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AnnaKat

Sound Desensitization

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Has anyone successfully desensitized a noise for their dog? My BC is very sensitive to the noise of dishes clinking together and silverware too. I’m trying to think of ways to prevent her from reacting so badly. She attacks the nearest drawer, counter, etc. by biting and barking.

I considered having two bowls stacked with an extra special treat in the bottom one and letting her inspect them before removing the top bowl, clinking it against the bottom bowl, and revealing the treat. I also considered recording the noise to play throughout the day to get her accustomed to it.

Does anyone have some better ideas?

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Give her something else to focus on while the dishes are clinking.  So while one person is doing the dishes (or just making dish noises) you have her working on her obedience commands.  Don't introduce new ones, just work on ones she already knows.  Make it a game and reward her with a tug-o-war when she does the command quickly.  Once she takes her commands well during the noises, just put her in a down while you do the dishes.  You can talk to her and make happy eye contact and she should begin to equate dish time as a relax time.

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4 minutes ago, n0mad said:

Give her something else to focus on while the dishes are clinking.  So while one person is doing the dishes (or just making dish noises) you have her working on her obedience commands.  Don't introduce new ones, just work on ones she already knows.  Make it a game and reward her with a tug-o-war when she does the command quickly.  Once she takes her commands well during the noises, just put her in a down while you do the dishes.  You can talk to her and make happy eye contact and she should begin to equate dish time as a relax time.

Thank you for the suggestion! I’ve tried that but she can’t focus and just ends up running for the dishes clinking and ignoring any commands. She seems to not hear much else other than the dishes!

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Put her on a leash so she can't get away from you.  If you have to (and can) move a couple of rooms away to begin with and gradually move closer. 

Also you could teach her "that's enough".  I use this command for ending games or generally telling my dog to stop what she's doing.  I start teaching it with something I can control like tug-o-war.  Play a vigorous fun game and then say, "that's enough" give some pets and scratches and happy praise and put the tug toy where the dog can't reach it.  Use the opportunities life gives you as well.  For example: Ceile liked to hold onto her leash while we walked.  Sometimes I let her, sometimes I said "that's enough" and tugged it gently out of her mouth followed instantly with "Good dog!  Good that's enough!".  The words and the action of stopping then become something I can praise.  The dog stops whatever I used the command for and is instantly told what a good dog she is.  This eliminates any negative to having her fun taken away and replaces it with an opportunity to reinforce our positive and proper pack relationship.

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It depends on what’s going on and what you mean by “sensitive”:

When I’m reading your description it’s sounds like she is being obsessed by the noise since she runs into the sound.

Val is sensitive to certain noises and runs the opposite direction. I have yet to figure out how to desensitize that(loud sharp aka popping bubble wrap, treat gun, fireworks, and rumbling sound aka rumble strips, thunder).

Cressa used to be “sensitive” to noise as in obsess and seeking that noise out to do a behavior (Semi trucks noise would cause her to launch herself and attack the window, footsteps from upstairs would cause her to pace back and forth and nipping other dogs) to cure that type of sensitivity is that is NOT acceptable behaviors. We did a lot of basic obedience commands. If we knew a trigger was going to happen we gave an immediate default command. If she broke the command it was an instant correction. I was a noob to the breed but my line of reasoning was I realized this is who she is but if her working parents can “work sheep for a living and learn to call off sheep on top of ignore them when not working” she should also be able to listen to commands regardless of distraction. So her correction was based not on the behavior but in ignoring a command. It did get her past the behavior and she was one of the best dogs for following a commands regardless of distractions. I think it work since it did take her focus off the obsession and focus it on me and training. It was not an immediate fix. It still took 6 months to curb that type of obsessive sensitivity.

i just mention both type since sensitivity can be used in both cases and each has a different approach.

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