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Old 29.07.2009, 21:23
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August 1 and all that noise

Lily the Pup seems to have developed an aversion to thunderstorms, hailstorms and fireworks. When we lived in the US, she'd pretty much ignore thunder and fireworks, but here, since the start of the year, I've noticed that she gets uncomfortable when it gets noisy. I can't blame her - since we live along a valley, the noise echoes, and these are the loudest thunderstorms I've ever heard. The hailstorm last week was also very loud. She just paces and is very alert and uncomfortable.

So I'm thinking of just closing the blinds on Aug 1, and finding a quiet corner of the house and sitting there with Lily, maybe see if I can get her to play a little bit with her brain train (hide treats and she gets them). I might call the vet tomorrow and see what, if anything he recommends.

Anyone have other suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 29.07.2009, 21:32
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

One of my dogs freaks out when it thunders. 'I normally turn up the Tv and put him in the Loo where ther are no windows. That normally works. I've read that it is best not to try and sooth the dog by calm talk etc. Just act like everything is normal.
If its during the day I will sit and put a lead on to control him and wait the storm out. He does bark, and I correct him, which has made him alot better.
I think you can get mild sedatives for pets in the extreme.

It's strange as the younger dog doesn't care about the thunder now.
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Old 29.07.2009, 21:52
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

It's interesting because it seems to have become worse recently. She usually sits on the terrace at night, but tonight kids have been shooting off something and she's been in the other side of the room. We finally shut the blinds and the door, and she seems better...

I don't want to spark a controversy, but I should tell you that I try to use positive reinforcement, especially if she's afraid. For Lily, distracting her to lower her arousal seems to work better than correction. But I am interested in knowing how other people deal with this.
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Old 30.07.2009, 02:07
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

1 August can be a very difficult day for the mutts.

After spending one 1 August in the Tierspital when my extreme noise-phobic dog went into convulsions after each bang, we gave up and the next year spent the day in Germany or France. We continued to do that every year while he was alive - 1 August was simply was too dangerous for him.

If your dogs' fear is not that extreme, in addition to closing the binds or putting on soothing background music, you could also try body wraps or a t-shirt as a calming aid. I've had good results using TTouch to relax the mutts a bit. Some people use DAP dispensers or DAP spray on bandanas - I didn't really see any improvement when I tried it, but some say it makes a difference for their dogs.

Some trainers recommend desensitizing, using a fireworks (or other scarey noise) CD... This approach can be effective when done using positive reinforcement and change-the-association, but usually takes some time to accomplish. (Going too fast can result in flooding.)

We had a breakthrough last year, the first 1 August after my deaf oldie joined the family. He can't hear a thing so he naturally he does not even notice, let alone react, when the neighborhood explodes. My other dogs, who the year before had been terrified, remained calmer - they clearly took their cue from the little guy. (Do you know any non-reactive dogs who might want to come over that night for a play date? )

Ignoring the madness outside seems to be the best way forward; I try to keep calm, we try to have a quiet family evening as if it was any other day. The operative word being 'try'.

It is often best to put a dog on lead if you have to go out in the garden while the rockets are flying. Every year dogs get spooked, jump fences, and end up lost - and a few never make it home.

Other than that, I pray for rain.

FYI, an article from the Tagi, with tips for helping your four footed friends get through the day:

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/leben/ra...story/10294878


Wishing all the doggies out there a safe and sane 1 August.

Last edited by meloncollie; 30.07.2009 at 02:41.
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Old 30.07.2009, 10:45
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

Hello,

it will be our first 1 August here in CH. Our girl has also fear of fireworks. She hides somewhere (usually under the table or bed) and starts to breath rapidly and gets really upset.

I would like to know what time does the fireworks begin on 1 August?

I really don't want to be outside with her at that time, because in such cases she starts to pull on the leash (very strong, uncontrolled, usually in one direction) and she wants to escape.

So I need to know when shall I go for a walk with her? Very early in the morning? I am not sure how will we go to pee in the evening, but I hope that duration of the firework is limited on some hours or so?

Or another plan... Hike outside CH. Do you know any nice places for walk in some other countries within max 3 hours from ZH (so probably in Germany or Austria)? We would go for a hike there instead of siting in our apartment and listening these "boom, booom, boom" noises.

Thank you for answers.
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Old 30.07.2009, 10:59
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

I am personally rather worried about 1 Aug too. It will be the day after my dog's operation and he wont be able to get a long walk beforehand. I am not sure how loud the fireworks will get at our place as its our first SND here. Does anyone know how long the fireworks last?

I'll have to play it by ear but the plan is to move him to a quieter room in the house, put him in his crate and turn up the radio.

Fingers crossed.

Usually for thunderstorms, he gets anxious and barks. But I either turn up the telly or play music to try and drown out the sound and distract him with games of fetch, which he likes. For me, the same theory applies with thunderstorms as when they see something unfamiliar on walks - dont feed the dog's anxiety by trying to sooth them. Just act normally and distract them.
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Old 30.07.2009, 11:10
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

Just don't forget that varios places have their 1 August bonfires and fireworks on the 31 July (so people can sleep off their hangover)!

Better check your local times (and the places you plan to escape to)!

Hopefully a not too frightening experience for your pets...
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Old 30.07.2009, 11:15
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

The most important thing, is to remain as neutral as possible while interacting with the dog. “Often we humans will try to reassure our dogs by talking in an animated way, sitting with, hugging, and petting them,” Sharpe explains. “Unfortunately, giving them special attention even with the best of intentions can actually reinforce their fearful behavior. To a dog, this out-of-the-normal behavior can justify his anxiety. After all, something must be wrong or his human wouldn’t be making such a fuss. Also be sure to never punish the dog for his fearful behavior.”
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Old 30.07.2009, 11:35
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

It's going to be our first SND too. I'm not worried about my daxie as he grew up in South Africa he is quite used to gun shots. He has actually been to fireworks shows and enjoyed himself. But my new boy I'm not to sure about. Best advice so far is turn the TV up a little louder than usual and close all the windows. With dbl glazing you should be fairly insulated. Then act completely normal. That's the part I don't normally get right.

Anywho, good luck all of you and I hope your owners don't get too anxious.
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Old 30.07.2009, 20:45
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

Well, I also called my vet and he's going to give me a small sedative for Lily. He suggests that we start her on it tomorrow. Our nejghborhood has a lot of kids and they've been trying out their fireworks all day today. I think Lily is getting used to them a little, but every once in a while, she hears something and comes to sit right next to us. I was able to keep her attention while I was walking her, so that's a good sign. My husband is leaving tomorrow for two weeks in the US, too, so that's a double stress whammy. The suitcase is never a good sign. But we'll have a quiet night tomorrow and and a quiet day on Saturday.

I read the article... good advice. I'm trying the wrap method too - it's the same principle as weighted blankets for autistic kids.

Good advice to act normally, or at least quiet and not make a big deal of it - I guess I'm reactive too.
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Old 30.07.2009, 21:01
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

When I had a dog myself, she would maybe just raise her head for a few seconds, when there was a big bang, so I guess we were lucky there.

When my dog was a puppet, and a dog barked on TV the first time, she got up and looked for the other dog, that she could hear, but not see. Later on, she never reacted to TV sounds any more.

Would it be an option to use a Youtube Video of fireworks to "train" the dog ? Like playing the same video a few times, and increase the volume a bit every time, so it gets used to the noises.

Doc.
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Old 30.07.2009, 21:07
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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I am personally rather worried about 1 Aug too. It will be the day after my dog's operation and he wont be able to get a long walk beforehand. I am not sure how loud the fireworks will get at our place as its our first SND here. Does anyone know how long the fireworks last?

I'll have to play it by ear but the plan is to move him to a quieter room in the house, put him in his crate and turn up the radio.

Fingers crossed.

Usually for thunderstorms, he gets anxious and barks. But I either turn up the telly or play music to try and drown out the sound and distract him with games of fetch, which he likes. For me, the same theory applies with thunderstorms as when they see something unfamiliar on walks - dont feed the dog's anxiety by trying to sooth them. Just act normally and distract them.
Hope your dog is ok after the OP.

The fireworks near us have already started, and tend to last all day and late into the night.

My dog was terrified of fireworks back in the UK on bonfire night so i would take her into my bedroom and turn the T.V really loud to try and drain the firework noise out seemed to help.
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Old 01.08.2009, 09:42
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

Looks like a goregous day here... so there be fireworks. Someone's been shooting off something every once in a while since about 8Am.

Summerain, how's your pup? Hope the surgery went well.


Hope everyone has a restful day, pups, cats, rabbits and etc. included.
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Old 01.08.2009, 09:44
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

edot, sent you a PM. Hope it helps.
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Old 01.08.2009, 10:10
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

Sorry to derail a bit. What is it special today except for fireworks and parades

Am I allowed to mow the lawn without causing a friction with my Nachbaren?

Last edited by jacek; 01.08.2009 at 10:34.
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Old 01.08.2009, 11:26
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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Sorry to derail a bit. What is it special today except for fireworks and parades

Am I allowed to mow the lawn without causing a friction with my Nachbaren?

This being one of the most sacred days on the Swiss calendar, disturbing the peace is particularly frowned upon. Infractions such as the mowing of lawns can be expected to bring a slew of indignant complaints. Your neighbors likely have their fingers poised on the noise police hotline.

Just make sure that your abject apology to said neighbors is voiced loud enough so that you can be heard over the ear-splitting howitzer-like explosions they are setting off. All. Day. Long.
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Old 01.08.2009, 11:35
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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Does anyone know how long the fireworks last?
Generally we have random bangs starting in the early morning, increasing through out the day.

The real noise starts in the evening, crescendo-ing to a full out 'Apocalypse Now' style war zone from around ca 21:00 or 22:00 to midnight. I believe noise is supposed to stop by 1AM, but there are often random rockets fired off after that.

Oh, and for first-timers - the smell of gunpowder can linger through the morning. Some of my dogs are afraid of the smell as well as the noise... resulting in rather stressed bladders.

YMMV - but best to be prepared.
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Old 01.08.2009, 11:50
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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Or another plan... Hike outside CH. Do you know any nice places for walk in some other countries within max 3 hours from ZH (so probably in Germany or Austria)? We would go for a hike there instead of siting in our apartment and listening these "boom, booom, boom" noises.
I'd recommending going a bit farther than the Bodensee area in Germany. One year we had the bad luck to run into a number of little village fests on the German side in the border towns - out of the frying pan into the (albeit much smaller) fire.

France is usually good if you are up for a drive - choose any picturesque town about half an hour up the Wine Route in Alsace and you'll likely run into a quite a few Swiss dog owner-escapees.

In Austria, the Montafon area is usually nice - but I think there is a festival going on in St Anton this weekend as well.
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Old 01.08.2009, 12:24
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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Summerain, how's your pup? Hope the surgery went well.
Thanks for your concern edot. He came out of the surgery whimpering and with loose stools. I got worried for a bit as my previous dogs never had that reaction, but the vet (and another friend who is a vet as well) assured me that some dogs react that way because they dont like the feeling of coming out of GA (here I was thinking he was mourning the loss of his bollocks).

Just left him to his own devices and he stopped after a couple of hours. He's still very quiet, confused as to why he's being made to wear the lampshade collar and banging into things but wagged his tail at me this morning..so yay, I think i am forgiven.

Happy Swiss National Day everyone.
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Old 01.08.2009, 12:55
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Re: August 1 and all that noise

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This being one of the most sacred days on the Swiss calendar, disturbing the peace is particularly frowned upon. Infractions such as the mowing of lawns can be expected to bring a slew of indignant complaints. Your neighbors likely have their fingers poised on the noise police hotline.

Just make sure that your abject apology to said neighbors is voiced loud enough so that you can be heard over the ear-splitting howitzer-like explosions they are setting off. All. Day. Long.
And translating above to English is this mean YES or NO?
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