What can I do about my dog who is over excited by noises?

Gabby the German Shepherd and a vacuum

Gabby the German Shepherd and a vacuum

How can you help your dog with the vacuum and other powerful distractions?

Recently I received a question from the owner of a 4 month old puppy, who is not afraid of loud noises, but does get over excited. Any loud noise, whether it is a vacuum cleaner or a firearm, is a distraction to a dog. Training can help a dog not only cope with these noises, but ignore them, because they are conditioned to do so. Here is, how I answered the question on how to accomplish that:

I would get the dog on my left-hand side and before I ever introduce any of the distractions. I would begin to reinforce that position very heavily.

That way the dog understands, she should be on the left, her shoulder even with your leg and she should be looking up at you. I would probably spend two or three days just showing my dog that position.  If you want to make a lot of progress very quickly, make all of the dogs’ meals revolve around doing this particular exercise.

What I recommend for your four-month-old dog is an elevated bed, that’s about the size of your dog actually sitting. It’s not a really big area like a full-size dog bed, but just a nice square. I would put her on there, get her to sit, and then I would begin to reward her quite a bit.

Then you need to have a training collar on, a slip leash, a prong collar, a martingale etc. There are different kinds of training tools, that work differently for different dogs. I would have her training collar on her and I would have the leash completely slack. Then you create the distraction ( firearm, vacuum, other loud noises). Should your dog break her position, you will use the leash to put the dog back in position and then you will resume the distraction. If at the moment you start the distraction, your dog actually holds the behavior for just a couple of seconds, stop the distraction, and immediately reward your dog with her meal or something that she really loves.

So first, have her sit on your left or sit on the elevated bed. Then you could also just show her, your arm going up with your pistol, or move the vacuum around without turning it on. Next, add the distraction with the noise and reward heavily, when your dog stays in the sit position.

Longoriahaus Dog Training is a Dog Training service in the Kingwood and Houston, Texas Area.  Longoriahaus Dog Training can help you train a happy and reliable dog!

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