I was going to write about this in a week or two, but we had fireworks again last night. And, as this tip may take a bit of practice, there’s no time like the present to start.
You’ll love this tip to relax your dog on fireworks night, as it is totally free. You don’t need a guide, download, or anything else. Just your mind!
First a bit of background. I can’t just give you the answer in the third paragraph, now can I?
This technique started with my dog, Beth. Just like all of my tips and techniques at the moment! Beth is dog reactive, and I realised she was a lot more tense when we walked passed dogs that I was anxious about. Horse riding taught me that anxiety goes down the reins to the horse, and causes them to become anxious too. And the same is true of dog walking, the anxiety travels down the lead.
But it’s not just anxiety that travels, so does confidence and positivity. And it doesn’t just travel down the lead, it can change the atmosphere in a room.
So, it’s time to spread the love for fireworks.
I hope you are the kind of person who talks to there dog a lot. I’ve always talked to my pets, even before I learnt animal communication a few years ago. Even if you don’t believe they understand you, a calm tone is reassuring.
Ignore the haters on facebook wanting fireworks banned or silenced. As great as that may be, it hasn’t happened yet, so we need to deal with the situation we have at the moment.
In addition to making your dog cosy, and reducing the amount of noise they hear with putting the TV on, and closing curtains, try to ignore the fireworks as much as possible. There are two things you can do to help your dog – distraction and reassurance.
Distraction is a great way to get your dog’s focus off the fireworks and on to you. If you time it right you can distract them before they become too stressed. Get them involved with whatever you are doing, or take some time to do some training. It also distracts you from the fireworks, so you become the calming influence for your dog.
If it’s too late for distraction, and your dog is barking. Acknowledge them, for letting you know, tell them they are good, and then move on to something else.
If they are more of a hider, than a barker, ignore them, but remain positive, discuss which TV programme you should watch or what music to put on. I know it sounds crazy, but having a calm person in the room will show them that there is nothing to worry about. You could even talk about how far away they are, so they can’t be a danger. I do this when I am out horse riding. If Riaz hears a lawn mower or something and looks tense, I tell him it’s in a garden, so nowhere near him, to cause him harm. It really works!
I got a little carried away with this positive thinking last night, and have ordered Beth some plain bandanas to decorate with firework patterns, to show just how much we love them!
We’ll see how that turns out!!
Let me know how your dog responds to distraction and reassurance as the fireworks start…
And if you want some more practical tips on keeping your dog calm during the fireworks season, and didn’t catch my download from last week’s blog, follow this link.
Hoof To Tail Healing