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Preparing Puppies for Fireworks Night

Written by Adaptil, published on 24 September 2019

Prevention is much better than cure when it comes to noise sensitivities as habituation to sounds takes far less time than a treatment programme later in life. It is also much less stressful for the animal too.

Socialising/habituating your puppy is not difficult to do, it just needs to be done. Preferably it should be started by the rehoming charity or breeder and continued by the new owner until your puppy is mature.

The aim is to get them to the point where they can remain relaxed when hearing loud sudden noises, such as they might experience on a day out at a show or when at home on firework night. There are some handy top tips below to help you:

  • Puppies should be exposed gradually to recordings of the noise of fireworks and other loud noises.
  • These recordings should be played quietly at first, so the puppy is not startled, and gradually increased over time, taking care not to worry them in any way.
  • The aim should be calm acceptance rather than only just tolerating. There is a free resource called “sounds scary” that can be found here.
  • Play the sounds little and often. Frequency is key.
  • The more the sounds are presented, the easier the puppy will accept them as part of daily life and the less notice they will take of them later in life.
  • You can also play other noises as part of the process.
  • If done well, this early training will prepare them for a lifetime of worry-free celebrations.
  • Use an ADAPTIL® Junior collar throughout the process to help puppies learn better and faster.

Sometimes the unpredictable nature of fireworks leads to the dogs fears issue getting worse over time, for more expert advice read more about desensitisation and counterconditioning here.

This process requires time and sometimes some advice from a qualified behaviourist. You can find your local behaviourist on the APBC or ABTC websites.

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