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De-sensitizing CD for Border Collies

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I have heard that BC's don't take well to thunder and other noises. Some breeders play a sound effects CD with pups. The CD is played for stimulation as well as getting the puppies accustomed and comfortable with sounds such as babies crying, dogs barking, machine guns blasting, thunder, clapping, kids screaming, etc. This sounds like SUCH a great idea. But where can I get my hands on a CD like this?

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Guest WoobiesMom

How great! I've thought about recording the playground noises that Woobie is afraid of and using it slowly. It is hard to recreate those weather phenomenon that really spook some dogs, what a great idea!

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bc4pack, thank you very, very much for that suggestion. I located that CD!


One thing worries me though. The http://psych.ucsf.edu/K9BehavioralGenetics/ site mentioned some time ago that exposing Border Collies to thunder sounds and other sounds seems to make their fear worse and does not help. I cannot find that specific page now but now I am wondering if the CD may be a bad idea after all?

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Melanie will have to answer that one as far as the project goes and what they have found.

FWIW with my storm phobic dog, no signs were seen until she was older (around

5 yrs old), but she is not noise phobic though...fireworks, gunshots are no problem.


There seems to be a genetic predisposition, so if it shows up, it shows up and it's

usually around mid life. A good many dogs have no problem telling the difference between real thunder

or fireworks and a CD. CDs are great for young pups during that key socialization period,

especially if,say, you don't have kids and can expose the pup to the yelling kids do. I would

not worry too much as long as you make the new noises fun ( treats or playing the CD softly at feeding time).

If the dog has a positive association with the noises all the better. If you see any sign of

something upsetting your dog, back up a step in level of exposure. All of this goes for introducing

to anything that might scare a dog... keep them 'underthreshold', where they are comfortable, sloooooowly

and over time you can increase time of exposure to 'scarey thing' and close the distance to 'scarey thing'.


If you had another dog in the house 'stressing out' about the noises then I'd be concerned

about the other dog 'modeling'. "Hmmmm, Molly's upset...there MUST be something to be

upset about."


Just a few things to ponder.

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