How do noise phobias occur?
A fear response to a loud noise is actually a sensible protective mechanism – that noise could potentially harm the dog – but our dogs need to learn that certain noises are not a problem and they will not be harmed by the noise.
- A key factor for the most common noise phobias – thunderstorms, fireworks and gunshots – is that the sounds occur in bouts or series of loud noises, separated by periods of quiet.3
- Sensitization for most dogs may result over time from the cumulative effect of repeated exposure to the stimulus and resulting repeated minor stress responses.
- Fears and phobias associated with noise are not uncommon in dogs and can be seen as early as 9 weeks old.
- Noise sensitivity will always worsen over time if intervention strategies are not implemented by the veterinarian and the pet owner.