would be like to have a baby with colic !
  2. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    My male has acute hearing and is a nightmare during thunderstorms and fireworks. I tried clomicalm but it made him too (having trouble finding the right word here) 'fearless' so he would do things that any rational dog (or him in his right mind) would not do. Eg, if we went outside he would just wander off completely - almost lost him a few times. I know other people who do use it regularly but i stopped.

    The best solution I have found is to mask the sound - but not with standard noises like tv, as the dogs can hear thru it. Put on music with big drums and high sounds like some classical music and even better is the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. I recommend to anyone who has a noise sensitive dog to get a copy of the Tattoo - the bagpipes, drums and percussion mask anything. I have it at the ready for whenever a storm comes (I got it on DVD) and I am so used to it now I just go back to sleep with it on.

    I also have ACP for fireworks but that takes 1hr to start working. Tried the DAP - it was a very expensive and useless purchase.
  3. Ann

    Ann Moderator

    Feb 25, 2008
    Western Connecticut
    Our first two Shelties had noise anxiety and anything from thunderstorms to cars backfiring would set them off. Fireworks were a nightmare. I tried every remedy under the sun, and nothing worked until I read an article years ago in a homeopathic magazine about Melatonin. It's the human sleep hormone that you can buy in the drugstore supplement section...comes in 3 mg tablets. The vet who wrote the article said that you could give 1 tablet up to four times a day for noise anxiety, and it will not hurt the dog or interact with any other medications. I've been using it for years now, but found it works best if you can get it into them *before* the storm hits full strength. It doesn't completely eliminate the problem but it sure takes the edge off.
  4. Dawn Hall

    Dawn Hall Forums Novice

    Jun 9, 2009
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Have not had any personal experience with DAP, although a few fellow handlers swear by it!

    I personally steer clear of all these "remedies", loud noises unfortunately are part of our enviroment [with the exception of dammed fireworks]

    We went the different route - and I am not promoting this behaviour - alot of you will disagree with us, but this was our personal choice.

    We taught [and it took a while] our dogs to "shout back" at certain noises, for example thunder claps. We just spoke to them and encouraged them to bark! During a storm, at the first sound of thunder, we have 5 pairs of ears, all pricked up, focused, waiting for the cue - my husband says [in a very gruff voice] "that old man upstairs is moving his furniture again, tell him off", and as the thunder starts, all five wag their tail & bark like mad. It becomes a waiting game for the next clap!

    Maybe not the best behaviour to teach, but I would rather happy dogs, playing a game with thunder, than being terrified.

    Tresta, the little one, has a "skittish" tendacy, and used to quiver & shake at loud noises, she has improved steadily as she gained confidence to "shout back"
  5. emmygirl

    emmygirl Forums Enthusiast

    May 4, 2009
    how do you prevent the noise anxiety?

    How do I prevent my 12 week old from having it? We have fireworks about
    1-2 times a month. How can I prevent her from getting so worked up. Is there a way to Desensitize them?

    Heck my pup is afraid of the kitchen where I feed her (possibly why she won't eat!). She hates running water, sneezing, dishwaters, cars passing (and I live in the city!) and not to mention: sirens, and trash trucks. Any suggestions???
  6. Jan244

    Jan244 Forums Enthusiast

    Aug 10, 2008
    Yeah. What is it about Shelties and sneezing?:confused2: Spencer was deeply asleep on a chair in the living room. I sneezed. He woke up suddenly and in his rush to attack the sneeze (or whatever he had in mind), he fell off the chair onto the floor. He was fine and I did my best to control my laughter so I wouldn't "hurt his feelings".:rolleyes2:
  7. UNCMaria

    UNCMaria Forums Novice

    Jun 14, 2009
    I know dog noise anxiety disorder is real, but please don't overmedicate your dogs!

    I'm not a veterinarian - but I've heard a few suggestions that those medications hit dogs' livers even harder than ours. Remember, there's not exactly a dog FDA! I don't like medicating myself unless it's life-or-death and I try to treat my dog no different, so I'm looking for another way. Has anyone tried those anxiety wraps like the Thundershirt? (www.thundershirt.com) Or should I stick with behavior training or desensitization?
  8. MisfitBrian

    MisfitBrian Forums Enthusiast

    Aug 5, 2008
    Little Elm, Tx
    Max attacks our sneezes as well. :lol: He's not too bad w/ thunderstorms. He gets a little nervous, but that's about it.
  9. mcguiregirl2248

    mcguiregirl2248 Forums Enthusiast

    Mar 12, 2008
    Britton, MI

    I have read where people have done well with the behavior training/desensitization. If you try the Thundershirt, I would be very curious to know how well it works. I have one girl that is very afraid of storms and as I have said before, would be wedged in between my butt checks if I would let her!!
  10. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    You can desensitise to sounds - download thunderstorms from the internet or buy it on a CD. I tried it but didnt have success but many other people have. You either just have it low and increase the thunder noise or you play it low with some other sounds mingled in - like music - and gradually increase the thunder sound and decrease the music.

    Encouraging a dog to bark at a storm can be dangerous as you will need to be careful this is not just a fear response. My male actually barks at the storm already - that is his fear response. I wrote this on another forum re this type of reaction

    Both the 'fight' and 'flight' reactions are fear responses. Many dogs with storm phobias will exhibit a 'fight' response, but the underlying fear and adrenaline/cortisol response is the same as the 'flight' dogs. In fact, the fight response can be a more dangerous as the physical response of running and barking can further increase adrenaline/cortisol levels. Because a dog's normal behaviour is over-ridden, dogs can harm themselves in an attempt to 'fight' the storm.

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