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    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Dogs and fireworks

    Who has a dog that is petrified by fireworks? Bailey actually trembles. What do you do about it?
    We are together in the best sound insulated room in the cellar (a bathroom), with a fan, and a radio as background white noise. It helps more than anything else I have tried, but not for the finale with the loudest booms. With me nearby he seems to recover much faster.
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  2. #2
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    My dog is pretty much deaf. He doesn't bark either. *shrugs*

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    Frame Catastrophizer mikewille's Avatar
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    Vet-prescribed tranquilizers work pretty well.

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    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewille View Post
    Vet-prescribed tranquilizers work pretty well.
    Do you give the dog some too?

  5. #5
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Both of our dogs used to be petrified of fireworks. We cured them with some behavioural training techniques. Get some of Bailey's favourite food. If that means a juicy steak, then cut it up into smaller pieces. Everytime a fireworks goes off, say "good Bailey" and give him the food treat. This works great for Thunderstorms as well. It takes a while for them to associate the noise of the fireworks with a reward, but it will eventually kick in. When it does, they'll look at you eagerly for a treat. Eventually start to wean them off treats with their favourite toy. Throw a ball each time there's a loud noise. Eventually they won't need anything other than a "good boy".

    With any type of behavioural training, you need to be patient and consistent. It may take a few nights before you start to see some change in Bailey's behaviour, or it may only take a short period of time depending on the dog.

    Oh yeah, and make sure you don't try to calm your dog down by saying "it's OK" or coddling him. This will only reinforce that there's a reason for him to be scared. Simply give him a treat and say "Good boy", then ignore him.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by Alfster; 07-04-10 at 09:03 PM.

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    Most dogs I know don't like them one bit -the cats are a little bit nervous too

    I am just glad that this year, like last year they are in the hudson river and not the east river which is very close to me and my apt.

  7. #7
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Here's some other good ideas http://www.dogclub.co.uk/advice/fireworks.php

  8. #8
    Riding Heaven's Highways on the grand tour ModoVincere's Avatar
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    Mollie's first 4th of July tonight. She was a bit petrified...but did well with being held.
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    My older lab is terrified by fireworks, BBQ's, campfires, thunder and gas stoves and ovens.
    Funny thing is; I used to hunt him and gunshots only got him excited. Even then he was terrified of all the rest.
    I just let him sit under my legs for a bit of comfort.

    For the fourth we used to always go camp in the mountains; so we got to miss most of it.
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  10. #10
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    My two seem ok so far. Also their first 4th. Well, the first for my 5yo labradoodle with me. And first period for my pup (7mo). I got some training collars for them from GDS and of course I get occasional offerings from them via email. A recent one addressed the fireworks topic and solutions.

  11. #11
    Lost Again gitarzan's Avatar
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    Mine ignored them, on a boom they would hunker for a second, but that's it.

    Two years ago the Franklin County Animal Shelter had to put down 200 dogs a day for a week due to an overload from all the run aways during the privately set fireworks. I cannot believe that many people did not go looking or their pets. It still makes me sad to think about it...
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    I... Don't care. nekohime's Avatar
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    My dog is doing just fine with the fireworks. Kinda freaky, because I keep expecting her to whimper or be scared but...nothing. She did take to hiding in her crate though, but aside from that she's ok.

    I think it's because the rescue was kinda near a park where there were fireworks and she just got used to them.
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    Free @coasting RUOkie's Avatar
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    My older dog has always been afraid, and was getting a lot better until last night. The puppy is afraid of nothing. Last night, though, she was trembling and wimpering. My neighborhood sounded like a war zone from 7pm till midnight last night. Both cats were under the covers on top of me, and the dogs were in their crates wimpering. Last night was NOT a good night in the RUOkie household.
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  14. #14
    Frame Catastrophizer mikewille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StupidlyBrave View Post
    Do you give the dog some too?
    I did actually take one of his pills to gauge it's effect.
    Luckily I didn't have to work the next day.
    I would estimate that with him being half my weight, the pill's effect on him
    was the approximate equivalent of me gobbling a handful of powerful painkillers
    and tranquilizers and then guzzling vodka till I passed out.
    (without the vomiting, coma, or death)

  15. #15
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Keep him around calm dogs if possible and veg out while the fireworks are going off. We dogsat for two dogs last night known to have issues with fireworks. Ours does not. It worked out great.

    Be sure not to get let your energy or tension level rise if the dog starts panicking. That makes things much worse.

  16. #16
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Great thread! The neighborhood was quite noisy last night as well as damn humid. So I ended up spending time upstairs and in the basement (my natural A.C.), praising both dogs when a firecracker/bottlerocket would go off and they remained calm....basically what Alfster recommended.

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    we have to lock up my friends dog when we light of fireworks.

    a few years ago he attacked one and had it in his mouth. he was fairly persistent and when it went off sparks flew out of his mouth and burn the inside of his mouth. it didnt seem to faze him much and we are quite sure he would do it again. he is a stubborn ox

  18. #18
    Lost Again gitarzan's Avatar
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    Don't try this at home kids!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jseis View Post
    Is a ukulele player in a mandolin town and banned from all bars by the chief of police unless he leaves his strings and gravy at the front door.

  19. #19
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I not-so-secretly wished our dog would freak out and run off never to be heard from again... my wife even took her for a walk just before the displays started. but alas, July 5th and she's still here.

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  20. #20
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alfster View Post
    Both of our dogs used to be petrified of fireworks. We cured them with some behavioural training techniques. Get some of Bailey's favourite food. If that means a juicy steak, then cut it up into smaller pieces. Everytime a fireworks goes off, say "good Bailey" and give him the food treat. This works great for Thunderstorms as well. It takes a while for them to associate the noise of the fireworks with a reward, but it will eventually kick in. When it does, they'll look at you eagerly for a treat. Eventually start to wean them off treats with their favourite toy. Throw a ball each time there's a loud noise. Eventually they won't need anything other than a "good boy".

    With any type of behavioural training, you need to be patient and consistent. It may take a few nights before you start to see some change in Bailey's behaviour, or it may only take a short period of time depending on the dog.

    Oh yeah, and make sure you don't try to calm your dog down by saying "it's OK" or coddling him. This will only reinforce that there's a reason for him to be scared. Simply give him a treat and say "Good boy", then ignore him.

    Good luck!
    Excellent, thanks !!!!! Bailey is so food motivated, if I do this right it will work very quickly.

    When he went to the cellar I was showing him a treat having him follow me upstairs and giving it to him on the living room couch. That was a little help, but I was not being deliberate and clear enough each time. Your suggestion is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. For some reason it did not come to me clearly until now.



    Quote Originally Posted by banerjek
    Keep him around calm dogs if possible and veg out while the fireworks are going off. We dogsat for two dogs last night known to have issues with fireworks. Ours does not. It worked out great.

    Be sure not to get let your energy or tension level rise if the dog starts panicking. That makes things much worse.
    Fantastic, I did not think of another calm dog either! Thanks !!

    Thanks for all the great suggestions and comments from everyone! I just got back from 25 miles in 105 f temp. I did not think I was going to get so many good ideas so fast. It was a great thing to come home to. You all made my day! The only problem now is, I need either a thunderstorm or I need to remember this until next year.

    I don't think I'll try dog tranquilizers for myself............................................maybe.
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  21. #21
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    Both Daisy (terrier mix) and Mojo (corgi mix) huddled around my feet trembling as I was on the computer or reading a book. Blinky the miniature pinscher passed the evening sleeping on the bed. He's not really afraid of anything.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    Who has a dog that is petrified by fireworks? Bailey actually trembles.
    Dogs aren't supposed to be *******. It's counterintuitive.

  23. #23
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes View Post
    The only problem now is, I need either a thunderstorm or I need to remember this until next year.
    http://www.dogclub.co.uk/advice/fireworks.php

    Quote:

    Desensitisation
    Many pets are successfully helped through desensitisation. A CD is now available, which simulates the random and unpredictable noises of fireworks. It should be played several weeks prior to the fireworks season, gradually building up the volume and length of time it is played. Your pet will then gradually become used to the noises and begin to ignore them.
    Distraction
    Whilst playing the CD, you should also take the opportunity to distract your pet. Either play with him, or give him some training lessons, or give him his favourite toy or chew. This will increase the effect of the desensitisation program by making your pet think on something else whilst the background noise is going on.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    My first 2 pretty much ignored them. Last year we went up the hill behind the house to see if we could see the local fireworks (we could). Our back fense is about 10 years from the top of the hill. Everything above that fense is a local park. The dogs were far more interested in the people who had decided the top of the hill was a good viewing point.

    Since then Joey dies of cancer, we ahve a new dog, just with us for a week so far and she pretty much took them in stride. A bit of barking and howling for the first few.

  25. #25
    beast mode bluevelo's Avatar
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    Our dog was incredibly calm during hours of fireworks Sunday night... including our little neighborhood display, but Sacramento was rumbling well past 2:00 in the morning (gunfire too)...

    My son was very jacked to get this box of fireworks for his viewing pleasure... (the blonde girl is his little sister and the dark haired girl is a neighbor).

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