German Shepherds and Noise Phobia

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It is very common for German Shepherds, especially puppies, to be frightened of loud noises such as thunder claps and other sudden commotions. While noise phobias aren’t a big deal on their own, if left untreated they can lead to more serious behavioral problems such as an excessive and irrational fear response to external stimuli. Proper training is required to ensure that your German Shepherd doesn’t develop bad habits in terms of responding to noise. Here is some more information about German Shepherds and noise phobia, and how you can help them conquer their fear.

What are the signs of noise phobia?

The signs of noise phobia in German Shepherds can manifest in a number of ways, including the following:

-Excessive panting
-Pacing
-Barking
-Drooling
-Trembling or shaking
-Chewing or biting
-Urinating or defecating

During extreme weather events such as thunderstorms, your German Shepherd may become especially sensitive to changes in the barometric pressure and other signs of weather changes that humans may not be able to perceive. In this case, they may start acting out in anticipation of loud and disturbing noises.

How can I help my German Shepherd manage their noise phobia?

Unlike other types of training, you should refrain from a reward and punishment system to manage noise phobia. Punishment will likely raise their anxiety level, and coddling them too much can provide positive reinforcement for negative habits. Some tactics you can use to help ease your German Shepherd’s noise phobia include:

-Turning on soothing music or TV during moments of loud noise such as thunderstorms or vacuuming.
-Counter conditioning: engaging your German Shepherd in play or giving them a chew toy in order to distract them from loud noises
-Desensitization: playing automated CD tracks of storms and other low levels can help your German Shepherd to get more accustom to loud noises when the occur

Noise phobia are normal for many dog breeds including German Shepherds. If this fear starts affecting the behaviour of your German Shepherd, it’s time to implement strategies to help them overcome their phobia. For more information about training and taking care of your German Shepherd or to make an appointment to visit the dog currently available for adoption, contact us today at Ulvilden German Shepherds.

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