Hello hello, and welcome back to Teacher’s Pet, a column on all things training! Every other #TrainingTuesday, Brussels.Sprout, will share his how-tos for learning new tricks, updates on his own adventures in agility competition, and his favorite tips for helping you and your pup bond over training.
Making Loud Noises Fun
Yup, you read that right… we’re going to show you a game we like to play to help make loud and scary noises seem, well, less scary. The idea with noise desensitization is to start with noises that are right at or just a tiny smudge above your pup’s current noise comfort-level and to increase the volume — and his comfort-level — gradually.
We did a lot of these exercises with Sprout as a puppy – exposing your young pup to new things, including loud noises, can help him better navigate the world as an adult. Recently ,,we noticed the bang of the teeter in agility was startling Sprout, so we’ve been playing these games again to help him overcome that fear. Sprout’s fear, though, has always been relatively minor and manageable. For example, he’ll jump back if a motorcycle revs near him (so do I, so I don’t fault him for this), but once the motorcycle is gone he’s back to normal and it’s not as though he gets nervous the next time we pass a parked motorcycle. If your dog’s fear of noises is really severe or interfering with his quality of life, though, I would encourage you to contact a professional dog trainer to discuss the issue and to see whether these games are right for your dog or if there’s a different approach you should try.
And with that, here is Sprout and his headless mom (one of these days I swear I’ll set the tripod up right….)
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