When we adopted Rocco, he was an under-socialized, insecure dog. He had many odd fears that would pop up unexpectedly. At age 4 he is a secure and very curious dog – he even got over his balloon and umbrella fears! However, like many dogs, he is still very scared of fireworks and thunder. Halloween and New Year’s Eve are stressful occasions for him. Even though we made big progress and he doesn’t go into a state of panic anymore, he is still very anxious.
An excellent way to help your dog become de-sesitized to various scary noises is through sound therapy. There are many CDs available which contain recorded sounds of thunder, fireworks, gunshots, vacuums, door rings etc.
The idea behind sound therapy is to play a sound at very low volume until your dog becomes de-sensitized, then overtime you increase the volume until your dog learns that these sound are harmless. You can also feed them yummy treats, so they actually associate the noise with something positive. It is great for puppies as you can socialize them to these sounds at a very early age, and it is perfect for fearful dog as they are in a safe and controlled environment.
There are a few different companies offering this product, I find Sound Therapy 4 Pets to be a great place since their CDs come with training manuals and instructions. Sounds For Hounds offers a downloadable version of their CD at a discount.