Home E Behavior E Ask Pilar: Scared Of Fireworks, Home Grooming And Rowdy Kids Next Door

Ask Pilar: Scared Of Fireworks, Home Grooming And Rowdy Kids Next Door

Welcome to our “Ask Pilar” series! Professional dog trainer and groomer Pilar Garrido will answer questions you have about your pup. She is only providing a basic overview. For more information, please consult a trainer, behaviorist or groomer in your area, who can directly work with your dogs.

For this round of questions, our readers asked:

1. I have a two-year-old French Bulldog at home, and I am pretty concerned because July 4th is coming up. He always gets scared at fireworks. Also, when my husband watches football, my dog is afraid of the noise. He starts shaking, panicking and cries, and does not calm down even when given treats. Is there anything I can do?

legacy-bucography-xre_ctoqpdy-unsplash

First of all, you need to find a room for your dog where he can feel totally safe. You can bring in his unlocked carrier or crate, or a table covered with long table cloth (simulating a cave environment). This will be his most secure place — a haven for when he feels scared and uncomfortable. The room should be filled with light, calming lavender scent, soft music and pheromones for added relaxation (if your dog reacts well to these). His box needs to have his favorite blanket, chew toys, and some clothes or rags with your smell on them. Having the correct lighting and temperature is also essential for your dog’s wellbeing. A pastel blue light can help calm your dog since the color has a relaxing effect.

>
[The room] will be his most secure place — a haven for when he feels scared and uncomfortable.

Playing ball with your dog — or doing something your dog greatly enjoys — while simulating the sound of fireworks, a football game or another loud event will help your dog get used to the sounds. We can begin first with the sound at a low volume then increase it gradually until he learns to be comfortable with the sounds. Another option is to buy a soundproof dog transportation box. Ford Motor has a sound-insulating kennel booth to keep dogs from panicking. Watch this video:

2. I usually bring my one-year-old Poodle to a groomer and she always behaves. I recently started bathing her at home, and whenever I use the dryer, she starts moving and complaining. I eventually stop what I’m doing and let her dry herself. Am I doing something wrong?

legacy-ramiro-pianarosa-usjv6emmeem-unsplash

Typically, dogs get scared and nervous if we don’t know how to properly bathe them, or are not combing or brushing their hair correctly. In addition, the dryer likely has an unpleasant sound many dogs dislike. So when using it, we need to lower the setting so there’s less noise and dry the hair more slowly. If she complains, stop, give her a treat, wait a few seconds and then start again. Treats and words of affection are always good positive reinforcement for the dog.

>
If she complains, stop, give her a treat, wait a few seconds and then start again. Treats and words of affection are always good positive reinforcement for the dog.

We should never leave the dog’s hair wet after bathing. She can get cold and sick, or may contract fungus on her skin. If bathing at home is making her uncomfortable, please bring her back to a professional dog groomer. Another option, if it’s not possible to get her to a parlor, is to buy dry dog shampoo. Go to the nearest pet store and a clerk will be glad to show you how the shampoo works. Finally, taking an introductory dog bathing course in the area would be helpful.

3. I have a four-year-old Border Collie. She is usually quiet, but recently, a new neighbor with two little boys moved in. The two boys love to run and play in the yard. Every time my dog hears them play, she runs around and barks like crazy. We miss the quiet times. What can we do to make her more relaxed when the boys play next door?

legacy-chung-nguyen-kjlk-jw2nli-unsplash

Your dog, by now, is already familiar with hearing the boys’ laughter and activity next door. Inviting your new neighbor to your home with their two kids would be an excellent idea. That way, your dog and the boys can get to know each other. It is also a good way of creating positive associations. If the boys want to know your dog, you will have to teach them how to approach your dog correctly and calmly. It is always a good practice to carry treats or food that the dog likes when approaching her, and avoid touching or talking to the dog during the initial meeting.

This first step of introduction can foster a healthy bond between the dog and kids. It would also be beneficial if the neighbors could go for a walk with you and your dog from time to time. Whenever the dog approaches the two boys quietly and calmly, remind the boys the give the dog treats. Your dog will soon associate the two boys with a positive experience, so when she sees them on the other side of the fence, she will react differently than in the past, and not think of them as a threat in any way.

>
Your dog will soon associate the two boys with a positive experience, so when she sees them on the other side of the fence, she will react differently than in the past.

Have questions? Follow us and ask on our IG @dogwhispererhq or through our website here.

legacy-300x250-watch-tv
Shop Dog Whisperer Products