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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20218
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have a 7 year old cairn/poodle cross. During the last few

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We have a 7 year old cairn/poodle cross. During the last few months he gets spooked by almost any sound and runs and hides. This is worse when out for a walk as he refuses to go any further and sometimes refuses to go out for a walk at all. Sometimes he will not go down a certain road for no reason and will not budge until you change direction. This makes taking him out for a walk very difficult and sometimes means you have to go much further than you want or need to go.
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.
Many dogs have noise phobias. It is pretty common. Most are spooked by loud noises. One way of helping dogs with this problem is to desensitize them to the noise. You do this by taping the various noises and playing them back at a very low volume while providing positive reinforcement such as paperthin hot dog slivers (vienna sausages) or chic***** *****ver slivers and CALM praise. You gradually increase the volume until the noise is louder than it is in real life and the dog should no longer be reactive to it especially if you care those treats with you on your walk.
Additionally, make your walks to a specific destination and have them be fast paced without allowing him to stop, sniff, investigate or socialize. When you allow that, he thinks he controls the walk, which right now it sounds like he does. Just start walking fast and he should keep up with you.
Obedience training will help as well since he will be used to obeying your commands and will have more trust in your decisions. 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.
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.
A prescription drug called Xanax might be helpful for noise phobias but I have to caution you not to give any prescription drug to your dog without consulting your vet first.
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:
It may also be available in your local pet store as well. Benadryl is often used as it does tend to calm your dog. Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. Benadryl in not a sedative though so it won't put your dog to sleep.
In the house, 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.
DAP collars might help a bit as well. They produce 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 so it is unknown if the collar or the training was the major factor in resolving the problem. They are available in pet stores and vet offices.
Usually it takes a combination of these suggestions to correct the issue, try desensitation, dap collar and the obedience training at a minimum.
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 .
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