How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19759
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
2361900
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

We adopted a mixed breed dog who was picked up as astray ,from

Resolved Question:

We adopted a mixed breed dog who was picked up as astray ,from a reputable rescue ,at first everything went well we have had him about 6 months but then he started being very frightened by the noise of low flying planes also we can hear the jets revving up at Wharton airfield which sends Mickey into a frenzy areal panic attack crying panting running round the place this can go on all day if it starts in the morning,we have been advised by various people to ignore it,which we do ,but the poor dog is so distressed,also he is very attached to my Husband and this morning cried and paced for the whole 2 hours he was out I am sure we are doing something wrong we have been given many suggestions which we have tried,we are getting nowhere,we want todo our best for this dog but don't know what to do help please
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.
Did you try these things separately?
Do you know the herbal remedy that was used?
Has any other medication been tried?
Any other methods?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yes we tried all these things separately to start with then all at same time.
Our vet gave us Vallerian and skullcap tablets 4 a day..
The vet said there was no other remedy.
Don't know what else to try.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Do you need any more information ? Only I cannot think of anything else that would help you,in fact I am beginning to think there is no help any where and my poor dog is for ever going to have these horrid panic attacks
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Greta,
It actually seems that the most important part of noise phobia treatment has not been tried as well as traditional medication. The other tools that you have tried already are ones that we recommend be used while desensitizing the dog.
Many dogs have reactions to different noises. This is really a problem around the 4th of July and fireworks. For things like the noises your dog is scared of, I recommend desensitizing the dog. The best way is to tape the noise and play it back at lower volumes while playing with the dog and providing positive reinforcement for the dog's lack of anxiety while the noise is played at low volumes. Positive reinforcement would include calm praise and hot dog slices or other tasty treat (not regular treats. You then gradually increase the volume slowly until your dog is desensitized to the noise.
Many people try the prerecorded CD's of noises, but often those noises will sound different then the actual noises your dog hears, so taping it is much more effective. I also think you need to focus on one sound at a time.
Your vet could prescribe a medication called Acepromazine, which is a tranquilizer. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/acepromazine-promace-aceproject/page1.aspx
Another prescription drug would be Xanax but I have to caution you not to give any prescription drug to your dog without consulting your vet first. Legally we have to tell you that. It has been effective for a lot of dogs.
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/alprazolam-xanax/page1.aspx
Many people get Rescue Remedy to help with noise phobias. Be sure you get the kind that does NOT contain Xylitol. You can read about this here:
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/rescue_remedy.htm
It may also be available in your local pet store as well. Leaving a TV playing loud also helps prevent your dog from hearing the outside noises. Another treatment is Melatonin which you can read about here. It has been shown to work well for noise phobias.
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/melatonin-melatonex/page1.aspx
DAP collars can be used with traditional medications since it uses pheromones that mimic the ones produced by a nursing mom to calm her pups. It has proven to be helpful with this problem but was used in conjunction with desensitization.
It is also important to note that herbal and traditional medication when used need to be given an hour before starting desensitization training.
You have been told correctly about ignoring the behavior. It is important that you not only ignore it but go about your activities as if it is not going on. You can't talk to the dog, reassure the dog, and must try to not even tense up. It is our natural instinct to try and reassure a dog or distract them with attention, food or other activity. This can reinforce the behavior.
The other behavior sounds like separation anxiety. The same medications and pheromones tend to help with that condition as well. If it only occurs when your husban dleaves then have him practice leaving the house, opening the door immediately and rewarding him with a hot dog treat if he did not scratch, bite and carry one. This teaches him that your husband leaves but comes back quickly. Once he seems to not do anything when he initially leaves, lengthen the time he must be quiet for him to come back in. Change the time as well. Make it 2 minutes one time and 10 mintues another, so he never knows if your husband ise gone for an hour or gone foe 2 minutes. It helps him stay calm for longer periods of time, just be sure you reward him when he is good.
Another thing that helps is to do things that might make the dog feel he is leaving and then don't such as putting on a coat or picking up his keys. Or leave without doing those things. This helps remove things that might trigger the dog to become anxious.
These should help his separation anxiety and boredom and help curb the behavior. It will not be an overnight cure and will take work on your and your husband’s part to be consistent in your interaction with him. Here is a site that also offers idea to combat separation anxiety.
http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/overcoming-separation-anxiety.aspx
Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.
I'm glad that I have found a few things that have been tried especially the desensitizing training since that is a major part of helping a dog recover. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thankyou your advice is most helpful,there is just one thing more when he has these panic attacks on his daily walk he just pulls on the lead and heads for home what action. Would you advise should my Husband let him have his way or try to make him stand still for a time ??
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.
Greta,
If at all possible, try and take him for walks where he won't be subject to those engines until you have desensitized him a bit. Perhaps a car ride to a place a little further away. I know it is not the most desirable solution, but might help until the desensitization is underway.
Your husband might start intensive obedience training using tasty vienna sausage slices or raw liver slivers as the treats. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
This intensive training might help when outside. The dog might be more focused on the treat and less focused on the noise. So your husband might be able to use a command to get the dog to obey and then give a treat hopefully stopping the unwanted behavior. he does need to be sure and reward the commanded behavior and not just tempt him with the treat. It will help if he is already stopping along the walk and having the dog sit or lay down for the reward before any noises start. Since they are random, it will be more difficult.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No more advice needed thank you ,my dog has settled down now apart from thunder storms. He is fine ,Thankyou for your help,which has already been paid for ,

Regards

GretaElleray,